PHARMACY

Novartis drug yields positive results in hypertension study

BY Alaric DeArment

EAST HANOVER, N.J. A drug by Novartis may provide blood pressure reductions in patients 65 and older with hypertension, a study has found.

 

According to the AGELESS study, Tekturna (aliskiren) lowered systolic blood pressure by 2.3 millimeters of mercury in patients, compared to the ACE inhibitor ramipril, which is the generic name of King Pharmaceuticals’ Altace. Results from the study were presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2008.

 

 

Almost 70 percent of people older than 60 have hypertension, and it remains controlled in more than 60 percent of hypertensive adults in that age group. Adults who do not have hypertension by age 55 have a 90 percent chance of developing it in their lifetimes.

 

 

“High blood pressure becomes more prevalent and challenging to treat with age,” said Daniel Duprez, lead author of the AGELESS study and director of research at the Rasmussen Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention at the University of Minnesota. “The elderly population is expected to more than double over the next 30 years. Therefore, it is important to have effective therapies such as aliskiren to treat a range of patients, including the elderly.”

 

 

The study was conducted in 900 patients 65 and older with systolic hypertension.

 

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PHARMACY

Jewel-Osco extends Prescription Plus offerings for more customers to get flu shots

BY Alaric DeArment

ITASCA, Ill. A retail pharmacy chain is reminding patients to use their prescription medications properly and get vaccinated despite the difficult economy.

Jewel-Osco Pharmacy will extend its Prescription Plus Rewards Programs through Jan. 31, allowing frequent pharmacy customers to save money on groceries. The program offers customers a 10 percent discount coupon for every five prescriptions they fill at the pharmacy using a discount card.

“As pharmacists, our foremost concern is helping our patients comply with their prescribed medication therapies,” Jewel-Osco vice president for pharmacy operations Tom Rousonelos said. “We’re extending the length of Prescription Plus in response to a real need our pharmacy customers tell us they have for the continuous opportunities to reduce their grocery bills through this program.”

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FDA approves Aurobindo’s generic version of Zoloft

BY Alaric DeArment

ROCKVILLE, Md. The Food and Drug Administration has approved Aurobindo’s application for sertraline hydrochloride oral concentrate, FDA records show.

The drug is a generic version of Pfizer’s antidepressant Zoloft. Roxane and Ranbaxy also offer generic versions.

The FDA approved sertraline hydrochloride tablets from Aurobindo in February 2007. The oral concentrate formulation received approval on Oct. 31.

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