PHARMACY

Teva launches generic version of AbbVie’s Zemplar

BY Alaric DeArment

JERUSALEM — Generic drug maker Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has launched a version of a drug used to treat a parathyroid disorder related to kidney disease.

Teva announced Tuesday the launch of paricalcitol, a generic version of AbbVie’s Zemplar. As the first company to win Food and Drug Administration approval for the drug, Teva has 180 days in which to compete directly with the branded version.

The drug is an active form of vitamin D used to prevent and treat secondary hyperparathyroidism, a condition that causes increased parathyroid hormone levels, in aptients with Stage 3 or Stage 4 chronic kidney disease and in Stage 5 patients on dialysis.

Zemplar had sales of about $115 million during the 12-month period that ended in June, according to IMS Health.

 

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PHARMACY

APhA kicks off American Pharmacists Month

BY Ryan Chavis

WASHINGTON — The message in October is "Know Your Pharmacist, Know Your Medicine" as the American Pharmacists Association launches its annual American Pharmacists Month.

The APhA said the messaging for the month is based on "one essential fact" seen in pharmacies, clinics and other care sites: The more patients know their pharmacist, the more they will know about their medications, the documented successes and cautionary tales, the risks and benefits and potential side effects and contraindications of medications. Patients, the APhA said, should choose their pharmacists as carefully as they choose their doctors.

The organization said that while Americans spend billions on medications every year, the most expensive medications are the ones that don’t work properly or cause harm due to misuse. Failure to take medications as prescribed causes more than 1.5 million medication-related adverse events, and costs the healthcare system about $290 billion each year, the group said. But when patients know their pharmacist and feel comfortable seeking their advice, the likelihood of medication errors decreases.

The APhA is also highlighting the services pharmacists can provide, such as annual medication checkups, prescription medication education, advice on OTC drugs, assistance filling out a personal medication record, adherence reminders, immunizations, diabetes care guidance and more.

 

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Amid Insurance Exchange rollout, NACDS’ Anderson engages media to promote community pharmacy

BY Antoinette Alexander

WASHINGTON — In light of the increased attention on the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — both in Washington and in the media — and Tuesday’s opening of the health insurance exchange, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores is engaging with the media to emphasize pharmacies’ valuable role in the U.S. healthcare system.

In fact, on Tuesday morning NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson appeared on Bloomberg TV’s "Surveillance" program, where he described pharmacies’ important role in healthcare delivery.

“Our members are living up to the trust and expectations that the American people toward pharmacy providing advice and guidance to a rather complicated process in terms of implementation of the Affordable Care Act,” Anderson said.

Anderson also discussed the importance of expanded services within pharmacy, such as MTM and improving medication adherence — which is estimated to result in $290 billion in added healthcare costs each year.

To watch the segment, click here.

In addition, a recent NACDS-member newsletter article featured insights from Carol Kelly, NACDS SVP government affairs and public policy, who discusses preparing members for implementation and her insights into the law based on her longtime healthcare policy expertise.

To read the article, click here.

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