PHARMACY

Teva launches generic Abilify tabs

BY Ryan Chavis

JERUSALEM — Teva Pharmaceutical announced the launch of aripiprazole tablets in 2-, 5-, 10-, 15, 20- and 30-mg strengths in the United States. According to the company, the drug — a generic version of Abilify tablets — is used to treat schizophrenia as well as the acute treatment of manic and mixed episodes associated with bipolar I disorder. 
 
Schizophrenia is a long-term illness that alters a person’s ability to think clearly, manage their motions and make decisions, Teva stated, adding that one percent of Americans live with the illness. People dealing with schizophrenia may experience such symptoms as hallucinations, trouble with thinking and concentration and lack of motivation.  
 
Bipolar I is characterized by manic or mixed episodes where a person experiences extreme irritability or euphoria. According to Teva, it’s the most severe form of the illness because of the extreme manic episodes associated with it. 
 
“Our commitment at Teva is to make affordable, high-quality generic medicines available to millions of patients every day. We are pleased to launch generic Aripiprazole tablets and offer a generic treatment for patients suffering from schizophrenia and bipolar I disorder,” said Siggi Olafsson, president and CEO, global generic medicines for Teva.
 
Abilify tablets are marketed by Otsuka Pharmaceutical. The drug had annual sales of $7.8 billion in the United States as of December 2014, according to IMS data. 
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Survey: More than 50% of ACS patients do not follow prescribed OAP regimen

BY Ryan Chavis

PARSIPPANY, N.J. and INDIANAPOLIS — When people with acute coronary syndrome undergo an angioplasty procedure and receive a heart stent, they’re usually prescribed an oral anti platelet therapy and aspirin to prevent a heart attack, a blood clot in the heart stent (also known as stent thrombosis) or even death. 
 
But a recent Harris Poll survey found that 52% of 275 ACS patients currently taking an OAP missed taking or changed the way they take their prescribed OAP therapy, even after being informed by their doctors of its importance. Of the respondents, those under age 65 years — 194 participants — were more likely not to follow their OAP regiment as prescribed than older respondents. 
 
To address the issues, the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association, Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions and Mended Hearts, with help from Daiichi Sankyo and Eli Lilly and Co., are asking healthcare professionals to increase efforts to help ACS patients adhere to their prescribed OAP therapy following an angioplasty or cardiac stent procedure. 
 
"For people who have recently received a heart stent for ACS, changing, skipping or discontinuing OAP therapy increases the risk of serious heart problems or even death," said Jeffrey Cavendish MD, FSCAI, FACC, lead interventional cardiologist for Kaiser Permanente San Diego and director of the cardiac catheterization laboratory at the Scripps Prebys Cardiovascular Institute in La Jolla, California.
 
SCAI, PCNA and Mended Hearts are rolling out the “After the Stent: Follow Your Action Plan” campaign with a goal of improving patient knowledge and practices related to OAP regimens. 
 
"Patients may stop taking their OAP medication for a variety of reasons, such as mistakenly believing their heart condition is 'fixed' or not understanding why or how long they need to take the medication," said Lola Coke, PHD, ACNS-BC, RN-BC, FAHA, FPCNA, associate professor of nursing and cardiovascular clinical nurse specialist at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois, and member of the board of directors of PCNA. "Identifying and correcting these misunderstandings is a first step health care professionals can take to ensure medication adherence. Health care professionals need to make sure that ACS patients and caregivers have the right information and support to follow their medication regimens."
 
PCNA and SCAI published a position paper demonstrating the need for increased attention to OAP medication and provides research-based solutions to address non adherence. The paper can be viewed here.
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HealthSpot names three healthcare vets to leadership roles

BY Ryan Chavis

DUBLIN, Ohio — Healthcare technology company HealthSpot on Tuesday named three seasoned hires to its senior leadership team. Dr. Gail Borgatti Croall has been appointed chief medical officer, alongside Eric Eichensehr as chief technology officer and Bruce Roberts as COO. 
 
“We are growing quickly and bringing on board this type of talent is key to our mission to transform healthcare access,” said Steve Cashman, CEO of HealthSpot. “Gail, Eric, and Bruce all possess insight and experience that will be invaluable to achieving our vision of delivering consumer centricity through platform technology to make healthcare accessible for all.”
 
Dr. Borgatti Croall joins the company with over a decade of experience with managed-care companies. She previously served as SVP and CMO for Anthem, OptumHealth and CareSource.  “The work HealthSpot is doing to make healthcare more accessible, convenient and efficient is critical and I am proud to be joining those efforts,” she said of her appointment. 
 
Eric Eichensehr is a veteran of the healthcare IT industry, amassing more than 30 years of experience. He has worked with senior staff and executives at such organizations as Microsoft, General Electric, Cisco Systems and Intel, among others. At HealthSpot, Eichensehr will lead product development, support and quality assurance for the company’s telemedicine station. He will work to develop a software platform to integrate medical records and medical devices to stream medical information between patients and providers. 
 
Bruce Roberts has spent most of his professional life advancing community pharmacy and pharmacist-centered patient care. He’s a founder and owner of four pharmacies, bringing a unique perspective to the company as it makes a move into the retail pharmacy space. During his time as CEO of the National Community Pharmacist Association, he co-founded SureScripts, an electronic prescribing company. 
 
“I hope my nearly 40 years in the pharmacy industry will prove valuable as HealthSpot expands its footprint through partnerships with retail pharmacies across the U.S. and around the world,” Roberts said. 
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