PHARMACY

Purdue Pharma earns Corporate Recognition Award from NCPA

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW ORLEANS The National Community Pharmacists Association Foundation gave its 2009 Corporate Recognition Award to drug maker Purdue Pharma at its 111th annual Convention and Trade Exposition in New Orleans, which began Saturday and continues until Wednesday.

“The centerpiece of Purdue Pharma’s strong relationship with NCPA has been its commitment to keeping pharmacies safe,” NCPA Foundation president Sharlea Leatherwood said in a statement. “Programs like Protect Your Pharmacy Now! And Rx Patrol would not exist without the commitment of resources and expertise Purdue Pharma has provided. As a result, community pharmacies are better able to defend themselves from criminals targeting prescription drugs.”

 

Last year, the NCPA, the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Association and Purdue — which makes a number of painkillers such as OxyContin (oxycodone hydrochloride) — launched the Protect Your Pharmacy Now! initiative to combat pharmacy crime, particularly theft of prescription drugs.

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Sandoz launches two products

BY Alaric DeArment

PRINCETON, N.J. The generics arm of drug maker Novartis has launched two new products.

Sandoz announced the launch of topiramate sprinkle capsules, a generic version of Johnson & Johnson’s epilepsy drug Topamax Sprinkle, and calcium acetate capsules, an authorized generic of Fresenius Medical Care’s kidney failure drug PhosLo.

Topiramate capsules had sales of $56 million during the 12-month period ending in August, and PhosLo had sales of $42 million during the same period, according to IMS Health data.

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FDA approves GSK’s HPV vaccine

BY Alaric DeArment

PHILADELPHIA Merck & Co.’s highly successful human papillomavirus vaccine Gardasil has a new competitor.

The Food and Drug Administration approved GlaxoSmithKline’s Cervarix (human papillomavirus bivalent [types 16 and 18] vaccine, recombinant), for preventing infection by HPV – the virus that causes genital warts and can cause cervical cancer – in girls and women ages 10 to 25.

“The approval of Cervarix will bring an important new cervical cancer vaccine to girls and young women,” GSK president North American pharmaceuticals Deirdre Connelly said in a statement. “Immunization with a vaccine such as Cervarix – along with annual doctor visits and Pap tests – will help protect women from cervical cancer, the second leading cause of cancer death in women in their 20s and 30s.”

The FDA has already approved Merck’s Gardasil (human papillomavirus quadrivalent [types 6, 11, 16 and 18] vaccine, recombinant) for females and males ages 9 to 26.

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