PHARMACY

Actavis granted final approval for generic Ambien CR

BY Alaric DeArment

MORRISTOWN, N.J. — The Food and Drug Administration has given final approval to a generic drug for insomnia made by Actavis, the drug maker said Monday.

The FDA approved the company’s zolpidem tartrate extended-release tablets in the 12.5-mg strength. The drug, which is a Schedule IV controlled substance, is a generic version of Sanofi’s Ambien CR. Actavis was the first company to launch a generic version of the drug in the 6.25-mg strength in October 2010.

Zolpidem tartrate extended-release tablets had sales of about $793 million in the 12-month period ended in March, according to IMS Health.

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PHARMACY

Watson gets FDA nod for generic Lybrel

BY Alaric DeArment

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a generic contraceptive made by Watson Pharmaceuticals, the company said Tuesday.

Watson announced the approval of levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol tablets in the 0.09-mg/0.02-mg strength.

The drug is a generic version of Pfizer’s Lybrel, which had sales of slightly less than $12 million during the 12-month period that ended in April, according to IMS Health.

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PHARMACY

Kerr Drug hosts North Carolina launch of Script Your Future campaign

BY Alaric DeArment

RALEIGH, N.C. — Kerr Drug is hosting the North Carolina launch of the National Consumer League’s “Script Your Future” medication adherence campaign, the regional retail pharmacy chain said.

The campaign includes a coalition of healthcare professionals, hospitals, nonprofit groups, government agencies and the NCL, which are collaborating to launch the campaign in Raleigh, N.C., and throughout the state. The Raleigh Script Your Future Kick-Off is scheduled for Tuesday at 10 a.m., with Kerr Drug president and CEO Anthony Civello, North Carolina lieutenant governor Walter Dalton and others in attendance.

Other regional markets include Baltimore; Cincinnati; Sacramento, Calif.; Birmingham, Ala.; and Providence, R.I. Tools included in the campaign include free text message reminders, sample questions to ask during doctor visits, medication lists, condition management sheets and fact sheets on the chronic conditions the campaign is focusing on, including diabetes, respiratory disease and cardiovascular disease.

“Nonadherence to medication is a major public health concern,” Civello said. “We know from our pharmacists working closely with physicians and patients how important it is that our customers understand their medications. The Script Your Future campaign will bring even more tools and resources to the state to provide residents with the knowledge they need to talk with their physicians and pharmacists about their medicines, improve medication adherence and lead healthier lives.”

According to studies, nonadherence costs the country about $300 billion per year, including costs from hospital readmissions and medical complications, and nearly three-quarters of Americans report that they do not always take their medicines as directed.

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