PHARMACY

Report: Local pharmacies crack down on controlled substance Rxs

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Several independent pharmacies in southern Florida have opted not to fill prescriptions for controlled substances for customers from out of state, according to published reports.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported Sunday that pharmacists there had grown so fed up with drug traffickers from out of state looking to fill prescriptions for prescription painkillers such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, methadone and alprazolam that they had decided to stop filling prescriptions for those drugs altogether for customers, unless they could produce Florida IDs.

The region has lately become a major center of prescription drug abuse. Drug dealers tend to use independent pharmacies because less scrutiny is placed on prescriptions, the newspaper reported.

“We certainly understand why pharmacists would err on the side of caution and not allow people from out of state to acquire these pain medications under what could be dubious circumstances,” National Community Pharmacists Association spokesman John Norton told Drug Store News. “Drug diversion is a practice we take seriously and something that warrants closer coordination between doctors and pharmacists to make sure the rampant abuse is stopped. We also believe Florida needs to strengthen their laws and certainly should work to limit the circumstances in which prescribers also dispense medications.”

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Taro files patent infringement suit against three companies

BY Alaric DeArment

HAWTHORNE, N.Y. An Israeli generic drug maker has sued three other companies, alleging patent infringement.

Taro Pharmaceutical Industries announced Monday that it had filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey against Synerx Pharma, DPT Labs and Karalex Pharma, alleging infringement of U.S. Patent No. 7,560,445. The patent covers Taro’s Ovide (malathion) lotion in the 0.5% strength, a treatment for head lice.

Taro said the defendants’ generic versions of the drug infringed its patent, and it’s seeking injunctive relief and damages.

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News article calls Mylan’s quality control into question; company responds

BY Alaric DeArment

PITTSBURGH A news article published over the weekend calling generic drug maker Mylan’s manufacturing into question has drawn a response from the company.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Sunday that workers at the company’s Morgantown, W.Va., plant overrode drug quality controls required by the government by ignoring and deleting computer warnings of possible drug quality or equipment problems, based on a confidential internal report obtained by the newspaper’s reporters that called it a “pervasive” problem. Normally the warnings, known as “red screens,” require production to halt until a quality-control agent can investigate the matter.

The company responded by saying in a statement Monday that the Post-Gazette article was based on anonymous sources, improperly obtained documents and third-party commentary.

“Our customers and stakeholders can rest assured that whenever there is even the slightest departure from [a standard operating procedure], it will be dealt with immediately and effectively,” the company said in a statement. “This issue had no impact on the quality of our product.”

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