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APhA introduces acetaminophen continuing-education program for pharmacists

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON — A new continuing-education program offered by a national pharmacist professional organization aims to prepare pharmacists to communicate with patients about the safe and effective use of the painkiller acetaminophen.

The American Pharmacists Association said its new CE program would allow pharmacists to outline the Food and Drug Administration’s recent advisory panel meetings on the drug, communicate with patients about its appropriate use, and engage consumers in dialogue and such activities as reading labels of products containing acetaminophen.

The drug, which is the active ingredient of Tylenol and is found in more than 600 prescription and over-the-counter medications, carries little risk for patients using it as directed, but also can cause serious liver injury. Many cases of overdose result from patients taking too much of the drug or taking multiple products containing it. In response, the FDA asked drug makers in January 2011 to limit the amount of acetaminophen in prescription combination pain relievers that include it and such drugs as oxycodone and codeine to no more than 325 mg per tablet or capsule to reduce overdoses and severe liver injury.


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Mylan joins patent challenge on Pfizer antidepressant drug

BY Alaric DeArment

PITTSBURGH — Mylan is challenging the patent protection on a Pfizer drug for treating depression, following an announcement of a similar challenge by Watson made earlier this week.

Mylan said it had filed for Food and Drug Administration approval of a generic version of Pristiq (desvenlafaxine succinate) extended-release tablets in the 50-mg and 100-mg strengths.

The application contained a paragraph IV certification, a legal assertion that the drug’s patent protection is invalid, unenforceable or won’t be infringed, prompting a patent-infringement lawsuit by Pfizer and others in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware.

Watson announced Tuesday that it also had challenged the drug’s patent protection and was sued, and Mylan said it expected to share a 180-day period of market exclusivity in which to compete directly with Pfizer’s product following FDA approval.

Pristiq had sales of $559.4 million during the 12-month period ended in March, according to IMS Health.


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Armorteria launches child-size wristband that doubles as sanitizer dispenser

BY Michael Johnsen

DENVER — Armorteria showcased its Halo Sani-Cuffs, a child-size wristband with a small, refillable reservoir for hand sanitizer, at the recent NACDS Marketplace conference here earlier this week.

"Studies have shown that close proximity to cleaning facilities [goes] a long way to maintaining cleanliness, especially in a child," the company stated. "It’s common knowledge that the last thing [children] want to do after playing in the school yard is spend time washing their hands, especially if where they wash their hands is far away from their place of play."

Halo Sani-Cuffs come in many different colors with different designs on the surface, showing different characters and their interaction with different strands of disease-causing bacteria and viruses. That feature also serves to educate the child of the types of bacteria and viruses out there and what kids can do to avoid them, the company noted.


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