PHARMACY

CVS/pharmacy, MinuteClinic emphasize immunizations during National Influenza Vaccination Week

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic are urging more Americans to get their H1N1 flu vaccination this week, which is National Influenza Vaccination Week.

“Many patients who may not have had an opportunity to get an H1N1 vaccine previously because of supply issues or because they were not in a primary risk group are now coming in to be vaccinated,” stated Troyen A. Brennan, M.D., chief medical officer for CVS Caremark. “And the more people who get vaccinated, the less likely it is that the flu will spread in the coming months.”

National Influenza Vaccination Week runs from Jan. 10 to 16, as designated by the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In support of this effort, CVS/pharmacy is expanding H1N1 vaccine availability to Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia. H1N1 flu vaccine is now available in 34 states and Washington, D.C., at either CVS/pharmacy or at MinuteClinic.

CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic are using television, radio and online advertising as well as in-store marketing to educate consumers about vaccine availability and the importance of getting vaccinated. Many states have lifted priority group restrictions, allowing all patients to be eligible to receive the show while supplies last.

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Walgreens offering free review sessions to Medicare Part D beneficiaries

BY Allison Cerra

DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreens now is offering free review sessions to Medicare Part D beneficiaries at all of its more than 7,100 pharmacies throughout the country.

Following the open enrollment period for Medicare Part D insurance plans, Walgreens is assisting those beneficiaries who’ve made changes to their prescription drug coverage. Review sessions with Walgreens pharmacists are available daily by appointment through Jan. 31, and are designed to help patients maximize their plan benefits.

Review sessions include:

  • A review of beneficiary’s current medications, tiers within their selected plan, co-pays and cost-savings opportunities
  • Discussion of available health and wellness services including pneumonia and shingles vaccinations and 90-day prescription benefits
  • Checks for potential drug interactions

Customers can call their nearest Walgreens pharmacy to schedule an appointment. Visit www.walgreens.com or call 1-800-Walgreens for store locations and hours.

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Watson files FDA application for generic LoSeasonique

BY Allison Cerra

MORRISTOWN, N.J. Watson Labs, a subsidiary of specialty pharmaceutical company Watson Pharmaceuticals, has filed an abbreviated new drug application to the Food and Drug Administration for an oral contraceptive.

Watson is seeking approval to market its levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol (0.10-mg/0.02-mg) oral contraceptive product prior to the expiration of U.S. Patent No. 7,615,545, which is owned by Duramed Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Teva.  Watson’s levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol product is a generic version of Teva’s LoSeasonique, which is indicated for the prevention of pregnancy.

On Nov. 23, 2009, pursuant to the Hatch-Waxman Act, Watson notified Duramed that its ANDA requesting approval from the FDA for a generic version of LoSeasonique contained a paragraph IV certification asserting that the LoSeasonique patent is invalid, unenforceable and/or not infringed.  Teva Women’s Health filed suit against Watson on Jan. 6, 2010 in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey seeking to prevent Watson from commercializing its product prior to the expiration of U.S. Patent No. 7,615,545.  Based on available information, Watson believes it may be entitled to 180 days of generic market exclusivity or shared exclusivity should its product receive approval.

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