PHARMACY

This year’s flu activity threatens to become ‘Texas big’

BY Michael Johnsen

This year's flu continues to be Texas big, according to the Walgreens Flu Index released Wednesday, as the top 10 communities experiencing the greatest amount of flu incidence were all located in the Lone Star State for the week ended Jan. 6.

Iowa, Idaho and Arkansas rank behind Texas in terms of flu activity. And Montana, Idaho and Iowa ranked highest among states experiencing flu activity gains.

That's significant, as the 2017/2018 influenza season is already going into the record books as the strongest season since 2009, according to the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report.

The top 10 designated market areas with flu activity for the week ending Jan. 6 were:

  1. Tyler-Longview (Lufkin & Nacogdoches), Texas;
  2. Harlingen-Weslaco-Brownsville-McAllen, Texas;
  3. El Paso, Texas (Las Cruces, N.M.);
  4. Waco-Temple-Bryan, Texas;
  5. Corpus Christi, Texas;
  6. Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas;
  7. Houston;
  8. San Antonio;
  9. Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas; and
  10. Austin, Texas.

The top 10 markets experiencing flu activity gains for the period were:

  1. El Paso, Texas (Las Cruces, N.M.);
  2. Wausau-Rhinelander, Wis.;
  3. Davenport, Iowa-Rock Island-Moline, Ill.;
  4. Cedar Rapids-Waterloo-Iowa City & Dubuque, Iowa;
  5. Palm Springs, Calif.;
  6. San Diego;
  7. Milwaukee;
  8. Duluth, Minn.-Superior, Wis.;
  9. Madison, Wis.; and
  10. Los Angeles.

The Walgreens Flu Index is a weekly report developed to provide state- and market-specific information regarding flu activity, and ranks those states and markets experiencing the highest incidences of influenza across the country. The Flu Index provides valuable insight by showing which cities or metropolitan areas are experiencing the most incidences of influenza each week based on Index methodology. The data does not measure actual levels or severity of flu activity.

The Walgreens Flu Index is compiled using weekly retail prescription data for antiviral medications used to treat influenza across Walgreens and Duane Reade locations nationwide, including Walgreens locations in Puerto Rico. The data is analyzed at state and geographic market levels to measure absolute impact and incremental change of antiviral medications on a per store average basis, and does not include markets in which Walgreens has fewer than 10 retail locations.
 

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PHARMACY

Amneal introduces Busulfex generic

BY David Salazar

Amneal Biosciences has launched its generic of Otsuka’s Busulfex (busulfan injection, 6 mg/ml). The product is indicated to treat chronic myelogenous leukemia.

Amneal said that its generic is available in cartons of eight single-dose vials, each of which contains 60 mg of the drug in a 10-ml clear sterile solution. The product is made without natural rubber, latex, gluten or preservatives, Amneal said.

The drug had U.S. sales of roughly $80 million for the 12 months ended October 2017, according to data from IQVIA.
 

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Amneal’s generic Renvela comes to market

BY Gisselle Gaitan

Amneal Pharmaceuticals has launched sevelamer carbonate tablets, 800 mg, in 270-count bottles. This generic from the Bridgewater, N.J.-based company is an AB-rated therapeutic equivalent to Renvela.

Amneal also launched five other products in addition to sevelamer carbonate:

  • Progesterone capsules, AB-rated equivalent to Prometrium in 100-mg and 200-mg strengths;
  • Bumetanide tablets, USP, AB-rated to Bumex, in 0.5 mg, one-mg and two-mg strengths;
  • Ezetimibe and Simvastatin tablets, an AB-rated generic for Vytorin in four strengths;
  • Clonidine HCl Extended-Release Tablets, AB1-rated to Kapvay in 0.1 mg strength; and
  • Triamcinolone Acetonide Injectable Suspension, USP in 40-mg/mL strength.

“Our approval and launch of sevelamer carbonate tablets is yet another example of Amneal’s commitment to successfully provide complex pharmaceutical products to the US market,” Jim Luce, Amneal executive vice president of sales and marketing, said. “Our pipeline continues to grow with more than 132 ANDAs filed and another 140 in development.”

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