PHARMACY

Par wins on invalidity in Ultram ER litigation

BY Allison Cerra

WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. A generic drug maker has won a patent litigation for a narcotic-like pain reliever.

Par Pharmaceutical announced that the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware has ruled in favor of Par in its challenge of Purdue’s patents relating to extended-release tramadol, which are listed in the Orange Book for Ortho-McNeil’s Ultram ER product.

Par earlier announced that it was seeking marketing approval for generic extended-release tramadol, and that it was the first-filed abbreviated new drug application with respect to the Ultram ER product.

Par currently has tentative approval on two of the three strengths (100 mg and 200 mg) of tramadol ER. Par intends to review its options with respect to its tramadol ER ANDA.

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PHARMACY

Report: PhRMA backs healthcare reform

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Most of the groups supporting President Obama’s healthcare reform plan have been patient advocates such as AARP, but the effort recently got some help from a different and traditionally conservative source: the drug industry.

Advertising Age reported Thursday that the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the largest trade group for the brand drug industry, will set aside $150 million for an advertising campaign in support of healthcare reform, including TV ads in 12 key states, as well as radio and print ads. An executive from PhRMA told the advertising industry trade magazine that the ads would focus on ensuring that everyone has access to health insurance, including affordable co-payments and no denials based on pre-existing conditions.

The healthcare reform debate has turned contentious in recent weeks, with townhall meetings across the country disrupted by loud protests from opponents of reform who think it will harm healthcare more than it helps and will damage the economy.

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QuikTrip opens second clinic for employees

BY Antoinette Alexander

KANSAS CITY, Mo. Convenience store operator QuikTrip Corp. has opened its second worksite health clinic for its employees in the Kansas City area, according to a local news report.

QuikTrip, which operates more than 500 convenience stores, opened its first worksite clinic two years ago at its headquarters in Tulsa, Okla.

The new 1,400-sq.-ft. Belton clinic is administered by Care ATC, a national provider of on-site medical clinics, and provides free services to the nearly 800 QuikTrip employees and their dependents in that area, the report stated.

The facility provides the same services as a primary care physician’s office and is staffed by a board-certified physician and others who are employees of Care ATC.

As previously reported by Drug Store News, worksite clinics are on the rise as employers increasingly look for ways to lower healthcare costs and bolster employee productivity.

It is estimated by Fuld & Company that there are some 1,200 firms currently operating on-site clinics, which, taking into account their multiple campuses and multiple clinics, results in an estimated 2,200 on-site clinics. That number could reach 7,000 by 2015.

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