PHARMACY

Caraco adds new member to board

BY Alaric DeArment

DETROIT Caraco Pharmaceutical Labs has appointed a new member to its board of directors.

 

The generic drug maker announced Wednesday the appointment of former KPMG accountant Eddie Munson to its board of directors.

 

 

Munson, who served in various positions for KPMG, will serve on Caraco’s board of directors for a term ending at the 2011 annual meeting of shareholders.

 

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FDA issues new dosing guide for children using Valcyte

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON The Food and Drug Administration has approved new dosing recommendations for children and adolescents using a drug for heart and kidney transplants.

 

The agency announced Wednesday the recommendations, designed to prevent overdosing in children taking Genentech’s antiviral Valcyte (valganciclovir), particularly among those of low weight, smaller size and very low serum creatinine.

 

 

The drug is used in children ages 4 months to 16 years to prevent cytomegalovirus disease in children who have received a kidney or heart transplant. Patients who have received organ transplants must take immune-suppressant drugs to prevent rejection, which can make them vulnerable to viral and bacterial infections. CMV is known to cause such serious diseases as pneumonia and colitis in people with weakened immune systems.

 

 

The drug also is used to prevent CMV disease in patients with AIDS.

 

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CVS Caremark, US Airways tout success of Maintenance Choice

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS Caremark’s Maintenance Choice program has equated to more consistency in maintenance medication refills for US Airways employees, the companies reported on Wednesday at a National Business Group on Health conference.

Maintenance Choice is a program that provides CVS Caremark PBM clients and their members the flexibility to select the most convenient way to receive maintenance medications. Regardless of whether members choose to receive their 90-day prescriptions via mail or in the store, they pay the typically lower mail co-pay, while the plan sponsor receives the typically lower mail rate.

“The Maintenance Choice program is a great fit for our organization,” stated Pam Weier, director of benefits for US Airways. “Not only does this program allow the company to get the benefit of mail-order rates on 90-day prescriptions at a retail drug store, but, more importantly, it [also] provides a local venue for our members to pick up their medications at their convenience. Historically, members of our team who travel frequently were reluctant to use mail service for their prescriptions when their schedule didn’t allow them to be home to receive it. Now that we have implemented Maintenance Choice, those same members have embraced the program and truly appreciate the flexibility and convenience of picking up their prescriptions at a local CVS/pharmacy.”

According to data from January to May 2010, the percentage of US Airways members who were optimally adherent to medications for such chronic conditions as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol improved by as much as 18 percentage points.

CVS Caremark reported that as of the end of second quarter 2010, more than 525 clients, representing roughly 6.3 million lives, have enrolled in Maintenance Choice as an option to improve convenience, increase adherence and reduce costs for chronic medications.

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