PHARMACY

SDI study finds increasing authorized refills raises patient adherence

BY Alaric DeArment

YARDLEY, Pa. Patients taking cholesterol-reducing drugs are more likely to adhere to their therapies if they receive four or more authorized refills per prescription, a new study has found.

The study, by market research firm SDI, analyzed 4,522 high prescribers, doctors who write at least 270 prescriptions a year for cholesterol drugs to determine the average number of authorized refills for each prescription over the course of a year. SDI analyzed anonymous patient data to understand the behavior of patients receiving different numbers of refills.

The study found that on average, patients who got four or more refills for each prescription filled more scripts than those who received fewer refills or required a new prescription to obtain medication, suggesting that physicians may be able to increase their patients’ adherence by giving them more refills.

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Generics to drive worldwide pharmaceutical growth

BY Alaric DeArment

SAN JOSE, Calif. Growth in various sectors of the pharmaceutical industry is expected to come from Brazil, Russia, India and China the so-called B.R.I.C. countries according to a new report by Global Industry Analysts.

In the Asia-Pacific region in particular, government restrictions on healthcare spending and low discretionary spending power among the population is increasing sales of low-cost generic drugs, while China has emerged as a region with potentially vast opportunities for global marketplace majors.

Across various countries, the generic drugs market is seeing rapid growth thanks to the need for drugs that can save lives while remaining cost-effective. This is attracting multinational companies into production and marketing of generic versions of branded drugs. Many consumers in developing countries are gaining access to drugs previously out of bounds for them, though many of the drugs violate patents, according to the report, titled “Pharmaceuticals: A Growing Outlook.”

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FDA panel votes in favor of Pfizer’s Fablyn

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK The benefits of Pfizer’s osteoporosis drug Fablyn outweigh its risks, a Food and Drug Administration panel said, recommending the drug for postmenopausal women in a 9-3 vote Monday.

The advisers on the panel said they could not determine whether deaths among patients using the drug were a statistically significant increase over deaths among those receiving a placebo.

But, they said, the decision was neither a clear rejection of the drug nor a clear endorsement.

Pfizer had maintained that numbers showing an increase in deaths among patients using the drug, known generically as lasofoxifene tartrate, were not statistically significant.

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