PHARMACY

Greenstone launches authorized generic voriconazole for oral suspension

BY Alaric DeArment

PEAPACK, N.J. — Greenstone has launched a version of a drug used to treat fungal infections, the company said.

Greenstone, the generics subsidiary of Pfizer, announced the introduction of voriconazole for oral suspension, an authorized generic version of Pfizer’s Vfend. Authorized generics are branded drugs sold at a discount under their generic names.

Greenstone is selling the drug in the 40 mg-per-milliliter strength. Vfend had sales of about $17.1 million during the 12-month period that ended in June, according to IMS Health.

 

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Novartis, Incyte drug produces higher survival rates in patients with myelofibrosis

BY Alaric DeArment

BASEL, Switzerland — A drug marketed by Novartis and Incyte Corp. extends the lives of patients with a life-threatening blood cancer to a greater extent than conventional therapy or placebo, according to results of a late-stage clinical trial.

Novartis announced the results of two phase-3 studies of Jakavi (ruxolitinib) in patients with myelofibrosis, presenting them at the American Society of Hematology’s annual meeting and exposition in New Orleans.

Myelofibrosis is an uncommon blood cancer that causes enlargement of the spleen, scarring of the bone marow and other symptoms. According to the studies, titled "COMFORT-I" and "COMFORT-II," Jakavi may increase the probability of 10-year survival of patients with the cancer by more than 50% compared with conventional therapy. The drug is approved in the United States for patients with intermediate- or high-risk myelofibrosis and is marketed by Incyte under the name Jakafi.

 

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Walgreens collaborates with CDC on comprehensive HIV treatment model

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — In support of the more than 1.1 million people living with HIV in the United States, Walgreens on Monday announced its collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop and evaluate a model of HIV patient-centered care through a national project aimed at advancing clinical integration and medication therapy management. The program is another way Walgreens is extending its commitment to improve HIV prevention and treatment outcomes.

Walgreens is leveraging the expertise of its more than 700 HIV-specialized pharmacies and specially trained pharmacists to lead medication care plans and provide data evaluation and outcomes reporting for 1,000 HIV positive project participants. Walgreens pharmacists, who routinely provide pharmacy care and treatment for people living with HIV, will meet one-on-one with project participants to create care plans that focus on medication adherence and address other needs, including health education for added chronic conditions.

“Our approach to improving HIV prevention and treatment is individualized care focused on the holistic needs of patients,” said Glen Pietrandoni, senior manager, virology, Walgreens. “Beyond dispensing medication, our pharmacists are trained to provide testing, confidential wellness consultations, coordinate care and benefits with physicians and insurance providers, and to help patients access financial support programs to reduce medication costs," he said. "However, medication adherence remains our primary objective because we know that taking the right medication at the right time is key to improving health outcomes.”

A Walgreens study of more than 15,000 HIV patients showed that those who received care through one of its HIV-specialized pharmacies, with expert-level trained pharmacists, were significantly more adherent to their medication (74%) than those receiving care through a traditional, non-specialized Walgreens pharmacy (69%). Adherent HIV patients are more likely to achieve improved health outcomes and suppressed viral loads, which make the virus less likely to be transmittable. However, the CDC estimates only 25% of Americans with HIV have the virus under control.

Walgreens collaboration with the CDC supports the goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy and underscores its commitment to support communities affected by HIV/AIDS. Its HIV-specialized pharmacies continue to cooperate with local health departments and AIDS service organizations to support HIV testing and community events, and work with local healthcare providers, government leaders and religious organizations to continually assess and meet the needs of individuals in select communities throughout the United States.

 

 

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