PHARMACY

Pfizer receives approval for expanded use of Geodon

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new use for a bipolar disorder and schizophrenia drug made by Pfizer.

The drug maker announced the FDA’s approval of Geodon (ziprasidone hydrochloride) as a maintenance treatment for adults with bipolar disorder when used alongside lithium or valproate. Geodon originally received approval in 2001 as a treatment for schizophrenia and manic or mixed episodes in patients with bipolar disorder.

“The FDA approval of Geodon provides an additional treatment option for patients with bipolar disorder, who require maintenance therapy to keep the symptoms of the disease under control,” University of Texas Health Science Center clinical professor Charles Bowden said in a statement.

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PHARMACY

Take Care receives remaining order of seasonal flu vaccination

BY Antoinette Alexander

CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. Take Care Health Systems, which is owned by Walgreens, stated on Thursday that it has received the remainder of their 2009 seasonal flu vaccine order from manufacturers.

The limited quantity of vaccine is now available to patients on a first-come first-served basis at all 355 Take Care Clinics.

Seasonal flu vaccine is $24.99 for cash paying patients and is often covered by insurance. The clinic operator is encouraging patients to check with their insurance provider for coverage details. To get up­to-date information on vaccine availability, patients should visit www.takecarehealth.com,  or call 1-866-Take-Care (1-866-825-3227).

In addition to seasonal flu vaccine, nurse practitioners and physician assistants at Take Care Clinics can administer the PPV (pneumonia) vaccine to adults who are 65 years of age and older. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the PPV vaccine for this age group, citing secondary bacterial pneumonia as a frequent cause of illness and death during each of the influenza pandemics of the 20th century.

“There continues to be widespread attention on the H1N1 virus, but it is not too late for individuals and families to protect themselves from seasonal flu strains by getting a seasonal flu vaccination,” stated Sandy Ryan, chief nurse practitioner officer for Take Care Health Systems. “Take Care Health professionals began offering seasonal flu vaccine in September this year, one month earlier than normal, and patients have responded, looking to Take Care Clinics as a high-quality, accessible healthcare resource in the communities where they live and work.”

Since beginning this season?s flu shot administration, Take Care Clinics have administered more than 380,000 doses of seasonal flu vaccine. The seasonal flu vaccine helps protect patients against three common strains of the flu virus. It does not offer protection against the 2009 H1N1 flu.

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FDA approves injected formulation of Revatio

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK The Food and Drug Administration has approved an injected formulation of a drug for pulmonary arterial hypertension.

Pfizer announced Friday the approval of Revatio (sildenafil) for injection, saying the approval makes it the only FDA-approved phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitor available in tablet and intravenous formulations.

The drug is used to treat adults with pulmonary arterial hypertension to improve exercise ability and delay clinical worsening, including patients with prescriptions for Revatio tablets who are temporarily unable to take oral medication.

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