PHARMACY

Study shows that e-prescribing leads to increase in filled prescriptions

BY Drew Buono

DEERFIELD, Ill. New research conducted by Walgreens and SureScripts has shown that the number of prescriptions received by pharmacies before and after physicians began using electronic prescribing showed an 11 percent increase in new prescriptions filled.

The research involved 100 electronic prescribers across five states, 93 different pharmacy organizations at 14,638 locations and more than 1 million prescriptions, over a 19-month period, which took prescriber information three months before and three months after they began e-prescribing.

“If appropriately used, e-prescribing can open up better lines of communication between all members of the healthcare team,” says Allen Vaida, PharmD, FASHP, executive vice president of the Institute for Safe Medication Practices. “It also can provide vital drug and patient-specific information during prescribing and ultimately help reduce the risk of adverse drug events.”

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Wyeth hit with $134.5 million in Nevada lawsuit

BY Drew Buono

RENO, Nev. Wyeth has been ordered by a Washoe county court to pay more than $43 million each to three northern Nevada women who claimed that the company’s hormone replacement drugs, Prempro and Premarin caused their breast cancer, according to the Reno Gazette-Journal.

The jury said the drugs were defective and found the company negligent for producing, manufacturing and selling them. The jurors awarded $7.5 million to each woman in past damages and $36 million-$40 million in future damages.

The jurors still have to decide whether the company is liable for punitive damages. Wyeth is also fighting about 5,300 similar lawsuits involving 7,800 women in state and federal courts across the country.

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Teva sues Apotex over Coreg infringement

BY Drew Buono

TRENTON, N.J. Teva has sued Apotex to prevent it from selling a generic version of the heart medication Coreg, according to Bloomberg.

The two companies, as well as other generic drug makers, received approval from the Food and Drug Administration to sell a generic version on Sept. 5.  Teva says it owns four patents that cover various forms and processes to make the generic, carvedilol. The company also said that Apotex might have to buy the compound made using the patented process in order to sell the generic.

The lawsuit was filed yesterday in a federal court in New Jersey. Coreg had sales of $853.8 million in the first six months of 2007.

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