PHARMACY

Sandoz gets FDA nod for Altavera

BY Alaric DeArment

PRINCETON, N.J. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved an oral contraceptive made by Sandoz, the company said Friday.

Sandoz, the generics division of Swiss drug maker Novartis, announced the approval of Altavera (levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol) tablets, a generic version of Duramed’s Nordette.

Branded and generic versions of Nordette had sales of about $57.4 million during the 12-month period ended in February, according to IMS Health.

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PHARMACY

Winn-Dixie utilizes Sharps Compliance’s TakeAway program

BY Michael Johnsen

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Winn-Dixie on Monday announced that its pharmacy will offer specially designed medication disposal envelopes to help its customers safely dispose of unused, outdated or unwanted medications.

The specially designed TakeAway Environmental Return System envelopes, made by Sharps Compliance, offer a convenient, safe and environmentally responsible method to dispose of unused, expired or unwanted noncontrolled prescription or over-the-counter medications, the grocer stated.

"Winn-Dixie is making it easy for our customers to dispose of unwanted medications, preventing potential misuse of these medications and also preventing contamination of our lakes and rivers, many of which serve as community water supplies," stated John Fegan, Winn-Dixie VP pharmacy.

Customers can place unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications, excluding controlled drugs, in the envelope, seal it and then drop it in the mail. The postage-paid envelope is sent to an approved treatment facility, where licensed law enforcement oversees the safe and environmentally responsible disposal process.

The TakeAway envelope solutions are available for $2.99 in all of Winn-Dixie’s 379 in-store pharmacies in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi.

Controlled medications are excluded from this program because of current federal regulations.

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Endo to acquire American Medical Systems

BY Alaric DeArment

CHADDS FORD, Pa. — Endo Pharmaceuticals will buy American Medical Systems for $2.9 billion, the drug maker said Monday.

Endo said it and AMS had reached an agreement whereby Endo would acquire the maker of devices and therapies for pelvic health for $30 per share. AMS’ business focuses on men’s health, women’s health and benign prostatic hyperplasia.

“This acquisition is a great step in achieving Endo’s core strategy,” Endo president and CEO Dave Holveck said. “We are creating a company uniquely positioned to respond to the changing healthcare environment and the competitive, rapidly consolidating industry landscape. Through the acquisition of AMS, we will gain scale in devices and services and will be positioned as a leading provider of healthcare solutions in the field of pelvic health, with a full spectrum of product offerings ranging from pharmaceuticals to medical devices.”

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