Mylan launches generic Copaxone in 2 dosage strengths
HERTFORDSHIRE, England, and PITTSBURGH — Just a day after it received approval from the Food and Drug Administration for its generic of Copaxone (glatiramer acetate injection) — both as a 40-mg/mL three-times-a-week treatment and as a 20-mg/ml once-daily injection, the company has launched the drug.
Mylan’s generic was approved with an indication to treat patients with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis.
“Mylan has invested tens of millions of dollars over many years to bring this important medicine to market,” Mylan CEO Heather Bresch said Wednesday following the drug’s approval. “Providing patients, healthcare providers and caregivers with treatment options is very important when it comes to selecting the right therapy for relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis.”
Copaxone is the most-prescribed treatment for MS, with the 20-mg/ml dosage strength bringing in $700 million and the 40-mg/ml dosage strength bringing in $3.64 billion in the 12 months ended July 31, according to QuintilesIMS data.
The introduction of Mylan’s generic puts it in competition both with branded Copaxone, made by Teva, as well as Sandoz’s previously approved generic Glatopa, which is only available in the 20-mg/ml dosage strength.
As part of the launch, Mylan is introducing its MS Advocate patient support service program to help patients with an interactive mobile app, in-home injection training, 24/7 support, co-pay assistance and ongoing support from a MS-experienced nurse.
“Our commitment to the MS patient community extends beyond bringing generic versions of these products to market,” Bresch said. “Mylan also is offering comprehensive patient support services to help patients access therapy as quickly as possible and adhere to a treatment regimen that fits their needs.”
Walgreens recognizes 27,000 pharmacists for commitment to patients
DEERFIELD, Ill. — As part of American Pharmacists Month throughout October, Walgreens is recognizing its more than 27,000 pharmacists for their dedication to patient care, and the growing and important role they continue to play in health care today.
“Our pharmacists’ commitment to Walgreens patients is evident every day, and this year, especially, we’ve seen countless illustrations of our pharmacists going above and beyond,” stated Richard Ashworth, Walgreens president of pharmacy and retail operations. “As we recognize our pharmacists as part of American Pharmacists Month, it’s also an opportunity to highlight their extraordinary efforts after hurricanes impacted Texas, Louisiana, Florida and Puerto Rico. The care, teamwork and resilience demonstrated by Walgreens pharmacists and our other employees proved critical in meeting the needs of our patients and communities at a critical time.”
Thousands of Walgreens employees and health service providers were involved in relief and recovery efforts following Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, further demonstrating the important role Walgreens pharmacists have in their respective communities.
Some examples include:
- To help meet medication and medical supply needs, Walgreens pharmacists set up on-site pharmacy operations at several shelters, including one at the George R. Brown Conference Center in Houston and another at Florida International University in Miami. The shelter at FIU housed Florida Keys evacuees with special medical needs as well as dialysis-dependent patients evacuated from the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico;
- Walgreens pharmacists were also an invaluable and integral partner of hospitals in areas affected by the hurricanes. For example, the pharmacy manager of the Walgreens location at the Women’s Hospital of Texas in Houston, working on her own, compounded medications for the hospital’s NICU patients while also filling needed prescriptions so pediatric patients could be discharged from the hospital; and
- When the Walgreens pharmacy staff at Baptist Hospital in Beaumont, Texas, was unable to get to the location due to flooding, several Walgreens pharmacists from neighboring locations helped hospital staff get medications to patients in critical condition who were being transferred via helicopter.
In addition to celebrating American Pharmacists Month, during October and November, Walgreens is also recognizing the important role of its nearly 50,000 additional health care service providers, including its pharmacy technicians, Healthcare Clinic nurse practitioners and physician assistants, in conjunction with National Physician Assistant Week (Oct. 6-12), National Pharmacy Technician Day (Oct. 17) and National Nurse Practitioner Week (Nov. 12–18).
Lilly launches Humalog Junior KwikPen
INDIANAPOLIS — Eli Lilly’s latest introduction is making half-unit doses of insulin easier for patients with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. The company on Wednesday launched its Humalog Junior KwikPen, which it said is the only prefilled, disposable half-unit insulin pen. The Food and Drug Administration approved the product in June to treat diabetes.
“Learning how to inject insulin can be overwhelming, especially for newly diagnosed children and their caregivers. People often feel shock and anxiety, and may struggle with the reality of fitting diabetes into daily life,” Lilly VP global medical affairs Dr. Sherry Martin said. “We hope to help take away some of the worries about the injection process with Humalog Junior KwikPen. Because it is prefilled, there are fewer steps for people to learn, and the half-unit increments make dosing more precise.”
The pen is shorter and lighter than other half-unit pens, and it provides a disposable option where previously half-unit doses were only available through reusable pens that require cartridges to be removed and reloaded, Lilly said.