PHARMACY

OmniMD certified by SureScripts for electronic prescribing

BY Alaric DeArment

New York A company that develops Internet applications for electronic medical records, enterprise health care and practice management announced Wednesday its certification by SureScripts.

Omni MD’s said its certification by SureScripts, which operates the Pharmacy Health Information Exchange, would allow for interoperability with the country’s pharmacies and improve the safety and efficiency of the prescribing process and quality of patient care. Physicians using Omni MD’s EMR application can connect directly with local pharmacies connected to the Pharmacy Health Information Exchange.Government health officials said earlier this week that starting this year, healthcare providers will be able to earn extra money from Medicare if they use electronic prescribing systems.”We are dedicated to providing solutions that improve the efficiency of medical practices and the quality of patient care,” Omni MD chief CEO Divan Dave said in a statement. “Omni MD’s Prescription Writer already has a functionality to check for drug interactions, print patient medication sheets, create favorite prescriptions and check prescription coverage at the point of care.” 

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Teva Pharmaceuticals and Lonza Group join to market biosimilars

BY Alaric DeArment

Jerusalem As the possibility of a bill to allow Food and Drug Administration approval of biosimilars looms in Congress, two companies are already taking the initiative.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries announced Tuesday a partnership with Lonza Group to establish a joint venture to develop, manufacture and market biosimilars. The two companies did not specify where they would market the drugs.”We had identified biosimilars as a major growth driver for Teva in our long-term strategy and have been augmenting our knowledge base, capabilities and infrastructure to position Teva as a leader in this market,” Teva president and CEO Shlomo Yanai said in a statement. “This strategic partnership bolsters our biologics capabilities.”Teva, the world’s largest maker of generic drugs, already markets biosimilars in Europe, along with generic manufacturers Sandoz and Dr. Reddy’s, and pharmaceutical companies Merck & Co., Eli Lilly & Co. and AstraZeneca have recently announced the creation of biosimilars divisions.Financial terms of the deal between Lonza and Teva were not disclosed.

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Lawmakers concerned international drug manufacturing presents risk of counterfeits

BY Alaric DeArment

New York Concern has arisen about the manufacturing of ingredients for drugs in other countries, especially antibiotics like penicillin, according to published reports.

Drug manufacturing has mostly moved to countries such as India and China, but some lawmakers and analysts have said it increases the risks of counterfeits and bioterrorism.Already, more than 200 Americans have experienced dangerous drug reactions since November 2007 after taking counterfeit versions of the blood-thinning drug heparin manufactured in China containing a toxic chemical that merely mimics heparin. Last November, the Food and Drug Administration confiscated 11 lots of counterfeit heparin from a company based in Cincinnati. 

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