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Orexo U.S. launches Zubsolv for opioid dependence

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — A drug for treating opioid dependence has been launched, the manufacturer said Monday.

Orexo announced the introduction of Zubsolv (buprenorphine; naloxone) sublingual tablets for the maintenance treatment of opioid dependence. The drug is designed for use as part of a broader treatment regimen that combines drug therapy and counseling.

The Food and Drug Administration approved Zubsolv in July of this year. Opioid dependence affects nearly 5 million people in the United States, according to a July 2002 study, and while treatable, 60% of those who have it don’t receive treatment.


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McKesson Patient Relationship Solutions a finalist in the 2013 PM360 Trailblazer Awards

BY Michael Johnsen

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The McKesson Patient Relationship Solutions last week was recognized for its best-in-class adherence solutions by being named a finalist in the 2013 PM360 Trailblazer Awards for the second consecutive year. McKesson was named a finalist for the Best Persistence Campaign for a co-pay card program targeting oncology patients.  

The PM360 Trailblazer Awards are given to companies, marketers and brand managers representing top talent and brands. Selected by the PM360 editorial board from more than 800 award applications, finalists represent the most creative and forward-thinking leadership of their fields.

McKesson won the 2012 PM360 Trailblazer Award for the Best Direct Marketing to Patient Campaign for its Lab-Band Behavioral Call Campaign on behalf of Ogilvy Healthworld and Allergan. McKesson’s LEO Quality Care Program was selected as a finalist for the 2012 PM360 Trailblazer Award for the Best Persistence Campaign Award. 

“MPRS is honored to be recognized again by PM360 for our ongoing efforts to create and implement innovative solutions on behalf of pharmaceutical and medical device companies that advance patient health," stated Derek Rago, VP and general manager, McKesson Patient Relationship Solutions. "We are extremely proud of this unique program designed to help achieve healthier patient outcomes through increased drug adherence and aid healthcare professionals as they manage critical cancer therapies."

Despite the seriousness of a cancer diagnosis, research has demonstrated adherence levels among cancer patients are as low as 20%, McKesson noted. Working with a large manufacturer, the co-pay card program was designed to ensure patient access to vital therapies and help improve adherence to these therapies.   

The goal of the co-pay card program, which covered multiple brands of oral and infused oncology drugs, was to provide flexible resources to help patients through a single, patient-friendly platform. From co-pay savings, to patient education and other support resources, the brands sought to drive usage and meet the needs of their patients by offering participants access to co-pay savings resources — at their doctor’s office, online and through their retail or specialty pharmacy. This solution provided a program that doctors could easily navigate and execute despite highly individualized regimens.


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CRN publishes third edition of its “Vitamin and Mineral Safety” handbook

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — The Council for Responsible Nutrition last week published the third edition of its “Vitamin and Mineral Safety” handbook. This publication provides science-based recommendations for establishing Tolerable Upper Intake Levels for supplemental sources of nutrients.

“Nutrition scientists and policy makers all over the world are concerned about nutrient deficiencies, or not getting enough of essential nutrients, but in well-nourished societies there is an equal concern regarding over-ingesting these nutrients at levels that may be harmful," stated Jim Griffiths, VP scientific and international affairs CRN. "One of the great values of this book is that it corroborates the need for scientifically based information on how much is too much. Then it evaluates that science and makes appropriate recommendations.” 

Consumers take dietary supplements as part of their efforts to maintain their health and help prevent disease, and often go beyond RDA levels to achieve specific health benefits, CRN noted. The combination of dietary intakes plus supplementation raises potential concerns for over-nutrification, but science-based ULs can address those concerns. The upper limits examined in CRN’s new edition of “Vitamin and Mineral Safety” factor in dietary intake and are based on risk assessment principles, providing a framework for guiding consumers, formulators and regulators, and a useful reference to what are safe levels of supplemental nutrient intake. 

The publication is being revised and updated chapter-by-chapter, re-evaluating and including the latest science. This third edition will focus on the same 28 previously evaluated nutrients: 14 vitamins, four minerals and 10 trace elements, each re-examined with the addition of appropriate new references as needed. The first set of updated chapters now available includes: folic acid; iron; niacin; selenium; and vitamin E. More will follow each month and CRN anticipates that the book will be completely updated by the end of 2013.

John Hathcock, former CRN scientist and current CRN consultant, is authoring this third edition. He has worked in concert with CRN’s scientific staff to ensure the publication includes the latest scientific studies critical to making the evaluations and recommendations for appropriate ULs. CRN’s Duffy MacKay, VP scientific and regulatory affairs, served as editor.


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