PHARMACY

Walgreens Infusion Services selected as a contracted provider of just-approved long-term treatment for SBS

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens Infusion Services has been selected as a contracted provider of a new injectable medication that helps patients with short bowel syndrome get more — or all — of their nutrients orally, reducing their dependence on intravenous parenteral nutrition, the division announced Wednesday. Walgreens Infusion Services, a national provider of home and alternate treatment site infusion services, was chosen to provide and support the administration of Gattex due to its ability to provide extensive clinical support to patients undergoing treatment for complex conditions and its nationwide network of local offices.

“Our interdisciplinary team approach to caring for parenteral nutrition patients fits perfectly with the clinical care services required for Gattex, which can help provide patients greater freedom and better quality of life,” stated Paul Mastrapa, president of Walgreens Infusion Services. “Our experienced clinical teams will work together to educate SBS patients who are prescribed Gattex, continually monitoring their progress and coordinating their care with their physicians to help ensure successful outcomes.”

Gattex (Teduglitide [rDNA origin]) for Injection, for subcutaneous use, is a long-term treatment for SBS, a condition that develops after extensive surgical removal of the bowel due to Crohn’s disease, ischemia and other conditions. A once-daily subcutaneous injection, Gattex is manufactured by NPS Pharmaceuticals. Gattex was approved by the Food and Drug Administration on Dec. 21 for the treatment of adult patients with short bowel syndrome who are dependent on parenteral support.

Walgreens Infusion Services has a staff of more than 1,400 clinical experts, including specially trained infusion nurses, infusion pharmacists and registered dietitians, at more than 75 infusion pharmacies and 100 alternate treatment sites across the country. The company’s infusion therapy management programs are offered for patients with nutrition disorders, in addition to those with bleeding disorders and heart failure, as well as those needing immunoglobulin therapy, anti-infective therapy and transplant services.

Patients with SBS often suffer from malnutrition, severe diarrhea, dehydration and other conditions because their intestines have reduced capacity to absorb nutrients, water and electrolytes. 

 

 

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FDA approves biotech drug for reducing symptoms of severe chickenpox infection

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new drug for reducing the severity of chickenpox symptoms, the agency said Friday.

The FDA announced the approval of Cangene Corp.’s Varizig (varicella zoster immune globulin [human]) for varicella zoster, the virus that causes chickenpox. The FDA said Varizig was the only FDA-approved immune globulin for the virus after exposure.

The drug is designed for people who are particularly vulnerable to the virus, including adults with weakened immune systems, pregnant women and infants exposed during pregnancy or after birth.

"This approval fills an unmet need by providing a treatment to lower the risk of severe, potentially fatal varicella infections in vulnerable patients," FDA Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research director Karen Midthun said.


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FDA approves Tamiflu in children younger than 1 year

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a common flu drug for use in children as young as 2 weeks old, the agency said Friday.

The FDA announced the new approval for Genentech’s Tamiflu (oseltamivir). The agency said that while patients ages 1 year and older can receive the same dosage, those younger than 1 year must be dosed based on their exact weight.

"Pharmacists must provide the proper dispenser when filling a prescription so parents can measure and administer the correct dose to their children," FDA Office of Antimicrobial Products director Edward Cox said. "Parents and pediatricians must make sure children receive only the amount of Tamiflu appropriate for their weight."


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