PHARMACY

Teva’s ProAir RespiClick granted FDA approval

BY Ryan Chavis

JERUSALEM — The Food and Drug Administration has approved Teva Pharmaceutical’s ProAir RespiClick (albuterol sulfate) inhalation powder, the company announced on Wednesday. The inhaler is used to treat or prevent bronchospasm (asthma) in patients 12 years of age and older who have reversible obstructive airway disease. It’s also indicated to prevent exercise-induced bronchospasm in patients 12 years of age and older. Teva said it expects the product to be available to patients during second-quarter 2015.
 
“ProAir RespiClick is the first and only breath-actuated, dry-powder rescue inhaler to be approved by the FDA for the treatment of acute asthma symptoms,” said Dr. David Bernstein of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Division of Immunology, Allergy and Rheumatology. “The approval of ProAir RespiClick is significant as it eliminates the need for hand-breath coordination during inhalation.”
 
The FDA’s approval was based on a program consisting of eight clinical trials that evaluated the inhaler’s safety and efficacy in both adults and adolescents who had asthma and EIB. The results showed the inhaler to be safe and effective with side effects consistent with ones seen with previous albuterol inhalers, Teva said, adding that the most commons adverse events in greater than 1% of patients (compared to placebo) were back pain, body aches and pains, upset stomach, sinus headache and urinary tract infection.
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Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories acquires UCB portfolio

BY Michael Johnsen

HYDERABAD, India — Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories on Wednesday announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire a select portfolio of the established products business of UCB, in the territories of India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Maldives. 
 
“The acquired UCB portfolio shall accelerate Dr. Reddy’s presence in the high growth areas of dermatology, respiratory and pediatrics with market leading brands like Atarax, Nootropil, Zyrtec, Xyzal, Xyzal M, etc.,” said Alok Sonig, SVP and India business head for Dr. Reddy's. 
 
“UCB is in a strong position with a solid platform for continuous growth thanks to our core products and our promising pipeline," said Mark McDade, UCB COO. "This position allows us to enhance our focus on our key neurology portfolio in India, providing innovative solutions to patients living with severe diseases.” 
 
The transaction is expected to be closed in the first quarter of the financial year 2015-16.
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Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium turns to Walgreens for animal medicine needs

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO — A testament to Walgreens' robust veterinarian medicines capacity, Shedd Aquarium on Tuesday teamed up with Walgreens to create a first-of-its-kind partnership that provides on-demand access to preventive care medicine and supplements for its 32,000 animal residents.
 
The A.Watson Armour III Center for Aquatic Health and Welfare at Shedd is one of the largest full-scale animal hospitals in the country, caring for the more than 1,500 species — each with significantly different physiological profiles and responses to medications and treatments. In an effort to continue to provide the best care for its animals while reducing pharmaceutical waste in line with the aquarium’s sustainability initiatives, the aquarium turned to Walgreens.
 
“We’re focused on providing the best care for our animals at Shedd, so expanding our partnership with Walgreens was a natural fit for us when looking for ways to continue to provide reliable, preventive care while furthering our mission of sustainability,” said Bill Van Bonn, VP animal health for Shedd Aquarium. “We found that because our animals are healthy, stock medication often went unused and eventually expired, leading to unnecessary waste. When we presented this challenge to Walgreens, they stepped up to work with us to find a solution that would meet both the health and safety needs of our animals and our commitment to reducing environmental impact.”
 
Since the launch of the program pilot late last summer, Shedd has already seen a 25% reduction in inventory and an estimated 50% decrease in staff time to manage pharmacy inventory.
 
A critical part of animal care includes preventive examinations for all of Shedd’s animals — similar to the way humans receive regular physical assessments, dental checkups and eye and prenatal exams. For every animal group, from corals to sea jellies and beluga whales to stingrays, the regular checkups help monitor for changes in health and behavior and help Shedd’s veterinarians identify and address issues before they occur. When necessary, medication or supplements are provided as part of individual routine care — many of which are the same that humans use and safe for animals.
 
“Whether drops for a baby sea otter’s gassy stomach or preventive care probiotics for an aging iguana, our staff can now easily fill a prescription and have it hand-delivered by the Walgreens pharmacy at Northwestern Memorial Hospital,” Van Bonn said. “Shedd offers around-the-clock care to its animals and has teams in place should an emergency occur. The few medications that we do still keep ‘on-the-shelf’ are there to ensure we can respond immediately if needed.  So whether we are caring for an animal at the aquarium — or our rescue and rehabilitation team needs access to a critical medication hundreds of miles away — this new ability to have what we need, right when we need it is tremendous.”
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