PHARMACY

Sandoz launches generic Fusilev

BY Ryan Chavis

 

PRINCETON, N.J. — Sandoz on Friday announced the launch of levoleucovorin injection ready-to-use single use vial, a generic version of Fusilev, which is marketed by Spectrum Pharmaceuticals. 

According to Sandoz, the drug is indicated for “rescue use after high-dose methotrexate therapy in bone cancer; diminishing the toxicity and counteracting the effects of impaired methotrexate elimination and of inadvertent over dosage of folic acid antagonists.”

"Sandoz is pleased to expand our high-quality portfolio of oncology injectables with this product launch,” said Peter Goldschmidt, president of Sandoz. “Generics, which offer the same quality and efficacy as branded pharmaceuticals, play an important role in increasing access while providing significant cost savings to payers, patients and healthcare systems.”

U.S. sales for levoleucovorin totaled $185 million for the 12 months ending February 2015, according to IMS Health data. 

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Publix Pharmacy celebrates major milestone

BY Ryan Chavis

LAKELAND, Fla. — Publix announced that its pharmacies leaped past a major milestone this month, filling more than 50 million free prescriptions for its customers in the past eight years. 
 
The Publix Pharmacy started its free antibiotic program in 2007, and continues to make improvements based on research and need, Publix stated. The company’s prescription program addresses such health issues as diabetes and high blood pressure, providing medications to customers at no cost. According to Publix, the medications include:
 
  • Amlodipine, used to treat high blood pressure and chest pain (angina);
  • Metformin, used to treat diabetes; and
  • Lisinopril, used to prevent, treat, or improve symptoms of high blood pressure, certain heart conditions, diabetes, and certain chronic kidney conditions.
The program also provides the following antibiotics: Amoxicillin, ampicillin, ciprofloxacin (excluding ciprofloxacin XR), penicillin VK, and sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim.
 
“We’re thrilled to have helped so many customers with free antibiotic prescriptions, diabetes management and medication adherence as well as overcoming the financial barrier to taking their medications as prescribed,” said Maria Brous, director of media and community relations. “We’ve continued to enhance our free prescription program to allow our customers to focus on family health and achieving their wellness goals.”
 
In order for customers to take advantage of the program, they need to provide a Publix pharmacist with their prescription for one of the free medications or have their prescription transferred and it will be filled at no cost. Publix doesn’t place a limit on the number of free prescriptions that customers need filled. Publix also said it encourages customers to utilize Sync Your Refills, a program that assists with synchronizations of medications to be refilled on the same day of the month. 
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More than 100 members of Congress support H.R. 592

BY Antoinette Alexander

WASHINGTON — The Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act, which aims to improve patient access to health care through pharmacists and their patient care services, has gained 104 co-sponsors since its introduction at the end of January, the American Pharmacists Association has announced.

With 56 Republican and 46 Democratic co-sponsors, H.R. 592 has maintained a bipartisan consensus since it was first introduced by U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee Members, Brett Guthrie, R-Ky., and G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C., and House Ways and Means Committee Members, Todd Young, R-Ind., and Ron Kind, D-Wisc. H.R. 592 enables patient access to, and coverage of, Medicare Part B services provided by pharmacists in medically underserved communities.

“At a time when prescription drug use and primary care physician shortages are both on the rise, the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act is a critical legislative fix that would allow millions of Americans who lack adequate access to health care to gain access to the quality services of pharmacists,” stated Thomas Menighan, APhA EVP and CEO. “We are pleased by the momentum behind this legislation, which acknowledges the role of pharmacists on the health care team and will help improve the health care outcomes for those patients who need it the most.”

If passed, the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act would enable Medicare patients living in Medically Underserved communities to access services that pharmacists can provide, including medication management, chronic disease management and preventative screenings. Companion legislation in the Senate — S. 314 introduced by Senators Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa; Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio; Robert Casey, D-Pa.; and Mark Kirk, R-Ill. — now has 10 co-sponsors.
 

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