PHARMACY

Take Care opens three clinics in New Orleans area

BY Antoinette Alexander

CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. Take Care Health Systems, which is owned by Walgreens, announced on Monday that it has opened three retail-based clinics in New Orleans, marking the first Take Care Clinics in the state of Louisiana.

Additional locations are slated to open in New Orleans in early 2009.

“We are excited to bring high-quality, affordable care to the citizens of New Orleans,” said Peter Miller, Take Care Health Systems’ president and chief executive officer. “We have watched this city overcome incredible obstacles in the past few years and we feel that its residents will greatly benefit from the increased access to health care offered by Take Care Clinics. Nearly one million patients have been treated at Take Care Clinics nationwide and we are proud to expand into New Orleans as part of our continued growth.”

Last year, Walgreens celebrated the opening of its 6,000th pharmacy location nationwide in New Orleans and has historically maintained a strong presence in the city.

Take Care Health Systems currently manages 312 clinics in 18 states.

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Texas congressman asks reason for six-month delay on FDA confiscation of Celsus’ contaminated heparin

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON The Food and Drug Administration waited six months to confiscate contaminated supplies of the blood-thinning drug heparin from Cincinnati-based Celsus Labs, and a congressman from Texas wants to know why.

Last month, United States Marshalls seized 11 lots of the drug from Celsus after the company allegedly failed to properly recall it on its own.

Contaminated heparin has been blamed for several hundred adverse reactions and 81 deaths across the country, though no deaths have been linked with Celsus’ heparin. The contamination comes from over-sulfated chondroitin sulfate, which mimics the blood-thinning properties of heparin and was mixed with several lots of the drug using ingredients from China.

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Specialty Pharmacy Summit to take place in March

BY Alaric DeArment

SHORT HILLS, N.J. A large specialty pharmacy network and group-contracting organization will be host of the fifth annual Specialty Pharmacy Summit in March.

Armada Health Care announced Tuesday that the summit would take place at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas from March 10 to March 13. Armada expects almost 1,000 people to attend, and they will represent more than 50 percent of the total annual expenditure on specialty pharmacy in the United States. Last year’s summit included more than 500 specialty pharmacy providers, industry-channel partners and representatives of industry-associated vendors, as well as PBMs and insurers.

Armada said the summit would give specialty pharmacy providers an opportunity to evaluate new products, gain knowledge of industry trends and network with peers, payers and vendors.

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