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Creating comfort

BY Alaric DeArment

ST. PAUL, Minn. ­— UltiMed’s UltiCare Micro 4mm x 32G pen needle is its shortest, thinnest pen needle, according to the company, which also said the needle provides a more comfortable injection for patients living with diabetes. The Micro offers all the comfort features of the leading pen needle at a lower cost to pharmacists and a less painful injection experience to the patient. It is compatible with all pens sold in the United States and is available in an easy to dispense 50-count box or 100-count UltiGuard Safe Pack that combines pen needles and an approved sharps container all in one system.

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ReportersNotebook — Chain Pharmacy, 8/6/12

BY DSN STAFF

SUPPLIER NEWS — The Food and Drug Administration has approved Watson Pharmaceuticals’ Next Choice One Dose (levonorgestrel) tablets in the 1.5-mg strength. The drug is an emergency contraceptive used to prevent pregnancy following unprotected sex or contraceptive failure. It is a generic version of Teva Women’s Health’s Plan B One-Step, which had sales of about $88 million during the 12-month period ended in March, according to IMS Health.


The FDA has approved Lupin Pharmaceuticals’ pregabalin capsules in the 25-mg, 50-mg, 75-mg, 100-mg, 150-mg, 200-mg, 225-mg and 300-mg strengths. The drug is used to treat fibromyalgia, partial-onset seizures in adults, neuropathic pain associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy and post-herpetic neuralgia. It is a generic version of C.P. Pharmaceuticals’ Lyrica, which had sales of about $1.8 billion during the 12-month period that ended in March, according to IMS Health.


The FDA has given priority review status to applications for Xarelto (rivaroxaban) as a treatment for deep-vein thrombosis — a condition in which clots form in one of the large deep veins, usually in the legs — and pulmonary embolism, which occurs when a DVT clot dislodges and is carried to the lung via the heart, Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen Research & Development said.

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Mental health, medicines 
top of mind for industry

BY Alaric DeArment

In July, the country’s largest trade group representing the drug industry released a report showing nearly 200 drugs under clinical development or Food and Drug Administration review for treating mental disorders.


The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America released a report listing 187 drugs, including 52 for depression, 37 for schizophrenia and 26 for anxiety disorders.


“Mental illnesses do not discriminate and can have a profound impact on people’s lives,” PhRMA president and CEO John Castellani said. “They come in many different forms and impact patients in many different ways. That is why biopharmaceutical research companies are working on new and better paths of treatment for patients battling these disabling conditions.”


According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 1-in-4 American adults has a diagnosable mental disorder, and serious mental illnesses cost the country more than $317 billion per year in lost wages, healthcare expenditures and disability benefits. And according to a report released by IMS Health in April, mental health disorders were among the five categories accounting for nearly one-third of total healthcare spending in the country. At the same time, a June report by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 8% of respondents to a survey said they had problems getting mental health care in the past year due to the cost.


A report released in March by pharmacy benefit manager Medco Health Solutions found that women take mental health drugs at a much higher rate than men. The study found that 25% of women use psychotropic drugs, compared with 15% of men. The study was based on the pharmacy claims of more than 2 million Americans and measured the use of drugs for treating depression, anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and psychotic disorders between 2001 and 2010.

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