PHARMACY

Study: More than 30% of U.S. adults are obese as rates stabilize

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK First, the bad news: According to the latest numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one-third of U.S. adults are obese. Now, the good news: It appears they’re not getting any fatter.

That’s according to findings by CDC researchers published online and in the Jan. 20 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, which found that while obesity rates among American adults increased by about 8% between 1976 and 1994, with further increases from 1999 to 2000, rates appear to have stabilized.

“For women, the prevalence of obesity showed no statistically significant changes over the 10-year period from 1999 through 2008,” the authors wrote. “For men, there was a significant linear trend over the same period, but estimates for the period 2003-2004, 2005-2006, and 2007-2008 did not differ significantly from each other. These data suggest that the increases in the prevalence of obesity previously observed between 1976-1980 and 1988-1994 and between 1988-1994 and 1999-2000 may not be continuing at a similar level over the period 1999-2008, particularly for women but possibly for men.”

A related CDC study, also appearing in the Jan. 20 issue of JAMA, showed that the prevalence of high body mass index among children and teenagers has remained steady. Researchers used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2007 and 2008 to determine the most recent estimates of high-BMI prevalence among children and adolescents ages 2 through 19 years, also examining overweight prevalence trends from between 1999 and 2008. They found that while about 10% of infants and toddlers and 18% of adolescents and teenagers have high body mass indexes, those rates have remained relatively steady over the last decade, with exception to an increase among 6- to 19-year-old males at the very heaviest weight levels.

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New report projects sales of Parkinson’s disease drug will reach $500 million

BY Alaric DeArment

WALTHAM, Mass. A drug made by Boehringer Ingelheim for treating Parkinson’s disease could have sales of up to half a billion dollars, according to a new analysis.

According to a report released Tuesday by market research firm Decision Resources, BI’s extended-release formulation of pramipexole will have peak-year sales of between $250 million and $500 million in major pharmaceutical markets. The drug was launched in Europe in 2009 and is expected to enter the market in the United States this year.

In the beginning, according to the report, launches of generic formulations of the immediate-release version of pramipexole and competition from GlaxoSmithKline’s and SkyePharma’s Requip XL (ropinirole CR) and generic versions of immediate-release Requip will put a damper on sales of pramipexole ER. However, physician familiarity with the drug and preference among physicians and patients for once-daily dosing will cause a “significant” increase in sales.

“Given physician comfort in prescribing pramipexole for Parkinson’s disease and the convenience of once-daily dosing that it would offer, we expect that pramipexole ER will take much of pramipexole IR’s patient share,” Decision Resources analyst Sami Fam said. “In the short term, we expect pramipexole ER will lose some patient share to ropinirole CR given that ropinirole CR was the first of the two agents to launch. But over the long term, physicians’ slight preference for pramipexole over ropinirole should help to boost pramipexole ER’s uptake.”

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Report: Weis Markets acquires local Medicine Shoppe pharmacy

BY Michael Johnsen

SUNBURY, Pa. Weis recently acquired a Medicine Shoppe pharmacy in the Binghamton, N.Y., market, local newscaster News Channel 34 (owned by Newport Television) reported early Tuesday morning.

Weis Markets currently has 120 in-store pharmacies at other locations and is considering more at its Broome County locations, the report noted.

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