PHARMACY

Jazz begins shipping anxiety/OCD drug Luvox

BY Drew Buono

PALO ALTO, Calif. Jazz Pharmaceuticals recently began shipping its new drug, once daily Luvox CR extended-release capsules to pharmacies across the country. The drug is designed to treat social anxiety disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder in adults.

The drug is available in 100 mg and 150 mg strengths.

“We are very excited about the introduction of Luvox CR to the United States market. The availability of Luvox CR provides physicians with a new and effective treatment option for the millions of adults in the United States suffering from SAD and OCD,” said Samuel Saks, chief executive officer of Jazz Pharmaceuticals. “Through our educational efforts, we hope to provide physicians and their patients with important information about SAD and OCD. As part of our commitment to helping patients, their families and caregivers, we are working with advocacy organizations to increase awareness about these serious and underdiagnosed conditions.”

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PHARMACY

FDA approves Alcon’s Patanase for nasal allergy symptoms

BY Adam Kraemer

HUENENBERG, Switzerland Alcon announced that the Food and Drug Administration has approved Patanase (olopatadine hydrochloride) nasal spray for the relief of the symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis in patients 12 years of age and older.

“We look forward to providing doctors the opportunity to prescribe Patanase to their patients who need and want a fast-acting nasal spray that quickly relieves symptoms,” said Kevin Buehler, Alcon’s senior vice president of global markets and chief marketing officer. “We are excited to enter the nasal market and are confident that this new addition will continue to grow our topical allergy franchise.”

Clinical studies found that patients treated with Patanase, two sprays per nostril, twice daily, demonstrated significantly greater decreases in symptoms compared to the placebo nasal spray. Additionally, onset of action was evaluated in three studies, in which patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis were exposed to high levels of pollen and then treated with either Patanase or placebo nasal spray, two sprays in each nostril, after which they self-reported their allergy symptoms hourly for the subsequent 12 hours. Patanase nasal spray was found to have an onset of action of 30 minutes and a 12-hour duration of affect after dosing, which was statistically significant compared to the placebo spray.

“For patients who suffer every allergy season with symptoms that make life in those months miserable, Patanase offers relief beginning in minutes in a convenient steroid-free nasal spray,” said one study’s lead investigator, Eli Meltzer. “The fact that it works quickly is important. Patients in our fast-paced society want rapid improvement and relief from their nasal allergies.”

Patanase nasal spray, an extension to Alcon’s market-leading ocular allergy product line, will be available in May of this year.

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EPA sets up collection sites in eight states for used meds

BY Adam Kraemer

BUFFALO, N.Y. The Environmental Protection Agency, recognizing that trace amounts of pharmaceuticals are showing up in drinking water, has begun urging consumers living near any of the Great Lakes to bring their old medications to official collection centers.

The EPA is helping pay for more than 70 collection points in eight states that will take old medicine—along with electronic waste like computers, cell phones and televisions—from April 19 through April 27. The agency has set a goal of collecting 1 million pills during an Earth Day initiative aimed at the more than 30 million people who live around the Great Lakes, which are by far the largest source of fresh drinking water on the planet.

The collection sites are being established in New York, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

“We’re trying to raise public awareness on disposing of pharmaceuticals properly and we’ve had a very good response from communities on water districts. This is information that needs to get out there,” EPA spokeswoman Phillippa Cannon said Tuesday.

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