PHARMACY

Columbia Labs files definitive proxy relating to Watson deal

BY Allison Cerra

MORRISTOWN, N.J. Columbia Labs is seeking shareholder approval for an agreement in which Watson would acquire the U.S. rights to two product lines.

Columbia announced it filed a definitive proxy with the Securities and Exchange Commission in relation to a pending agreement with Watson, which would have rights for Crinone and Prochieve produc lines and 11,200,000 shares of Columbia common stock.

Additionally, Watson confirmed that it has entered into a $15 million loan agreement with Columbia to support Columbia’s ongoing investment in the clinical development of the pre-term birth indication for Prochieve as well as other Columbia capital requirements.  If the acquisition transaction with Columbia closes before December 31, 2011, all principal and accrued interest on the loan will be forgiven.

“Filing the proxy represents a significant step towards the closing of our acquisition, which will permit both Watson and Columbia shareholders to begin to realize the value of our proposed partnership,” said Paul Bisaro, Watson’s president and CEO. “Our forgivable loan to Columbia demonstrates Watson’s commitment to supporting the clinical development activities related to Prochieve’s expanded pre-term birth indication and to our collaboration with Columbia. If Columbia and Watson are successful in receiving FDA approval for a new pre-term birth indication, we will have the opportunity to address a significant and unmet medical need.”

Crinone currently is used for progesterone supplementation for treating infertile women. It also is available under the name Prochieve.

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Study: Military service members with PTSD may be at risk of developing diabetes

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK Military service members that experience post-traumatic stress disorder are at risk of developing diabetes, according to a study published in the May 18 edition of Diabetes Care.

PTSD is an anxiety disorder that may develop in those exposed to frightening events. People that suffer from PTSD may experience such issues as exhibiting violent behavior, insomnia or lack of emotion.

In the journal Diabetes Care, lead author Edward Boyko and colleagues examined more than 44,754 service members who did not have diabetes when they initially were enrolled in the Dept. of Defense’s Millennium Cohort Study. Three years later, 376 study participants, reported they had been newly diagnosed with diabetes. The researchers factored out age, gender, body weight, race, and other variables that might increase the risk of diabetes (as well as military service characteristics and other mental health conditions), only PTSD symptoms remained associated with an increased risk of diabetes. The risk of diabetes was more than twofold higher in the presence of PTSD symptoms.

The findings, however, don’t explain why there may be a link between PTSD and diabetes, the researchers said. Boyko and colleagues also noted that their study had several limitations, including self-reported conditions by the participants, rather than medically confirmed ones.

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CVS/pharmacy’s Pack Your Bag program heads to New Hampshire

BY Antoinette Alexander

MANCHESTER, N.H. CVS/pharmacy and the National Council on Aging are bringing the Pack Your Bag medication consultation program to pharmacy patients in Manchester, N.H., which includes a presentation by a pharmacist on improving health through medication compliance and advice on how to save money on medications.

The program, held May 26, encourages seniors to pack a bag with their medications, including prescription drugs, OTC medications and dietary supplements for a review in one-on-one consultations with a local CVS pharmacist. This event is just one of hundreds of similar Pack Your Bag events that are taking place across the country.

According to CVS, 8-out-of-10 Americans have at least one chronic health problem, such as high blood pressure or diabetes. Fifty percent of seniors take an average of eight or more prescriptions regularly. With increased use of medications, both prescription and OTC treatments, comes increased risk of adverse drug interactions and increased costs.

In the more than 5,000 Pack Your Bag consultations since the program’s inception two years ago, CVS pharmacies have found:

  • 7% of seniors were taking expired medications
  • 15% were not taking medications as prescribed
  • 10% were at risk for potential drug interactions
  • 16% had the opportunity to switch to money-saving generics.

“We recognize that many seniors in New Hampshire are struggling to make ends meet and to pay for necessary health care,” stated Nicole Harrington, pharmacy supervisor for CVS/pharmacy. “By speaking with a pharmacist about their entire medication regimen, seniors can identify cost-saving alternatives as well as any potential drug interactions.”

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