PHARMACY

Pill Phone service helps patients remember to take medications on time

BY Alaric DeArment

SAN DIEGO Customers of three major wireless operators will be able to a service that reminds them with audio and visual alerts to take their prescribed medications at the right time.

The Pill Phone, by wireless technology company Vocel, is a software application that also includes content from The Pill Book about medication uses, dosing, side effects and interactions as well as photos to identify specific pills. Vocel said it was the only interactive, wireless medication reminder application with clearance from the Food and Drug Administration and that it was useful for children and adults taking multiple medications for chronic conditions such as allergies, asthma, diabetes, heart problems and cancer.

Chronic disease accounts for 75 percent of the country’s $2 trillion in medical costs, and adherence with prescription regimens among those with chronic conditions is 20 to 50 percent. Non-adherence by all patients results in $100 billion in healthcare costs per year.

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PHARMACY

FDA raises questions about efficacy of pain medication tamper-proofing

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Questions have arisen as to whether a pill by Pain Therapeutics and King Pharmaceuticals is resistant to tampering.

A memo by the Food and Drug Administration Monday concerns the drug Remoxy, a formulation of oxycodone that uses liquid capsule drug-delivery technology designed to prevent misuse of the drug. Some people have abused oxycodone tablets by crushing them, dissolving it in water and then injecting it for its opiate-like effects.

The FDA’s memo said that Pain Therapeutics did not sufficiently conduct long-term tests of Remoxy to determine whether the oxycodone could be extracted and diverted, though Pain Therapeutics disputes that claim.

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Titan releases earnings report for Q3 2008

BY Alaric DeArment

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. Titan Pharmaceuticals has released financial results for third quarter 2008.

Total operating costs for the quarter, which ended Sept. 30, were $6 million, compared with $4.6 million for third quarter 2007, the company said. Net loss for the quarter was $5.9 million, compared to $4.3 million last year; losses in both cases totaled 10 cents a share. The increase in operating costs resulted mostly from an increase in research and development funding related to development of the opiate addiction treatment Probuphine (buprenorphine) and a slight increase in general and administrative costs.

“We have continued to streamline our expenses and focus our resources on the phase 3 clinical development of Probuphine,” Titan president and chief executive Marc Rubin said. “During the third quarter, we have engaged in discussions with several potential partners both in the U.S. and Europe, and we are continuing these efforts as we evaluate strategic alternatives for the company.”

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