PHARMACY

New York Times: Battle against biogenerics is on

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — The battle against biogenerics is on, noted a report published in The New York Times Tuesday.  As many as eight states have introduced legislation that would restrict generic competition of biological pharamceuticals so far this year and one, the Virginia House of Delegates, already passed such a measure by a 91-to-6 vote. 

At the federal level biological manufactures are squaring off against their potential generic competitors on whether or not the generic equivalent can share the same generic name as the brand product, the NYT report noted. If no, then pharmacists will be unable to substitute one for the other even if a state were to allow biogenerics. 

 

 

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Sanofi’s Auvi-Q epinephrine injection now available

BY Jason Owen

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — Sanofi announced today that Auvi-Q (epinephrine injection, USP) is now available in U.S. retail pharmacies nationwide with a prescription from a healthcare provider.

 

Auvi-Q is the first-and-only epinephrine auto-injector with audio and visual cues for the emergency treatment of life-threatening allergic reactions in people who are at risk for or have a history of anaphylaxis. The size and shape of a credit card and the thickness of a smart phone, Auvi-Q is a breakthrough in epinephrine auto-injector device design that talks patients and caregivers step-by-step through the injection process.

“Patient feedback was a critical component to the development process for Auvi-Q,” said Anne Whitaker, president of North America Pharmaceuticals, Sanofi. “The availability of Auvi-Q represents an important step forward in our continued innovation to meet the needs of people at risk for anaphylaxis and their caregivers.”

Up to six million Americans may be at risk for anaphylaxis, although the precise incidence is unknown and may be underreported. While guidelines emphasize the importance of the life-saving role of epinephrine, recent surveys show that two-thirds of patients and caregivers do not carry their epinephrine auto-injectors as recommended, and nearly half worry that others will not know how to use their or their child’s epinephrine auto-injector correctly during an emergency. Multiple studies have found an association between delay in epinephrine administration and death from anaphylaxis.

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Boosting Rx adherence rates: Can pharmacy students make a difference?

BY Jim Frederick

Are you up to the adherence challenge?

More than 60 schools of pharmacy and pharmacy groups across the country have joined forces in a massive, month-long campaign to boost Americans’ drug adherence rates.

The National Consumer League’s Script Your Future Medication Adherence Team Challenge 2012-2013 kicks off a month-long series of events staged by pharmacy schools, and pharmacy and health profession students Feb. 1.

Pharmacy schools can join the challenge “by implementing creative solutions in their communities to raise awareness and improve understanding about medication adherence,” according to a report from the challenge group. The effort is sponsored by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation and American Medical Association.

Closely related to that effort is the Pharmacists Advancing Medication Adherence [PAMA] initiative, sponsored by AACP and the National Community Pharmacists Association [NCPA]. That campaign, which works in partnership with Script Your Future, also enlists pharmacy schools and student pharmacists in the ongoing battle to educate consumers about the importance of sticking with their drug regimens.

One goal, according to AACP, is “to produce graduates that embrace pharmacists’ role as medication adherence counselors.”

Lending urgency to the campaign: survey results show that nearly three out of four Americans don’t take their prescription medicines as directed, leading to poor health outcomes and hundreds of billions of dollars wasted each year on additional health costs and lost productivity.

One school of pharmacy participating in the Medication Adherence Challenge is Ohio Northern University’s Raabe College of Pharmacy. The school’s chapter of the American Pharmacists Association’ Academy of Student Pharmacists “will work with students and faculty from the university’s nursing program to consult and distribute information concerning medication adherence on Feb. 2 during the ONU Health Fair,” Drug Store News reported Jan. 25.

How effective are these efforts at enlisting student pharmacists, and at boosting overall adherence rates among patients? As always, your feedback is welcome.

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