PHARMACY

Congress considers multiple solutions for biosimilar legislation

BY Drew Buono

WASHINGTON A new initiative to improve access to health care in Congress may bring up an old issue, follow-on biologics, and now may actually get it approved.

Reps. Allyson Schwartz, D-Pa., Lois Capps, D-Calif., and Jason Altmire, D-Pa., are leading the initiative, which also includes implementing eprescribing. The lawmakers are involved with the three House committees including the Energy and Commerce Committee, where follow-on biologics legislation has been introduced.

House lawmakers are considering multiple bills, including California Democrat Rep. Henry Waxman’s Access to Life-Saving Medicine Act, H.R. 1038, which would let the FDA approve biosimilars as compatible with biologics, and Washington Democrat Rep. Jay Inslee’s Patient Protection and Innovative Biologic Medicines Act, H.R. 1956, which would not let biosimilars be deemed interchangeable.

A spokeswoman for Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman John Dingell, D-Mich., said the committee has not yet finalized its agenda for this session but noted that the committee is expected to address the issue of biosimilars in the near future.

Similarly, a spokesman for Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., chairman of the House Health Subcommittee, said Pallone continues to work with committee members to reach a consensus on follow-on biologics legislation.

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Parata launches PACMED C30 packaging technology

BY Drew Buono

DURHAM, N.C. Parata Systems has launched its new product, the PACMED C30, which is a packaging technology used to extend the safety and convenience of its onePAC packaging system.

onePac is a strip that contains information like patients’ medications, patient names, pill descriptions and time of day to take a dose of the medication. On the strip, up to 19 lines of information can be held. The goal of the strips are to remind patients who take multiple medications when to take what medications and how much of each medication.

The PACMED C30 expands on the technology of the onePAC by combining multiple onePAC strips together for easy access by patients. PACMED C30 is efficient and accurate, generating up to 60 unit-dose or 50 multi-dose packages a minute.

“Adherence is a critical touch point in the circle of pharmacy care, and Parata’s launch of PACMED C30 offers an exciting new way for pharmacies to extend their care by improving patient adherence, safety and convenience,” says Tom Rhoads, executive vice president for customer and market strategies at Parata Systems.

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Teva announces availablility of generic Fosamax

BY Drew Buono

NORTH WALES, Pa. Teva has announced the introduction and availability of alendronate sodium tablets.

This is the generic version of the osteoporosis drug Fosamax by Merck. The drug will be available in 5 mg, 10 mg, 35 mg, 40 mg and 70 mg strengths.

“Our customers count on Teva for a continuous supply of new generic products,” stated John Denman, vice president of sales and marketing. “With the launch of alendronate sodium tablets, we add another quality product to our broad line of affordable generic pharmaceuticals.”

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