PHARMACY

Recycled plastic gets nod from liquid prescription drug packaging manufacturer

BY Alaric DeArment

PERRYSBURG, Ohio A consumer packaging company has created a bottle for liquid prescription drugs made from 100 percent recycled plastic.

Rexam Prescription Products announced the bottles, also known as ovals, on Thursday. They are available in 2-, 3-, 4-, 6-, 8- ,12- and 16-ounce sizes, and can be recycled further after use. The bottles meet the same government standards as Rexam’s other bottles, including United States Pharmacopeia requirements for light transmission and moisture permeation, the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s child-resistant and senior-friendly requirements and the Food and Drug Administration?s resin standards.

“Pharmacists and consumers have shown a preference for packaging using recycled material,” Rexam vice president of sales Pat O’Connell said. “Our new recycled ovals will provide differentiation, allowing pharmacies to market themselves as environmentally friendy.”

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HealthPartners site helps Minneapolis area patients estimate healthcare costs

BY Alaric DeArment

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. A healthcare organization has launched a Web site that quotes prices for 83 procedures at the primary care and radiology centers in its network in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area.

HealthPartners announced the launch Tuesday. The price listings are in the ?Find a Provider/Clinic? section of its Web site, www.healthpartners.com.

The prices listed are for five high-volume service categories, including office visits, immunizations and vaccines, lab services, X-rays and CTs and MRIs. For example, a wrist X-ray at one of the clinics costs $61.60, while an influenza test costs $29.18.

“This is an important step forward in transparency because the information we provide is for specific prices rather than a range,” HealthPartners senior vice president for customer service and product innovation Scott Aebischer said. “This information is particularly useful for members who are paying out-of-pocket fees.”

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FDA challenges Bayer’s TV commercial claims about Yaz

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK The Food and Drug Administration told Bayer in a letter Tuesday that two of the company’s TV commercials for its premenstrual dysphoric disorder drug Yaz are misleading.

The FDA said one commercial suggests the drug is approved for treating post-menopausal syndrome by saying it treats irritability, moodiness and bloating—symptoms common to PMDD and PMS. That commercial, which featured women hitting balloons while singing “We’re not gonna take it,” has been pulled.

The second commercial had the song “Good-Bye to You” and women releasing balloons with symptoms written on them. The FDA said evidence has not demonstrated that Yaz eliminates symptoms, even though the commercial suggests that it does.

Yaz (drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol) had global sales of $1.42 billion in 2007, according to Bayer financial data.

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