PHARMACY

New report projects sales of Parkinson’s disease drug will reach $500 million

BY Alaric DeArment

WALTHAM, Mass. A drug made by Boehringer Ingelheim for treating Parkinson’s disease could have sales of up to half a billion dollars, according to a new analysis.

According to a report released Tuesday by market research firm Decision Resources, BI’s extended-release formulation of pramipexole will have peak-year sales of between $250 million and $500 million in major pharmaceutical markets. The drug was launched in Europe in 2009 and is expected to enter the market in the United States this year.

In the beginning, according to the report, launches of generic formulations of the immediate-release version of pramipexole and competition from GlaxoSmithKline’s and SkyePharma’s Requip XL (ropinirole CR) and generic versions of immediate-release Requip will put a damper on sales of pramipexole ER. However, physician familiarity with the drug and preference among physicians and patients for once-daily dosing will cause a “significant” increase in sales.

“Given physician comfort in prescribing pramipexole for Parkinson’s disease and the convenience of once-daily dosing that it would offer, we expect that pramipexole ER will take much of pramipexole IR’s patient share,” Decision Resources analyst Sami Fam said. “In the short term, we expect pramipexole ER will lose some patient share to ropinirole CR given that ropinirole CR was the first of the two agents to launch. But over the long term, physicians’ slight preference for pramipexole over ropinirole should help to boost pramipexole ER’s uptake.”

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PHARMACY

Bennett named DrSN publisher

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK Drug Store News, Pharmacy Practice, PharmacyTech News, Retail Clinician and Specialty Pharmacy magazines, as well as all Drug Store News electronic media products.—Lebhar-Friedman Inc., parent company of The Drug Store News Group, last month named Wayne Bennett publisher of the group, which includes

The move, which became effective just prior to the holidays, acknowledges the considerable contributions Bennett has made to the Drug Store News franchise over a highly successful 15-year career with the company. Bennett, who most recently served as associate publisher of the group and national sales manager prior to that, has played an instrumental role in the overall growth of the enterprise from the single flagship Drug Store News print edition to the group of publications and e-media products that comprise The Drug Store News Group today.

Bennett succeeds John Kenlon, who in 2009 was named VP and group publisher for Lebhar-Friedman’s retail division, which includes The Drug Store News Group as well as Chain Store Age, Retailing Today and Home Channel News, including all print and electronic products.

“Wayne has a genuine passion for retail pharmacy and wants the industry to succeed—not just Drug Store News,” Kenlon said. “For that reason, suppliers and retailers want to work with him; they know he will do everything he can to help improve their businesses.”

Bennett first joined Lebhar-Friedman in October 1995 as area manager for Drug Store News.

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Finding synergy between food, Rx

BY DSN STAFF

Drug Store News interview with Helen Eddy, VP health and wellness at Hy-Vee

Drug Store News: How did Hy-Vee get the idea to have pharmacists and dieticians collaborate on educating patients about disease states and health management?

Helen Eddy: We started by having three corporate dieticians on staff, which grew into having dieticians in the stores. The evolution of the pharmacist and dietician teams was just a natural partnership that evolved quickly. I credit our stores for recognizing the synergies and developing the programs. At Hy-Vee, the best ideas come from our stores.

DrSN: What do you hope to accomplish the most?

Eddy: Richard Jurgens, our chairman and CEO, has stated that our goal is to be the healthiest company in America, and then to help the states in which we operate become the healthiest states in the nation. We will do that through employee and customer programs that help them live healthier lifestyles and reverse the obesity epidemic.

DrSN: How do you leverage your capabilities as a supermarket pharmacy in educating patients with chronic disease states?

Eddy: Supermarket pharmacies are uniquely positioned to help customers achieve their health goals through the combination of pharmacy and healthy food choices. Every time that we are educating a customer about a disease, we address diet and healthy lifestyles.

Prescription medications alone usually are not enough to achieve the desired health outcome. It also requires that we address diet and nutrition. The supermarket, where [customers] shop, is the ideal classroom for teaching customers how to live healthier lives.

DrSN: What roles can supermarket pharmacies play in the U.S. healthcare system?

Eddy: Our healthcare crisis will not be resolved until we address obesity and begin preventing chronic disease. The supermarket pharmacy is an accessible, unique resource for both patients and healthcare professionals. Supermarket pharmacies have the health expertise of their pharmacists, combined with healthy, fresh food.

At Hy-Vee, we are already seeing physicians referring patients to our dieticians and pharmacists for education because we combine nutrition and chronic disease education. The result is better patient outcomes.

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