PHARMACY

Tesco offers pharmacist-run health screenings in U.K.

BY Antoinette Alexander

LONDON Tesco supermarkets is now offering in the U.K. in-store health checkups, according to a report by the Telegraph.

During the consultation, which is available at all Tesco pharmacies, a pharmacist measures weight and offers screenings for blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes. The service is currently being offered for an introductory price of ?10 (US$20) but will increase to ?20 at the end of January, according to the published report.

The appointment takes about 30 minutes and is held in a private consultation area. While an appointment is necessary, a patient can be seen right away if a pharmacist is free.

“As part of the service, our pharmacists can provide healthy lifestyle advice, which might help prevent or delay the onset of certain health conditions,” Philip Banks, Tesco pharmacy services manager, told the Telegraph.

The company stressed that the service is not a replacement for one’s family doctor.

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Orion, Sun in patent fight over Stalevo

BY Drew Buono

HELSINKI, Finland Orion has extended a patent suit against Sun Pharmaceuticals, which is challenging the company on its Parkinson’s disease treatment drug Stalevo, according to published reports.

Orion is already suing Sun to prevent it from making a generic version of the drug, which is generically called carbidopa/levodopa. Sun has now amended its application to contain Paragraph IV challenges against three of Orion’s patents covering Stalevo.

The challenges mean Sun is either claiming Orion’s patents are invalid or that it would not be infringing on Orion’s patent rights by making a generic version.

Orion, which is evaluating its legal options together with Novartis, the company which exclusively markets Stalevo in the, said the application review process has only just begun and that generic competition is ‘neither certain nor imminent’.

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Forest, Cypress submit application to FDA for fibromyalgia treatment

BY Drew Buono

NEW YORK and SAN DIEGO Forest Laboratories and Cypress Bioscience have recently submitted a drug application to the Food and Drug Administration for milnacipran, a drug for treatment of fibromyalgia syndrome, according to published reports.

The submission includes efficacy data from two Phase III trials involving 2,084 patients, which showed that milnacipran demonstrated improvement compared to a placebo in treating fibromyalgia, the companies said.

Currently, only Pfizer’s Lyrica is approved in the U.S. to treat fibromyalgia, which affects up to 6 million Americans.

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