PHARMACY

Abbott drug shows improvement in young adults with arthritis

BY Alaric DeArment

ABBOTT PARK, Ill. — Patients with a form of arthritis that affects young adults taking a drug made by Abbott experienced improvements in their condition after a year of treatment, according to late-stage clinical trial results.

Abbott announced Monday the first long-term patient-reported health outcomes data for the phase-3 "ABILITY-1" trial of Humira (adalimumab) in patients with nonradiographic axial spondyloarthritis, or nr-axSpA. Results of the trial were presented at the American College of Rheumatology’s annual scientific meeting in Washington.

The study showed that patients taking Humira experienced improvement in physical function and measures of health-related quality of life after 52 weeks.


 

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Duquesne’s Mylan School of Pharmacy students meet with lawmakers on Capitol Hill

BY Michael Johnsen

PITTSBURGH — Nearly 160 students, faculty and staff from Duquesne University’s Mylan School of Pharmacy recently visited Capitol Hill to promote the role that pharmacists play in providing medication therapy management services, the university announced Tuesday.

Student pharmacists from the School of Pharmacy’s class of 2015 met with members from 37 U.S. House and Senate offices on Oct. 22 to demonstrate how pharmacist-provided medication therapy management services can improve patient healthcare outcomes and reduce healthcare costs.

“The trip was very successful,” stated Ben Andrick, president of the class of 2015. “The experience demonstrated that we do have a say and that we can have an impact on future practice."

The Mylan School of Pharmacy implemented an advocacy class trip for students in their second professional year as a graduation requirement for its Doctor of Pharmacy professional degree. In addition, with support provided by the Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association, the student pharmacists participated in mock legislative visits to prepare for the Capitol Hill visit.

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores provided logistical and informational support for the Duquesne students’ visit to Capitol Hill. NACDS director of government affairs and grassroots programs Heidi Ecker delivered a presentation on grassroots advocacy to the students. And Tom O’Donnell, NACDS VP federal government affairs, hosted an overview and briefing of the issues just prior to the Congressional visits.

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Reports: AMA supports legislation against ‘pay-for-delay’ deals

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — The American Medical Association has come out in favor of legislation to stop deals between branded and generic drug makers that critics blame for delaying entry of generics into the market, according to published reports.

Forbes reported that the AMA would support federal legislation to ban so-called "pay-for-delay" settlements. The AMA joins the Federal Trade Commission, which has strongly criticized the settlements

Typically, when a generic drug company wants to be the first to market a generic version of a drug, it will file for Food and Drug Administration approval for it before the branded drug has lost patent protection. This usually prompts a lawsuit from the branded drug company, and while the suits often go to trial, in many cases, they will result in a settlement that allows the generic drug maker to launch at a later date.

While the "pay" part of the deal may be monetary, it frequently consists of a promise on the part of the branded drug maker not to market an authorized generic — essentially the branded drug marketed at a discount under its generic name, usually by a third-party company — during the 180-day market exclusivity period to which generic companies are entitled if they are the first to win approval for a generic, when they have the sole right to compete against the branded version.

According to the Generic Pharmaceutical Association, a trade group, the settlements usually result in the generic drug becoming available ahead of patent expiration, and delaying entry beyond the expiration would be illegal.


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