PHARMACY

Apothecary Shops distributes GlowCap in pilot program

BY Alaric DeArment

PHOENIX — Specialty pharmacy provider The Apothecary Shops is encouraging medication adherence with a cap for pill containers that cues patients with lights and sounds, the company said.

Apothecary Shop Wholesale is distributing GlowCap, a wireless prescription bottle cap, under a partnership with manufacturer Vitality and drug maker Novartis. The cap allows patients to plug the light in and begin receiving reminders the next day. The collaboration is part of a pilot program designed for patients using Novartis’ leukemia drug Tasigna (nilotinib) and malignant stromal tumor drug Gleevec (imatinib).

"Keeping patients on their medications is a significant problem in our country," Apothecary Shops VP clinical affairs Eric Sredzinski said. "At The Apothecary Shops, we are committed to finding and using the most effective means possible to keep our patients on their medications. That strategy underscores everything we do."


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PHARMACY

WHO approves Mylan generic HIV drugs for use in developing world

BY Alaric DeArment

PITTSBURGH — The World Health Organization has approved three generic second-line treatments for HIV made by Mylan, the drug maker said Tuesday. The drugs will be delivered to people in developing countries living with HIV and AIDS.

Subsidiary Mylan Labs won approval for atazanavir capsules in the 300-mg strength and ritonavir tablets in the 100-mg strength with tenofovir disoproxil fumarate and lamivudine tablets in the 300-mg/300-mg strength; a fixed-dose combination of atazanavir sulfate and ritonavir tablets in the 300-mg/100-mg strength; and a fixed-dose combination tablet of abacavir sulfate, lamivudine and zidovudine in the 300-mg/150-mg/300-mg strength.

Atazanavir, ritonavir, tenofovir disoproxil fumarate and lamivudine are generic versions of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Reyataz, Abbott Labs’ Norvir, Gilead Sciences Viread and GlaxoSmithKline’s Epivir, respectively.


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Watson, Amgen partner to develop biosimilars

BY Alaric DeArment

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Generic drug maker Watson and biotech manufacturer Amgen will work together to develop biosimilar antibodies for treating cancer, the two companies said.

The companies said their partnership was based on the idea that biosimilars will take a different form from branded and generic drugs, requiring significant expertise, infrastructure and investment. Most responsibility for developing, manufacturing and initial commercialization of the drugs, while Watson will contribute up to $400 million in co-development costs and work on commercialization and marketing of products in specialty and generic markets. The companies will not, however, make biosimilars of Amgen drugs.

"The pairing of Amgen’s 30 years of experience in biologics, together with Watson’s substantial generics and specialty pharmaceutical experience and complementary commercial and distribution capabilities, provides great potential for worldwide patient access to high-quality oncology biosimilar medicines," Amgen COO and president Robert Bradway said. "Biosimilars provide an exciting long-term growth opportunity for Amgen, We have a dedicated team to leverage existing capabilities and capacity and drive the success of the collaboration."


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