PHARMACY

Report: State Medicaid programs can reap savings with increase in generic drug use

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON — Ten states could reap significant savings by increasing the use of generic drugs in their state Medicaid programs, the Generic Pharmaceutical Association said Monday in response to a report by the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank.

The report, “Overspending on Multi-Source Drugs in Medicaid,” by Alex Brill, identified states that overspend the most on their Medicaid programs, with California, Texas and Georgia topping the list.

The study found that some state Medicaid programs spend large amounts of money reimbursing pharmacies for branded drugs when cheaper generics are available. California, for example, overspent by $102 million in 2009, while Texas overspent by $31 million and Georgia by $25 million. Other states cited were Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Illinois, Florida and North Carolina.

Another study, conducted earlier this year, found that the states and the federal government could save $682 million each year by increasing the Medicaid generic drug dispensing rate by 1%.

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Pfizer recalls two drugs

BY Alaric DeArment

PEAPACK, N.J. — The generics division of drug maker Pfizer is recalling supplies of two drugs due to possible mislabeling.

Greenstone announced Saturday that it would voluntarily recall 100-count bottles of citalopram 10-mg tablets and 90-count bottles of finasteride 5-mg tablets with the lot number FI0510058-A on the label. The company said a third-party manufacturer may have placed incorrect labels on the bottles. No other lots are affected.

Citalopram is used to treat depression, while finasteride is used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia.

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FDA approves topical treatment for genital warts

BY Alaric DeArment

BRISTOL, Tenn. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a topical treatment for genital warts made by Graceway Pharmaceuticals, the drug maker said Monday.

The FDA approved Zyclara (imiquimod) cream in the 3.75% strength for patients ages 12 years and older. According to clinical trial data, the cream effectively cleared genital warts, and of patients who achieved complete clearance, only a small percentage had a recurrence 12 weeks after treatment.

“Zyclara cream, which represents a significant advancement in the topical treatment of genital warts, works by increasing the immune response,” Harbor-UCLA Medical Center professor of obstetrics and gynecology Anita Nelson stated. “In my professional experience, genital warts commonly recur after treatment. Zyclara cream showed promising results in preventing genital wart recurrence for 12 weeks in the majority of patients who cleared during the clinical study.” 

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