PHARMACY

FDA panel unanimously recommends approval of Eylea

BY Alaric DeArment

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. — A panel of Food and Drug Administration experts has recommended approval of an investigational biotech drug made by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals for eye diseases.

Regeneron said Friday that the FDA’s Dermatologic and Ophthalmic Drugs Advisory Committee unanimously recommended approval of Eylea (aflibercept) ophthalmic solution for the treatment of a form of age-related macular degeneration, also known as wet AMD. The disease causes abnormal growth of new blood vessels in the eye.

The FDA is not required to follow an advisory committee’s recommendation when deciding whether or not to approve a drug, but it usually does. The agency plans to make its decision on Aug. 20, according to Regeneron.

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Abbott receives FDA approval for Lupron Depot

BY Alaric DeArment

ABBOTT PARK, Ill. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new formulation of an injectable drug made by Abbott for prostate cancer.

Abbott announced Monday the approval of a 45-mg, six-month formulation of Lupron Depot (leuprolide acetate) for advanced prostate cancer. Previous formulations have allowed patients to receive the drug every month or every three or four months.

“Lupron Depot is an important treatment option for many patients with advanced prostate cancer,” Abbott VP global pharmaceutical development Eugene Sun said. “Approval of a new six-month formulation means that physicians and patients who have chosen Lupron Depot now have an additional treatment option.”

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CVS/pharmacy introduces CARE 1on1

BY Allison Cerra

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS/pharmacy has introduced its latest initiative, designed to underscore the role pharmacists play in managing ongoing medications for chronic illnesses, particularly when a patient starts a new medication.

Through CARE 1on1, CVS/pharmacy offers patients dedicated one-on-one time with a pharmacist to discuss savings, safety and side effects when their prescription is transferred or filled for the first time, the company said. How it works: When patients spend time with a CVS pharmacist through CARE 1on1, they will receive a personal review of their new ongoing medication filled at CVS/pharmacy and discuss ways to manage side effects, save money and stick to a medication routine.

The initiative follows recent CVS Caremark research that found that a pharmacist in a face-to-face setting is the most effective healthcare professional at encouraging patients to take medications as prescribed.

"Patients with chronic health issues like asthma, or chronic diseases like diabetes, often take more than one medication — each with its own set of directions and possible side effects," CVS Caremark VP pharmacy professional services Papatya Tankut said. "Our pharmacists are here to help patients get the most out of their medications once they leave the doctor’s office. Taking the time to speak to a pharmacist about your prescriptions can make a difference in the overall improvement of your health, particularly for those who are starting a new prescription."

More information about CARE1on1 can be found on CVS.com and in CVS/pharmacy stores nationwide.

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