PHARMACY

Obagi announces success with solubilized acne medication

BY Allison Cerra

LONG BEACH, Calif. Obagi Medical Products, a developer of skin health products, announced today solubilized benzoyl peroxide for the treatment of acne may provide dramatic reductions in acne lesions within 4 weeks.

Tested at the Fall Clinical Dermatology Conference in Las Vegas, the results from a pooled analysis of three randomized, investigator-blind trials. In the analysis, reduction in inflammatory and non-inflammatory lesions was greater with the solubilized 5 percent BPO regimens than with the jar gel formulation of BPO/clindamycin. Additionally, patients reported greater overall satisfaction and comparable tolerability with the solubilized 5% BPO regimen.

The product, a novel patent pending formulation developed exclusively for Obagi Medical Products, is a 3-step acne system, which includes a pore therapy and cleanser, both of which contain 2 percent salicylic acid.

Patients reported high levels of satisfaction across all studies. Mean satisfaction scores in studies using the 3-part acne system were statistically significant following 1 week of treatment.

“The CLENZIderm M.D. acne treatment system offers to dermatologists and their patients an option that has been proven to be effective and well tolerated in multiple clinical trials,” said Dr. James Del Rosso, who presented the data at the conference. “There is solid science supporting both the technology itself and the therapeutic benefits of this system. Additionally, there are two formulations of the system available that can be tailored to the needs of the individual patient based on their skin type.”

Each treatment was applied once or twice daily for 2-4 weeks. Patients ranged from 11 to 45 years of age, with a mean age of 20 years, and were evaluated weekly. Patients were predominantly Caucasian with Fitzpatrick skin type III. Efficacy was based on a mean reduction in inflammatory and non-inflammatory lesion count. Tolerability was evaluated on severity of stinging/burning, erythema, dryness and itching.

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SureScripts, First Health ink pact, boosting doctors’ e-Rx data tools

BY Jim Frederick

ALEXANDRIA, Va. SureScripts, the pharmacy-sanctioned provider of electronic prescribing linkup services between pharmacists and physicians, has signed a new operating agreement with a major pharmacy benefit manager that should forge closer ties between prescribing physicians and more than a dozen state Medicaid programs.

SureScripts signed the new service pact with First Health Services, a national Medicaid fee-for-service and managed health care company serving payers in 27 states and the District of Columbia. The deal could accelerate the rollout of e-prescribing because it will offer doctors in 13 states and D.C. electronic access to medication history and formulary and eligibility information on the Medicaid patients they serve.

In line with the pact, First Health has begun testing and certification of its Pharmaceutical Services point-of-sale system to share data with physicians over the Pharmacy Health Information Exchange, operated by SureScripts. Once complete, First Health will become a SureScripts Certified Solution Provider.

“This will enable state Medicaid programs using First Health Services’ point-of-sale processing system to offer physicians who are providing care to a Medicaid patient secure, electronic access to that patient’s medication history, as well as to formulary and eligibility information in real time, during an office visit,” noted the two companies in a joint statement.

First Health manages pharmaceutical services for Medicaid programs in Alaska, Kentucky, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Washington, D.C. In 2008 the company will also begin to support the Pharmaceutical Services for the Florida Medicaid program.

“The collaboration with SureScripts provides secured access to real-time critical patient information for program recipients that is needed to enhance fiscal controls, reduce fraud and abuse, and promote quality care,” said Peter Quinn, chief operating officer for First Health.

According to First Health, putting information about a patient’s drug coverage at a prescribing physician’s fingertips eliminates many of the questions that often require pharmacists and PBMs to make multiple phone calls to a physician’s office every day.

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Caraco launches generic Trileptal

BY Drew Buono

DETROIT Caraco Pharmaceuticals has launched a generic version of Novartis’ Trileptal, on behalf of Sun Pharmaceuticals, who recently received approval from the Food and Drug Administration for the generic version.

The generic, oxcarbazepine, is used for monotherapy or adjunctive therapy for the treatment of partial seizures in adults as well as monotherapy and adjunctive therapy in children aged 4 years and older with epilepsy.

Trileptal had sales of about $640 million for the year ended June 30, 2007, according to IMS data. The generic will be available in three strengths, 150 mg, 300 mg and 600 mg.

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