PHARMACY

Former SureScripts CEO Hutchinson to head physician e-Rx technology firm

BY Jim Frederick

BETHESDA, Md. Kevin Hutchinson, the electronic prescribing pioneer who guided SureScripts from its inception in 2002 as a pharmacy-sanctioned e-prescribing platform provider until his retirement as its chief executive officer last month, has joined physician technology provider Prematics as its chief executive.

Prematics chairman Jim Bradley called Hutchinson “a recognized expert and leader in healthcare information technology” in announcing the move today. The two will lead the planned rollout by Prematics of its ScriptTone e-prescribing service for physicians, and its clinical information technology services for doctors.

“Kevin is an industry-renowned champion of health information technology, having spearheaded the development and successful growth of SureScripts, operators of the nationwide Pharmacy Health Information Exchange,” said Bradley. “I’m excited to work side-by-side with Kevin as we take on this new challenge to further the adoption and utilization of electronic prescribing for physician practices.”

Ironically, Hutchinson is joining forces with a former rival, of sorts. Bradley, the company’s chairman, is the founding chief executive officer of RxHub, the e-prescribing platform provider launched by the pharmacy benefit management industry shortly after the creation of SureScripts by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association.

Prematics is basing its approach on providing doctors with “an elegant easy-to-use interface” that will allow them to link up electronically with pharmacies, while providing them with “the critical patient information they need at the point-of-care to prescribe the most clinically appropriate and cost-effective prescriptions,” in the company’s words.

“Now that the critical infrastructure is in place, Prematics is in a great position to take advantage of the strong momentum to transform the way in which prescriptions are written today,” said Hutchinson.

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FDA approves two new APP generic medications

BY Diana Alickaj

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. The Food and Drug Administration approved APP Pharmaceuticals’ new drug applications for caffeine citrate oral solution at 20 milligrams/milliliter and for bleomycin sulfate for injection.

Caffeine citrate oral solution, the generic version of Bedford Labs’ Cafcin, is a treatment used for premature infants who have apnea, a condition where babies stop breathing during sleep for a brief amount of time, according to published reports.

Bleomycin is a treatment for cancer, a generic of Bristol-Myer’s Blenoxane, although it works in combination with other medicines. As a result of the recent FDA approval, APP Pharma stock increased to $10.33, a three-cent increase per share.

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Shares of Labopharm rise with positive Trazodone study

BY Diana Alickaj

NEW YORK Positive results on Trazodone, a once-daily anti-depressant pill, caused shares of Labopharm to rise on Friday.

According to published reports, Trazodone is a pill whose main goal is to improve a patient’s quality of sleep. The study reveals that this goal was met, with 412 patients showing that a once-daily version is effective and also inhibits a patient from awaking as frequently during the night.

The stock for Labopharm rose by 18.7 percent, about 37 cents, increasing the stock price to $2.35 in morning trading. Over the past year, the stock has ranged between 63 cents and $7.21.

The Food And Drug Administration already approved the twice-daily version of Trazodone, and Labopharm is planning to file a new drug application for its newest version of Trazodone with the FDA later in the year.

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