PHARMACY

Amneal launches three generic liquid drugs

BY Alaric DeArment

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — Generic drug maker Amneal has launched three new liquid drugs, the company said Monday.

Amneal announced the launch of risperidone oral solution, a generic version of Johnson & Johnson’s schizophrenia and bipolar disorder treatment Risperdal, in the 1-mg/mL strength; ondansetron oral solution, a generic version of GlaxoSmithKline’s Zofran used to prevent nausea and vomiting associated with cancer treatment and postoperative recovery, in the 4-mg/5-mL strength; and levetiracetam oral solution, a generic version of UCB Pharma’s epilepsy drug Keppra, in the 100-mg/mL strength. The generic versions of Zofran and Keppra are respectively available in strawberry-scented and grape-flavored liquids.

“Since Amneal’s acquisition of its Branchburg, N.J., liquids plant a few years ago, we have committed significant [research and development] resources to developing a powerful product pipeline in the liquid, nasal spray and topical dosage forms that are now beginning to come to market,” Amneal president Chirag Patel said in a statement. “And the most exciting products are still to come, enhancing an already strong pipeline.”

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Upsher-Smith Labs launches topical medication for skin itching and inflammation

BY Alaric DeArment

MAPLE GROVE, Minn. — Upsher-Smith Labs has launched a topical medication for itching and inflammation of the skin resulting from such conditions as psoriasis and atopic dermatitis, the company said Monday.

Upsher-Smith announced the launch of Trianex (triamcinolone acetonide) ointment, which the company described as a prescription topical corticosteroid that offers the feel of a cream and the strength of an ointment.

“With Trianex, physicians and patients have the best of both worlds: a mid-potency treatment option that delivers the strength of an ointment in a proprietary cream-like base that may be pleasing to patients,” Upsher-Smith director for product marketing Glenn MacEachern stated. “The base for topical corticosteroids is one of many factors that may affect patient compliance, and we are pleased to offer Trianex as a unique option for sufferers of inflammation and itching due to corticosteroid-responsive skin conditions.”

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FDA approves combo vaccine for elderly patients

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a vaccine for preventing tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough in elderly patients.

The FDA announced the approval of GlaxoSmithKline’s Boostrix, a single-dose booster shot described as the first vaccine approved for preventing all three diseases in patients ages 65 years and older.

All three diseases can cause serious complications if not properly diagnosed and treated, and whooping cough, also known as pertussis, has been on the rise in the United States since 2007, with outbreaks in California, Michigan and Ohio occurring in 2010.

“Pertussis is a highly contagious diseases, and outbreaks have occurred among the elderly in nursing homes and hospitals,” FDA Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research director Karen Midthun stated. “With this approval, adults 65 [years] and older now have the opportunity to receive a vaccine that prevents pertussis, as well as tetanus and diphtheria.”

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