PHARMACY

BioRx launches hemophilia smartphone app

BY Alaric DeArment

CINCINNATI — A mobile app described as the specialty pharmacy industry’s first for patients with hemophilia has become available.

Specialty pharmacy and infusion services provider BioRx announced the launch of the app, MyFactor, which it developed to give patients with hemophilia and related bleeding disorders and their caregivers a place to easily monitor and manage their home treatment. The app will be released in the Apple Store next month and allows patients to electronically record bleeding episodes and treatments and share information with their healthcare team, including pharmacists, physicians, nurses and care coordinators.

"MyFactor is the first hemophilia app from a specialty pharmacy," BioRx co-founder Eric Hill said. "This creates a unique platform for BioRx customers and staff to more efficiently communicate and exchange detailed treatment information and helps both parties to anticipate and plan for future needs."

Patients and caregivers can use a "wizard" graphical interface to log details of treatments and bleeding episodes, including type, cause, location and levels of pain and severity, as well as scan barcodes of clotting factor brands and generate customized historical reports in formats like PDF and CSV.

 

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Clinical trial results support experimental Gilead drug for hepatitis C as safe, effective, FDA records show

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — An experimental drug under development by Gilead Sciences for hepatitis C is safe and effective when combined with other treatments, according to a review posted on the Food and Drug Administration’s website ahead of an expert panel meeting to take place Friday.

The FDA’s Antiviral Drugs Advisory Committee will meet Friday to decide whether or not to recommend approval for sofosbuvir combined with the generic antiviral ribavirin or biotech drugs used to treat hepatitis C called interferons. Gilead is seeking FDA approval for the drug in treating patients with hepatitis C genotypes 1-4. Advisory committee votes do not guarantee whether the FDA will approve a drug, but the agency usually follows them.

According to the review, a combination of sofosbuvir with ribavirin in patients with genotypes 2 and 3 of the virus would provide the treatment consisting entirely of orally administered drugs, without interferons, as well as shorter treatment times and better safety than treatments including interferons. While effective in treating and curing hepatitis C, interferons have many side effects, including severe depression.

In addition, the review said the drug would be more effective and faster in patients with genotypes 1 and 4 when combined with interferons and ribavirin.

 

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Cloud computing demands to increase as e-prescribing grows, report finds

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — The growing use of electronic prescribing is driving the growth of cloud computing in health care, according to a new report.

The report, by Kalorama Information, found that the global market for cloud computing in health care would grow to $3.9 billion this year, a 2.1% increase over last year and that use of e-prescribing technologies had jumped from less than 10% in 2004 to about 35% in 2010. Over the next few years, the use of e-prescribing will continue to grow due to regulatory disincentives for using paper patient records. Because of this, retail pharmacies, as well as physician offices and hospitals, will adopt cloud computing systems, which are off-site servers that can store information remotely.

"E-Prescribing creates a variety of storage responsibilities for both the physician and the pharmacy, leading to demand for server space," Kalorama publisher Bruce Carlson said. "In health care, space is often limited, and the last thing organizations want is a bulky server."

 

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