PHARMACY

Independents, chains team up to spread the word about e-prescribing

BY Drew Buono

ALEXANDRIA, Va. On April 17, a new campaign will launch in thousands of pharmacies, aimed at informing patients about the benefits of e-prescribing and also encouraging them to tell their doctors about the technology.

Many independent pharmacies are joining the campaign, along with such big chains as CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Kerr and Wal-Mart, to promote the program through in-store signs and educational material. Signage that reads “e-prescriptions filled here” and “give your prescriptions a head start” will be found on pharmacy doors and at counters.

Patients interested in learning more about the program—such as which pharmacies or physicians in their area practice e-prescribing—will be directed to the campaign’s Web site, www.LearnAboutEprescriptions.com.

To prove the worth of e-prescribing, Walgreens and SureScripts, who is providing the network for the e-prescribing pharmacies, have released a survey showing the benefits of implementing e-prescribing in a pharmacy.

According to the findings of the Walgreens/SureScripts study, prescriptions filled at pharmacies increased by 11 percent once physicians began actively using e-prescribing and that the savings for pharmacy labor costs are $1.07 for every new prescription and $0.41 for every refill due to e-prescribing.

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PHARMACY

Arcadia funds DailyMed with $5 million debt facility

BY Antoinette Alexander

INDIANPOLIS Arcadia Resources, a provider of consumer health services doing business under the trade name of Arcadia HealthCare, has obtained a new $5 million debt facility to fund the growth of DailyMed and its related pharmacy fulfillment strategy.

DailyMed, which launched April 2006, is a retail drug packaging solution that pre-sorts multiple prescriptions, OTC medications and vitamins into easy-to-use single-dose packets.

“The financing will provide Arcadia with the cash to fund DailyMed and our related pharmacy fulfillment strategy and the working capital needs associated with the pharmacy business growth anticipated during our fiscal year beginning April 1, 2008,” stated Marvin Richardson, president and chief executive officer. “This deal represents an important first step towards executing our fiscal 2009 growth strategy and is significant in that the majority of debt will be used to grow our DailyMed business rather than meet core operating cash obligations.”

The facility matures on Oct. 31, 2009, bears interest at an annual rate of 10 percent and is secured by certain company assets.

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FDA approves Sun’s generic Tessalon

BY Adam Kraemer

WASHINGTON Sun has received FDA approval for a generic version of Forest Laboratories’ Tessalon capsules, a treatment for coughs due to the common cold, pneumonia and other lung infections.

The company, a week ago, also announced it had received FDA approval for its generic version of Pfizer’s Cerebyx (fosphenytoin sodium), an injectable anticonvulsant that has annual U.S. sales of approximately $15 million.

Brand and generic Tessalon (benzonatate) have annual U.S. sales of approximately $40 million, according to Sun.

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