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Dr. Reddy’s launches generic epilepsy drug

BY Alaric DeArment

HYDERABAD, India — Dr. Reddy’s Labs has launched a generic drug for treating epilepsy, the company said.

The Indian generic drug maker announced the launch of lamotrigine extended-release tablets in the 25-mg, 50-mg, 100-mg, 200-mg and 300-mg strengths. The drug is being distributed in bottle sizes of 30.

Lamotrigine extended-release tablets are a generic version of GlaxoSmithKline’s Lamictal XR, branded and generic versions of which had sales of $300.5 million during the 12-month period that ended in April, according to IMS Health.

 

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Q&A with Eyad Farah: Your Pharmacy Online and new mobile app helps Health Mart owners bring omnichannel functionality to patients

BY DSN STAFF

Drug Store News spoke with Eyad Farah, senior director of retail product development for McKesson U.S. Pharmaceutical, on the launch of a customizable, consumer-facing mobile solution for independent pharmacy operators that will be tied to its Your Pharmacy Online service. The app will officially debut in late summer and Farah explains what it means for Health Mart owners.

DSN: What is behind launching the app, what does that do for independent pharmacists?

Farah: If you think of the consumers today, they’re on the go [and] they want to be able to do everything online. They seek health information. They look for providers and online reviews. Script management is one more service that they’re looking for online. … A lot of consumers who have smartphones prefer apps and [we’re] basically creating that option for those customers who want it. The mobile app is one more option.

DSN: This sounds like an opportunity for independent pharmacy to bring omnichannel functionality to their patients.

Farah: That’s one of the reasons for developing the app. We can meet the customers where they are, in the way or the channel they prefer — a mobile app, a web site or a mobile-optimized web site. As we think of the options we’re providing [today], we can build on top of that integrated solution that has all three components.

DSN: What are the functionalities?

Farah: We wanted to give the basic functionality or features that replicate what a patient can do on the web site today, which is really around requesting a refill, setting up a refill reminder and being able to receive notifications from the pharmacy. … There is a long list of future functionalities and features that we would like to see in the app. A pill reminder, for example.

DSN: When you think about the enormity of online investments how does that translate to the independent pharmacy?

Farah: If you think of the capabilities of the larger chains and their online and mobile presence, to try to replicate that for each independent pharmacy is almost impossible. That’s one of the big benefits of Your Pharmacy Online, where you get [direct] access to a comprehensive online and mobile solution that has advanced capabilities at a very cost-effective rate of $59 per month.

 

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KEY LEARNING: Continuing Ed sessions prove successful

BY Antoinette Alexander

LAS VEGAS — Continuing education sessions maintained their strong momentum Friday at McKesson ideaShare 2013 as attendees woke bright and early to attend courses and learn about a variety of important industry-related topics.

Friday’s educational sessions included —

  • Improving Adherence to Impact Practice: There’s no doubt that adherence to medications is critically important as it impacts patient outcomes and healthcare costs. Looking to address this topic, this session addressed common adherence tools such as education strategies, packaging and refill reminders. During the course, speaker CoraLynn B. Trewet, associate professor (clinical) at the University of Iowa, also talked about ways pharmacists and technicians can determine a process for improving adherence in their patients. For example, Trewet suggested that pharmacists “Take the SIDE of their patients.” SIDE is an acronym that stands for Simplify, Investigate, Discuss and Engage. Simplify the number of medications and doses; investigate by using adherence tools and involving interdisciplinary team members; discuss and build a relationship of trust with the patient; and engage or motivate them to change.
  • Legislative and Regulatory Update 2013: During this discussion, attendees were provided an update on recent government policy decisions, including how new laws and regulations will impact the practice of pharmacy. For example, the session addressed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 provision to pay retail pharmacies the national mail-order competitive bid rate for diabetic strips and discussed the timeline for the California drug pedigree requirements for pharmacies.

    “It is tough that, as an independent pharmacy provider, we are not able deliver the strips to our patients who are either unable or unwilling to come get strips, but they need them,” said attendee Gina Moser of Cooke’s Pharmacy in Cleveland, Tenn. “My heart is in pharmacy and helping people. Not being able to provide that service is the most difficult part of this legislation that has come down from [Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services].”

  • The U.S. Pharmaceutical Market: Looking Back and Looking Ahead: This course addressed the reasons for the decline in the U.S. pharmaceutical dollar market in 2012 and ways in which retail pharmacy can keep hold of their market share by exploring emerging market opportunities with specialty and generic drugs.
  • The Art and Science of Weight Loss: Striving to arm pharmacists with important knowledge and tools to work with patients on their weight-loss goals, this application-based activity provided attendees with such information as emerging drug therapy options, key recommendations and updates since the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute guidelines were released in 1998. Attendee Michael Ilodigwe of Docs in Pharmacy in Charlotte, N.C., said the session helped him better understand the differences between Body Mass Index (BMI) and being obese versus being overweight. “Often patients … haven’t gone through any lifestyle modifications so it is important to use lifestyle modifications in addition to medications, otherwise, it will not work,” said Ilodigwe. “… It was quite helpful.”

The continuing education at McKesson ideaShare 2013 is provided by the Collaborative Education Institute. The Collaborative Education Institute is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing education.

 

 

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