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Actavis launches generic post-shingles pain patch

BY Alaric DeArment

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Actavis has launched a generic drug for post-shingles pain under an agreement with the branded drug’s manufacturers, the company said Monday.

Actavis announced the launch of generic lidocaine topical patches in the 5% strength under a settlement agreement with Endo Pharmaceuticals and Teikoku Seiyaku Co. The drug is a generic version of Lidoderm, and Actavis said it was likely the first company to win approval for the generic from the Food and Drug Administration, thus entitling it to 180 days in which to compete exclusively against the branded version.

"Thanks to this settlement agreement, consumers across the country are today benefiting from generic competition on Lidoderm more than two years before the product’s patents expire," Actavis president and CEO Paul Bisaro said. "We are pleased to be able to provide patients with this more affordable treatment option while offering yet another reminder of how patient settlements have saved and continue to save consumers billions of dollars and ensure the more timely introduction of generic competition."

Lidoderm had sales of about $1.4 billion during the 12-month period that ended in May, according to IMS Health.


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Orexo U.S. launches Zubsolv for opioid dependence

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — A drug for treating opioid dependence has been launched, the manufacturer said Monday.

Orexo announced the introduction of Zubsolv (buprenorphine; naloxone) sublingual tablets for the maintenance treatment of opioid dependence. The drug is designed for use as part of a broader treatment regimen that combines drug therapy and counseling.

The Food and Drug Administration approved Zubsolv in July of this year. Opioid dependence affects nearly 5 million people in the United States, according to a July 2002 study, and while treatable, 60% of those who have it don’t receive treatment.


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McKesson Patient Relationship Solutions a finalist in the 2013 PM360 Trailblazer Awards

BY Michael Johnsen

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The McKesson Patient Relationship Solutions last week was recognized for its best-in-class adherence solutions by being named a finalist in the 2013 PM360 Trailblazer Awards for the second consecutive year. McKesson was named a finalist for the Best Persistence Campaign for a co-pay card program targeting oncology patients.  

The PM360 Trailblazer Awards are given to companies, marketers and brand managers representing top talent and brands. Selected by the PM360 editorial board from more than 800 award applications, finalists represent the most creative and forward-thinking leadership of their fields.

McKesson won the 2012 PM360 Trailblazer Award for the Best Direct Marketing to Patient Campaign for its Lab-Band Behavioral Call Campaign on behalf of Ogilvy Healthworld and Allergan. McKesson’s LEO Quality Care Program was selected as a finalist for the 2012 PM360 Trailblazer Award for the Best Persistence Campaign Award. 

“MPRS is honored to be recognized again by PM360 for our ongoing efforts to create and implement innovative solutions on behalf of pharmaceutical and medical device companies that advance patient health," stated Derek Rago, VP and general manager, McKesson Patient Relationship Solutions. "We are extremely proud of this unique program designed to help achieve healthier patient outcomes through increased drug adherence and aid healthcare professionals as they manage critical cancer therapies."

Despite the seriousness of a cancer diagnosis, research has demonstrated adherence levels among cancer patients are as low as 20%, McKesson noted. Working with a large manufacturer, the co-pay card program was designed to ensure patient access to vital therapies and help improve adherence to these therapies.   

The goal of the co-pay card program, which covered multiple brands of oral and infused oncology drugs, was to provide flexible resources to help patients through a single, patient-friendly platform. From co-pay savings, to patient education and other support resources, the brands sought to drive usage and meet the needs of their patients by offering participants access to co-pay savings resources — at their doctor’s office, online and through their retail or specialty pharmacy. This solution provided a program that doctors could easily navigate and execute despite highly individualized regimens.


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