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SoloHealth, Dell partner on health kiosks

BY Alaric DeArment

ATLANTA — Health kiosk manufacturer SoloHealth is in a deal with computer maker Dell to produce kiosks that it will deliver to retail locations around the country starting in the fall, the companies said Monday.

Under the partnership, Dell will use its OEM Solutions technology to develop the latest version of the SoloHealth Station consumer kiosk, an interactive and comprehensive health-and-wellness screening kiosk for consumers placed in high-traffic retail locations and areas, such as corporate campuses and hospitals that provides screenings for vision, blood pressure, weight and body mass index, as well as a symptom checker and an overall health assessment. The kiosks also can connect users with local medical professionals through a database.

"Dell is a perennial brand and leader in technology solutions and innovation, and this partnership will allow us to produce and deliver the most innovative and comprehensive consumer health and wellness kiosk available to thousands of retail locations nationwide," SoloHealth CEO Bart Foster said. "We strive daily to deliver a superior product and service, and this partnership with Dell allows us to continue on that promise."


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FDA approves generic version of Actos

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first generic version of a diabetes drug made by Takeda, the agency said Friday.

The FDA announced the approval of Mylan’s pioglitazone hydrochloride tablets in the 15-mg, 30-mg and 45-mg strengths. The drug is a generic version of Takeda’s Actos. Mylan announced its launch of the drug at the same time as the FDA’s announcement, also announcing the launch of its previously approved generic version of Actoplus Met (pioglitazone hydrochloride and metformin) tablets in the 15-mg/500-mg and 15-mg/850-mg strengths.

Actos had sales of $2.7 billion during the 12-month period ended in June, according to IMS Health. Versions of Actoplus Met had sales of about $413 million during the same period.


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Ed session helps retailers ‘get the point’ of travel vaccinations

BY Alaric DeArment

DENVER — One of the biggest trends in the pharmacy-retail industry is the expansion of services on offer, ranging from health screenings to medication therapy management to vaccinations and immunizations.

On the last point, this usually means routine vaccinations, but for a growing number of pharmacy retailers, it also means immunizing travelers against diseases they may risk acquiring while abroad, such as hepatitis A and B, yellow fever and others. Seattle-based regional chain Bartell Drugs has offered comprehensive travel clinics at several of its stores for a few years now, and other retailers are doing the same. But an education session on Sunday morning at the National Association of Chain Drug Stores’ Pharmacy & Technology Conference in Denver presented some of the opportunities and challenges involved in travel medicine.

Travel medicine requires expertise on a number of subjects, such as patient education, immunization and pharmacology. “These are things pharmacists are already very skilled at or can easily become skilled at,” the session’s presenter, University of Southern California pharmacy professor Jeff Goad said. Vaccines are only part of it, he said.

Pharmacy retailers looking to get involved with travel medicine should also consider carrying products travelers will need, particularly if they’re going to developing countries. These include water purification tablets, mosquito nets and insect repellents. In addition, pharmacists consulting prospective travelers should know ways to deal with non-infectious conditions like jet lag and altitude sickness.

Travel medicine requires some investment on the part of the retailer, such as setting aside an area to provide services, necessary education for the pharmacist and stocking up on travel-related products, Goad said, as well as collaborative practice agreements with physicians that may be needed for certain vaccinations and medications, travel medicine software and, in many states, a special stamp that certifies a pharmacy for delivering yellow fever vaccinations.
 

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