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CHPA stresses importance of self-care at Capitol Hill briefing

BY Ryan Chavis

WASHINGTON — The Consumer Healthcare Products Association celebrated the first International Self-Care Day event in the United States. ISCD was launched by the World Self-Medication Industry in China in 2011 to celebrate the importance of self-care and to encourage the public to practice responsible self-care.

The event on Capitol Hill highlights how OTC medicines empower consumers to practice self-care, which will save the U.S. healthcare system $102 billion each year, according to the association.

“There are powerful forces reshaping healthcare in the U.S. and across the globe, and they are elevating the role of OTC medicines. There’s both a consumer desire and an economic imperative to increase access to self-care options,” said CHPA President and CEO Scott Melville.

Erica Mann, WSMI chair and president of Bayer HealthCare’s Consumer Care division, said ISCD is a change to highlight the importance of making self-care a lifelong habit.

“There has never been a more urgent need to focus the world’s attention on the importance of better self-care,” Mann said. “Empowering consumers and patients to become active shapers of their health and well-being is the single most effective, common-sense way to improve health, reduce healthcare costs, and relieve the growing burden on health professionals.”

The speakers for the event will included: Scott Melville, CHPA president and CEO; Erica Mann, Bayer HealthCare chairman of WSMI; Dr. Guo, International Self-Care Foundation chairman and founder; Jim Mackey, Merck Consumer Care, SVP; CHPA chair; U.S. Rep. John Barrow (D-Ga.); co-sponsor of H.R. 2835; and Steven Taylor, Sjogren’s Syndrome Foundation, CEO.

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FDA approves Targiniq ER from Purdue Pharma

BY Ryan Chavis

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration approved Targiniq ER (oxycodone hydrochloride and naloxone hydrochloride extended-release tablets). The drug is an extended-release, long-acting opioid analgesic that treats pain severe enough to require daily, long-term opioid treatment and as an alternative to treatment plans that have shown to be inadequate.

Targiniq ER has properties that are expected to deter, but not entirely prevent, abuse of the drug, the agency said. When the tablets are crushed and snorted, (or crushed, dissolved and injected,) the naloxone in the drug blocks the euphoric effects of oxycodone, making it less appealing to abusers than oxycodone alone.

"The FDA is committed to combatting the misuse and abuse of all opioids, and the development of opioids that are harder to abuse is needed in order to help address the public health crisis of prescription drug abuse in the United States,” said Sharon Hertz, M.D., deputy director of the division of anesthesia, analgesia and addiction products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “Encouraging the development of opioids with abuse-deterrent properties is just one component of a broader approach to reducing abuse and misuse, and will better enable the FDA to balance addressing this problem with meeting the needs of the millions of people in this country suffering from pain.”

The FDA is requiring postmarketing studies of Targiniq ER to assess serious risks, which include abuse, increased sensitivity to pain, addiction and overdose. The studies will also further examine the effects of the abuse-deterrent features on the risk for abuse of Targiniq ER.

Targiniq ER is manufactured by Purdue Pharma.

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Onco360 now part of limited distribution network for Zydelig

BY Raven Romero

NEW YORK — Onco360, an independent oncology pharmacy and clinical support services company, announced that it has been selected to be part of the highly limited specialty pharmacy network of Zydelig tablets.

The Food and Drug Administration recently approved Zydelig for the treatment of three different B-cell blood cancers. It can be used in combination with rituximab for patients with relapsed chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) for whom rituximab alone would be considered appropriate therapy; as monotherapy for patients with relapsed follicular B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (FL) who have received at least two prior systemic therapies; and as monotherapy for patients with small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL) who have received at least two prior systemic therapies.

“This selection is an important milestone in Onco360’s strategy to offer an innovative, diversified portfolio of pharmacy and clinical solutions,” said Burt Zweigenhaft, vice chairman of Onco360. “We have confidence in the potential of Zydelig to achieve a strong market share position and further bolster our leadership in the specialty oncology pharmacy market. This relationship also continues to enhance our mission of providing the highest level of support to those battling cancer and helping treat the unmet needs of thousands of people afflicted with life-threatening illness.”

Zydelig is immediately available for order through Onco360 and its network of OncoMed Pharmacies.

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