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Lundbeck adds Omnicare to limited distribution network for Huntington’s drug

BY Alaric DeArment

ORLANDO, Fla. — The specialty pharmacy operated by Omnicare Specialty Care Group has been added to the limited distribution network for a drug used to treat a hereditary degenerative disorder.

Omnicare said Friday that Lundbeck had added Advanced Care Scripts to its network for Xenaziner (tetrabenazine). The drug is used to treat involuntary movements known as chorea associated with Huntington’s disease. Chroea affects about 90% of people with Huntington’s and is considered a hallmark of the disease, according to studies.

"As the only approved treatment for chorea, Xenazine represents an important advancement for patients with Huntington’s disease," Omnicare SVP David Hileman said. "We are please to be part of this innovative drug’s limited distribution network and the exclusive partner of product in the long-term care channel."

Huntington’s affects about 1-in-10,000 Americans, and about 200,000 people are at risk of developing it, according to the Huntington’s Disease Society of America, which says every child of a parent with the disease has a 50% chance of inheriting the gene that causes it.

ACS will dispense the drug using blister packs, which Hileman said would improve safety and adherence while reducing the risk of dosing errors and allow better coordination of combined therapies. "We offer this simplified solution to help patients with Huntington’s disease manage their prescription regimens," Hileman said.


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FDA highlights rare instance of burns associated with use of external analgesics

BY Michael Johnsen

 SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday alerted the public that certain external analgesics have been associated with burns. Most of the reported cases involved products containing higher concentrations of menthol and methyl salicylate (greater than 3% menthol or 10% methyl salicylate). Few of the cases involved capsaicin, the FDA reported. 

Over 42 years, as many as 43 reported cases of burns associated with use of external pain relievers for muscle pain or joint pain have been reported, noted FDA chemist Reynold Tan. While that represents a small incidence relative to the number of external analgesics sold, those products should not be causing burns. 

"[However,] existing Tentative Final Monograph does not at this time require labels of OTC topical muscle and joint pain relievers to carry a warning that use of the products could result in serious burns," the FDA stated. The FDA advised consumers using these products to not bandage the area of pain tightly or apply local heat (e.g., heating pads, lamps, hot water). Further, the FDA advised consumers to not use external analgesics on broken or irritated skin. 

For the 52 weeks ended Aug. 12, sales of external analgesic rubs totaled $305.9 million, up 1.7%, across food, drug and mass (minus Walmart) channels, according to SymphonyIRI Group data. 

 

 

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Stop & Shop’s school rewards program returns

BY Allison Cerra

QUINCY, Mass., and PURCHASE, N.Y. — School is back in session, and so is Stop & Shop’s rewards program.

Customers once again are encouraged to sign up for the A+ School Rewards school fundraiser, a program launched in 2009 to support local schools throughout participating markets. During the 2012-2013 school year, Stop & Shop said it will donate $2.5 million through the program. More than $4 million has been donated to local schools since the program’s inception.

How it works: A+ School Rewards are accrued with each purchase a customer makes using his or her Stop & Shop card. Points also can accrue when shopping with a Stop & Shop card on Peapod.com. To participate in the program, customers must sign up and designate their chosen school(s) at Stopandshop.com. Shoppers can designate up to two schools to benefit from the program and are required to re-designate each year. Participants are encouraged to sign up or re-designate as soon as possible so their chosen schools can begin earning points when the program begins. Beginning in November, current school totals can be found on the A+ website at Stopandshop.com/aplus.

The program, which runs from Oct. 5 through March 28, allows Stop & Shop customers to help local schools earn cash for technology, scholarship programs, summer programs, field trips, playgrounds and other educational needs.

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