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Abon seeks approval for generic leukemia drug

BY Alaric DeArment

NORTHVALE, N.J. — Abon Pharmaceuticals is challenging the patent protection on an injected drug used to treat leukemia in children and adolescents, the company said Tuesday.

Abon said it filed with the Food and Drug Administration for regulatory approval of clofarabine in the 1 mg-per-mL strength. The drug is a generic version of Genzyme’s Clolar, used to treat relapsed or refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia in patients ages one to 21 years, who already have undergone at least two regimens.

Genzyme, now part of French drug maker Sanofi, filed suit against Abon on Friday in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey to prevent the commercialization of the generic drug before the expiration of U.S Patent No. 5,661,136, which takes place in 2018. As the first company to file an approval application with the FDA for a generic version of Clolar, Abon would be entitled to 180 days in which to compete exclusively against the branded version of the drug.

Clolar had sales of $77.5 million during the 12-month period ended in June, according to IMS Health.


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MinuteClinic, American Heart Association collaborate for hypertension management

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark’s MinuteClinic has teamed up with the American Heart Association in a nationwide effort to improve the identification, treatment and management of high blood pressure.

According to the American Heart Association, 1-out-of-3 American adults has high blood pressure or hypertension. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to stroke, heart attack, heart failure and kidney failure.

Through this collaboration in hypertension management, MinuteClinic nurse practitioners and physician assistants will be trained in the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association guidelines on the treatment and management of high blood pressure and will refer patients who are identified to have high blood pressure to their primary care physician and to educational resources to help them understand how they can manage their condition.

MinuteClinic and the American Heart Association are accredited by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as nursing accredited providers of educational programs and are committed to improving patient health.

"We are delighted to develop a high blood pressure continuing education course targeted specifically for nurse practitioners and physician assistants," stated Suzanne Oparil, program chair/physician expert for the AHA Education Program on Hypertension. "High blood pressure is a significant concern for a large portion of the adult population and much of it goes untreated. Nurse practitioners and physician assistants play a major role in managing hypertension in professional office settings, community settings and in convenient sites of care such as retail clinics. More and more health care is moving out into the community and this training will provide updated treatment guidelines, support the diverse educational needs of patients and assist with ongoing monitoring, which is critical for good blood-pressure management."

Beginning in August, any MinuteClinic patient with elevated blood pressure will receive a wallet-sized card with a record of their blood pressure reading for that date and will be advised to return to MinuteClinic or their primary care physician for a second reading within two weeks. The follow-up visit helps to confirm whether the patient’s blood pressure continues to be elevated, and whether a visit to a primary care provider is needed. It also provides the opportunity for education about high blood pressure and important lifestyle modifications that help maintain a healthy blood pressure.

"Knowing whether you have hypertension and how to properly manage this health condition is the first step in reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke," added Paulette Thabault, chief nurse practitioner officer at MinuteClinic. "This evidenced-based program brings another dimension to our commitment to providing high quality preventive care for our patients."


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Integrated Bagging Systems debuts Inter-Fit hybrid gloves

BY Allison Cerra

LIVINGSTON, N.J. — Integrated Bagging Systems has introduced a new kind of disposable plastic glove.

New Inter-Fit hybrid gloves are made from a special formula with a unique polymer blend that gives the gloves the extra strength, stretchability and flexibility when performing various tasks, the company said. What’s more, the gloves are free of vinyl, latex, powder and odor, making them ideal for those prone to allergic reactions. What’s more, the gloves are 100% recyclable.

"Our Inte-Fit gloves have been very successful as buyers value and appreciate that they can address their corporate ‘green’ initiatives with a cost-savings benefit; the gloves are a win-win solution for them," IBS product development manager Vinod Ghumwala said.

For more information, click here.

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