PHARMACY

GSK granted FDA approval for Promacta

BY Alaric DeArment

PHILADELPHIA — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a GlaxoSmithKline drug for a rare blood disorder, GSK said Friday.

The drug maker announced the approval of Promacta (eltrombopag) for chronic immune thrombocytopenic purpura, or ITP, in patients who have not responded adequately to other therapies. Chronic ITP results in increased destruction of inadequate production of platelets in the blood, creating an increased risk of bruising and bleeding.

The FDA granted Promacta orphan drug designation in May 2008 and accelerated approval in November 2008.

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Takeda’s Edarbi approved as hypertension treatment

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new treatment for hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, the agency said Friday.

The FDA approved Takeda’s Edarbi (azilsartan medoxomil).

“High blood pressure is often called the ‘silent killer’ because it usually has no symptoms until it causes damage to the body,” FDA Division of Cardiovascular and Renal Drug Products director Norman Stockbridge said. “High blood pressure remains inadequately controlled in many people diagnosed with the condition, so having a variety of treatment options is important.”

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PCMA applauds Cuomo’s Medicaid proposal

BY Allison Cerra

WASHINGTON — In his 2011-2012 budget, New York governor Andrew Cuomo included a proposal to update New York’s Medicaid program. The announcement comes at the heels of New Jersey governor Chris Christie’s motion to modernize the state’s Medicaid plan.

Similarly to New Jersey’s plan, Cuomo said New York’s “Proposal to Redesign Medicaid” could save state taxpayers $350 million though 2015 by managing prescription drug benefits similarly to those in Medicare and private-sector programs.

The Pharmaceutical Care Management Association lauded Cuomo’s proposal, noting that New York’s Medicaid program could save $2.3 billion over the next decade by managing pharmacy benefits more like Medicare, Medicaid managed care plans and commercial-sector employer plans, citing a recent PCMA-commissioned study.

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