PHARMACY

APhA, CDC team on fall risk training for pharmacists

BY Vivian Lee

WASHINGTON — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Pharmacists Association have developed an online training tool on older adult fall prevention. 

Called STEADI: The Pharmacist’s Role in Older Adult Fall Prevention, the free online training — based on the CDC’s Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths and Injuries initiative and accredited by the ACPE — was launched March 24 at the APhA Annual Meeting and Exposition in San Francisco.

One of the most significant — yet modifiable — risk factors for falls in older adults is medication use. As a result, pharmacists play a pivotal role in helping older Americans avoid falls.

“Pharmacists have been asking for tools to help make an impact on this growing public health challenge, so we developed the STEADI training specifically for them,” said Grant Baldwin, PhD, MPH, director, Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, CDC. “The training emphasizes that pharmacists are uniquely positioned to work with both patients and prescribers to identify risk factors and perform appropriate fall prevention interventions.”

After completing the training, pharmacists will be able to describe the burden of falls among older adults; identify health conditions and types of medications that increase fall risk; implement fall screening, assess risk factors, and offer prevention strategies; and discuss strategies to improve patient care coordination for fall prevention

“APhA is proud to partner with the CDC to bring the STEADI training to pharmacists across America,” said APhA COO, Elizabeth K. Keyes, BSPharm. “Pharmacists are medication experts who serve as essential healthcare providers for older adults who could be at risk of falling. This training highlights how pharmacists can help prevent medication-related falls, identify and mitigate fall risk, and serve as a public health solution through the patient care services they routinely provide.”

For more information on STEADI: The Pharmacist’s Role in Older Adult Fall Prevention, click here.

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FDA approves Teva’s Huntington’s disease drug

BY Brian Berk

JERUSALEM — The Food and Drug Administration approved Teva Pharmaceuticals’ Austedo (deutetrabenazine) tablets for the treatment of chorea associated with Huntington’s disease. Previously referred to by the developmental name SD-809, Austedo is the first deuterated product approved by the FDA and only the second product approved in HD, according to Teva.

The product was previously granted Orphan Drug Designation by the FDA.

A rare and fatal neurodegenerative disorder, HD affects more than 35,000 people in the United States. Chorea — involuntary, random and sudden, twisting and/or writhing movements  — is one of the most striking physical manifestations of this disease and occurs in approximately 90% of patients. “Chorea is a major symptom for many living with Huntington disease. It impacts patients’ functionality and activities of daily living, and there have been limited treatment options for these patients,” said Michael Hayden, M.D., Ph.D., president of Global R&D and Chief Scientific Officer at Teva. “Based on the results demonstrated in the clinical development program which supported the approval of Austedo and our ongoing commitment to patients, we feel uniquely positioned to bring this treatment option forward.”

The FDA approval was based on results from a Phase III randomized, placebo-controlled study to assess the safety and efficacy of Austedo in reducing chorea in patients with HD (First-HD).

“At Teva, we have a long history of establishing comprehensive disease management programs in chronic disease areas. We have highly skilled teams experienced in building relationships with patients, their care partners and healthcare professionals,” said Rob Koremans, MD, President and CEO of Global Specialty Medicines at Teva. “Bringing a new treatment forward where the unmet need is so significant is an inspiring opportunity. Our commercial and medical organizations are well prepared to make this important treatment available to the HD community.”

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Teva debuts Quartette generic

BY Brian Berk

JERUSALEM — Teva Pharmaceuticals introduced rivelsa (levonorgestrel/ethinyl estradiol and ethinyl estradiol) tablets to its generic product line. This product is an authorized generic of Quartette tablets, and is available in 2 x 91 tablet dispensers. 
Rivelsa is an estrogen/progestin COC intended for use by women to prevent pregnancy.

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