PHARMACY

Court: Watson’s generic OTC decongestant does not infringe on branded versions

BY Alaric DeArment

MORRISTOWN, N.J. — Over-the-counter generic versions of a line of products used to treat congestion do not infringe on the patents covering the branded versions, a federal court ruled Wednesday.

Watson Pharmaceuticals said the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida ruled that its versions of Reckitt Benckiser’s Mucinex (guaifenesin), Mucinex D (guaifenesin and dextromethorphan-hydrobromide) and Mucinex DM (guaifenesin and pseudoephedrine) do not infringe U.S. Patent No. 6,372,252. Watson still is seeking Food and Drug Administration approval for its version.

Mucinex is used to loosen phlegm and clear the bronchial passageways. The product line had sales of about $500 million in 2010, according to IMS Health and SymphonyIRI.

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Take Care offers discounted sports, camp physicals

BY Michael Johnsen

CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. — Take Care Health Systems announced Thursday that through April 30, the retail clinic operator will be offering sports and camp physicals for $35. The physicals, regularly $60, are administered by board-certified nurse practitioners and physician assistants at select Walgreens locations.

"Sports and camp physicals are a great opportunity for families to interact with a trusted healthcare professional who can identify children who might be at risk for illness or injury during certain activities," stated Sandra Ryan, chief nurse practitioner officer for Take Care Health Systems. "During the examination, Take Care Clinics’ nurse practitioners and physician assistants screen patients for specified healthcare conditions, check whether immunizations are up-to-date and answer any questions parents may have regarding their child’s development," Ryan added.

Take Care Clinic nurse practitioners and physician assistants also can administer appropriate immunizations — such as flu, Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis), Menactra (meningitis), Varicella (chickenpox), MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) and Gardasil (human papillomavirus) — for school-aged children.

High-school and middle-school level preparticipation sports physicals are not available at Take Care Clinics in Kansas, however.

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Genentech: Avastin boosts chances of progression-free survival among ovarian cancer patients

BY Alaric DeArment

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — Women with ovarian cancer who received a drug made by Genentech lived longer without their disease becoming worse, according to a late-stage clinical trial.

Genentech, part of Swiss drug maker Roche, announced results from its phase-3 “OCEANS” study, in which women with recurring ovarian cancer received Avastin (bevacizumab) with gemcitabine and carboplatin, both chemotherapy drugs, followed by use of Avastin alone.

The study found that the women who received Avastin had better chances of progression-free survival than women who only received chemotherapy.

Avastin has Food and Drug Administration approval for treating colorectal, lung and kidney cancers.

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