PHARMACY

Actavis, Warner Chilcott meet last regulatory requirements for merger

BY Alaric DeArment

DUBLIN — Ireland’s High Court has approved Actavis’ acquisition of Warner Chilcott, the drug makers said.

The companies said the approval of Irish authorities meant that they had obtained all regulatory approvals required to complete the transaction, and that it now remained subject to satisfaction of other customary closing conditions and would occur as soon as practicable.

Actavis and Warner Chilcott announced the $8.5 billion merger deal in May. The companies’ shareholders voted to approve it on Sept. 10.

 

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PHARMACY

Teva launches generic version of AbbVie’s Zemplar

BY Alaric DeArment

JERUSALEM — Generic drug maker Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has launched a version of a drug used to treat a parathyroid disorder related to kidney disease.

Teva announced Tuesday the launch of paricalcitol, a generic version of AbbVie’s Zemplar. As the first company to win Food and Drug Administration approval for the drug, Teva has 180 days in which to compete directly with the branded version.

The drug is an active form of vitamin D used to prevent and treat secondary hyperparathyroidism, a condition that causes increased parathyroid hormone levels, in aptients with Stage 3 or Stage 4 chronic kidney disease and in Stage 5 patients on dialysis.

Zemplar had sales of about $115 million during the 12-month period that ended in June, according to IMS Health.

 

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APhA kicks off American Pharmacists Month

BY Ryan Chavis

WASHINGTON — The message in October is "Know Your Pharmacist, Know Your Medicine" as the American Pharmacists Association launches its annual American Pharmacists Month.

The APhA said the messaging for the month is based on "one essential fact" seen in pharmacies, clinics and other care sites: The more patients know their pharmacist, the more they will know about their medications, the documented successes and cautionary tales, the risks and benefits and potential side effects and contraindications of medications. Patients, the APhA said, should choose their pharmacists as carefully as they choose their doctors.

The organization said that while Americans spend billions on medications every year, the most expensive medications are the ones that don’t work properly or cause harm due to misuse. Failure to take medications as prescribed causes more than 1.5 million medication-related adverse events, and costs the healthcare system about $290 billion each year, the group said. But when patients know their pharmacist and feel comfortable seeking their advice, the likelihood of medication errors decreases.

The APhA is also highlighting the services pharmacists can provide, such as annual medication checkups, prescription medication education, advice on OTC drugs, assistance filling out a personal medication record, adherence reminders, immunizations, diabetes care guidance and more.

 

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