PHARMACY

QuickHealth opens in Fremont, with 5 more sites in the works

BY Allison Cerra

BURLINGAME, Calif. The era of the retail clinic continues to evolve as QuickHealth opened itsninth location inside a Wal-Mart store in Fremont, Calif., last month, the companysaid.

Only two years after opening its first clinic, the company also has plans for five more locations before the end of the year, including one inside a Longs Drugs in Fairfield, and 200 more over the next few years. “If you’re talking about convenience care, the soccer mom with the 8-year-old who has strep throat, how many of those would come in a Wal-Mart or a Longs,” QuickHealth chief executive officer David Mandelkern told the East Bay Business Times. “And the conclusion was maybe 10 to 15 a day would come in, and that is not enough.”

Despite naysayers who believe that retail clinics may be set up for failure, Mandelkern says he believes that QuickHealth will soon be profitable. While it takes close to a year to have a QuickHealth location operate smoothly, and hire enough physician assistants to fulfill the patient-doctor ratio, these financial setbacks allow QuickHealth to offer a wider array of services than what Mandelkern dubbed as “nurse kiosks.”

QuickHealth offers no-appointment-necessary, 15-minute consultations with a doctor for $49, and even offers an array of services ranging from wart removal to suturing minor cuts. Also among these services, patients can also receive immunizations and tests ranging from liver function to pregnancy. A special-value “healthy lover” package, including physical exam, STD and HIV tests will cost around $199.

QuickHealth’s approach is to appeal to the uninsured market (as 75% of its patients don’t have coverage) rather than the affluent looking for convenient care. Payment is cash only.

The number of retail clinics has increased dramatically in the United States According to a report produced for the California HealthCare Foundation; there had been less than 100 retail clinics in operation last year. Presently, Drug Store News estimates the total at more than 600. 

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Evista gets FDA approval for new use to reduce breast cancer risk

BY Drew Buono

INDIANAPOLIS The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new application for Eli Lilly’s osteoporosis drug Evista. The drug is now indicated as a way to reduce the risk of invasive breast cancer.

The drug’s new use is designed for postmenopausal women with osteoporosis and postmenopausal women at high risk for invasive breast cancer. “The FDA’s decision marks a major milestone. For the first time, postmenopausal women with osteoporosis will have one treatment option that can help address two leading health concerns—osteoporosis and invasive breast cancer,” said Gwen Krivi, vice president of Lilly Research Laboratories.

The approval comes less than a year after the application was submitted to the FDA and also carries a recommendation of the Oncologics Drug Advisory Committee.

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Cubist to ask for patent reissue for Cubicin

BY Drew Buono

LEXINGTON, Mass. Cubist Pharmaceuticals is planning on asking U.S. regulators to reissue a patent on the drug Cubicin to block generic competition.

Cubicin is used as a treatment for skin infections and is set to lose its patent in 2016.  Cubist is going to ask the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to correct and reissue a patent regarding the purity level of the compound daptomycin, which is the key ingredient in Cubicin.

On Wednesday, generic manufacturers were allowed to seek approval from the Food and Drug Administration to sell generic versions of the drug.  Now, with Cubist seeing corrections from the patent office, the original patent will be removed from the FDA’s registry of information on approved drugs until the mater is handled.

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