PHARMACY

Asteres appoints Jim Mastrian to board of directors

BY Alaric DeArment

SAN DIEGO A company that supplies automated pharmacy kiosks has appointed a veteran of the retail pharmacy industry to its board of directors.

Asteres, which makes the ScriptCenter line of kiosks, announced Wednesday the appointment of Jim Mastrian to its board. Mastrian has worked in the retail pharmacy industry for more than 40 years, starting as a pharmacist at Peoples Drug Stores in 1965 following his graduation from the University of Pittsburgh.  In 1998, he joined Rite Aid as EVP category management, moving on to the position of EVP marketing, logistics and pharmacy services before his appointment as COO in 2005.

“I am excited to join the Asteres board of directors,” Mastrian said in a statement. “Retailers are laser-focused on maximizing the value of the pharmacy customer, and ScriptCenter provides solutions that increase pharmacy and store sales while reducing pharmacy hours of operation.”

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Par reports increase in revenue, income and EPS for Q2

BY Alaric DeArment

WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. Generic drug maker Par Pharmaceutical Cos. got a jump in revenues and net income during second quarter 2009, the company announced in an earnings report Tuesday.

Par reported total revenues of $404 million, net income of $23.8 million and diluted earnings per share of 71 cents. This compared with reported revenues of $112.9 million, a net loss of $21.2 million and diluted earnings per share of 64 cents during second quarter 2008.

The company also saw increases in product sales. Sales of the heart disease drug metoprolol succinate – an authorized generic version of AstraZeneca’s Toprol XL – were $306 million during the quarter, a 173% increase over first quarter 2009. The injected migraine headache drug sumatriptan, a generic version of GlaxoSmithKline’s Imitrex, had sales of $21.8 million, compared to $16 million during the first quarter.

Meanwhile, the antihistamine meclizine, a generic version of Pfizer’s Antivert, was $8.9 million, compared with $9.8 million during first quarter, the decrease resulting primarily from trade buying patterns.

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FlavorX Flavoring System helps the medicine go down

BY Alaric DeArment

BOSTON Mary Poppins may have observed a spoonful of sugar’s ability to help wash medicine down, but a mouthful of bitter syrup continues to be an unpleasant experience for any child.

FlavorX, a company based in the Baltimore and Washington area, has designed an automation dispensing aid designed to improve the palatability of medicines for children.

The FlavorX Flavoring System uses a bitterness suppressor and sweetness enhancer to allow pharmacists to mask the taste of many prescription and OTC medications in a wide variety of flavors, speeding up the flavoring process while giving the pharmacist complete control of the process.

According to some research, 86% of parents found that flavoring by the pharmacist influenced children’s success in taking the asthma drug prednisone, while 40% of children completed their therapies without flavoring.

“These figures clearly illustrate that flavoring medications promotes better patient compliance and increases positive clinical outcomes,” FlavorX president and CEO Stuart Amos said in a statement. “We wanted to help pharmacists fill a flavored prescription faster and meet the increasing demand as well as help patients get well.”

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