HEALTH

Silenor now available by prescription

BY Alaric DeArment

SAN DIEGO Drug maker Somaxon Pharmaceuticals has made its treatment for insomnia available by prescription, the company said Tuesday.

 

Somaxon announced the availability of Silenor (doxepin), which received approval from the Food and Drug Administration in March as a treatment for insomnia characterized by difficulty with sleep maintenance.

 

 

“The commercial availability of Silenor, the first and only prescription product approved for the treatment of sleep maintenance insomnia that is not a controlled substance, is an important milestone for Somaxon and marks the completion of our product launch preparations,” Somaxon president and CEO Richard Pascoe said.

 

 

The company will promote the drug to healthcare providers along with Procter & Gamble.

 

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NACDS, NCPA in joint statement praise CMS’ move to withdraw provisions of AMP rule currently blocked by injunction

BY Drug Store News Team

ALEXANDRIA, Va. National Association of Chain Drug Stores president and CEO Steve Anderson and National Community Pharmacists Association acting EVP and CEO Douglas Hoey issued a statement praising the proposed rule by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that would withdraw existing provisions of the Medicaid pharmacy reimbursement formula under the average manufacturer price model.

"We are pleased that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has proposed a rule that would withdraw provisions of what is known as the Medicaid average manufacturer price rule. The proposed rule calls for the withdrawal of existing provisions that define AMP, that determine the calculation of federal upper limits, and that define ‘multiple source drug.’ Put simply, all of these provisions relate to the reimbursement to pharmacies for generic Medicaid prescriptions, and thus impact patients’ access to pharmacies. The move to withdraw these provisions is a victory for patient care as it is delivered in America’s pharmacies every day."

"When we filed the lawsuit in 2007 we knew that patient care was at stake. It is important to point out that the withdrawal of these provisions is another step toward reducing what would have been major cuts to pharmacy reimbursement. The end result is not an increase in reimbursement to pharmacy, but rather the lessening of cuts that previously would have involved pharmacies selling most generic drugs at a loss, thereby threatening their long-term ability to provide patient care."

 

“We insisted that this policy was not appropriate. Separately, we also have urged that policy-makers should recognize the ability of pharmacies and pharmacists to help improve health and reduce healthcare costs. We are gratified that this sense is reflected in the pharmacy provisions of the new healthcare-reform law. The new law contains provisions ranging from dramatically reducing the AMP cuts to advancing medication therapy management, through which pharmacists can help patients take their medications correctly. … The costs related to poor medication adherence have been estimated to reach $290 billion annually, or 13% of all healthcare expenditures. We urged that patient care should not be jeopardized, but rather that pharmacy be engaged more strategically for the good of patient health and healthcare delivery."

 

“We anticipate issuing formal comments on CMS’ proposed rule to withdraw these provisions of the AMP rule, and we will continue to work with Congress and with CMS to advocate for access to pharmacy services for patients.”

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Teva markets AcuDial generic

BY Allison Cerra

NORTH WALES, Pa. Teva Pharmaceuticals has launched a generic treatment for epileptic seizures.

 

The world’s largest generic drug maker announced Wednesday the launch of diazepam rectal gel, a generic version of Valeant Pharmaceuticals’ Diastat AcuDial. The drug is administered via rectal syringe and is available in 2.5-mg, 10-mg and 20-mg strengths.

 

 

“Generic pharmaceuticals are playing an increasingly important role in healthcare cost containment,” Teva VP customer operations and marketing Maureen Cavanaugh said. “Teva Pharmaceuticals continues to lead the way with timely new product launches.”

 

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