PHARMACY

Duane Reade’s namesake stays alive with new innovations

BY Alaric DeArment

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT Duane Reade’s sale to Walgreens means a lot of things, but one thing that won’t happen is that it will lose the unique identity that the chain has carved out in its hometown of New York, which allowed it to set itself apart from other retail pharmacies in the area. And in the process, Duane Reade is helping to redefine what a retail pharmacy can do and be.

(THE NEWS: Duane Reade teams up with JagTag. For the full story, click here)

It already has a swanky new store in Herald Square, near Penn Station, which includes foods under the DR Delish private label – including prepared foods – along with the usual mix of retail pharmacy products, a stylish branding scheme and a newspaper-style circular that includes short articles on products sold in the stores. Its private-label offers, under the DR Delish and Apt. 5 Goes Green brands, now include a host of environmentally friendly and healthy products like tissues made from sugar cane, stainless steel water bottles, organic salsa and lollipops made from organic fruit.

Now, it has a unique ad campaign to go with them through its partnership with JagTag.

The JagTag ads go beyond Facebook groups and Twitter postings and give a personalized touch to the use of digital technology in the retail pharmacy space. Not only that, but the coded ads and accompanying multimedia messages give Duane Reade a cheap way to advertise its services without the cost of laying out and printing posters.

 

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FDA approves new use for Abbott HIV drug

BY Alaric DeArment

ABBOTT PARK, Ill. The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new use for an HIV drug made by Abbott, the drug maker said Wednesday.

Abbott announced the approval of Kaletra (lopinavir and ritonavir) as a once-daily treatment of adults with HIV who previously have taken antiretroviral therapy. The drug already is approved as a once-daily treatment for patients who have not taken antiretroviral drugs.

“Adherence to treatment is critical to the effective management of HIV,” Baylor College of Medicine Department of Internal Medicine clinical instructor Joseph Gathe said on behalf of Abbott. “A Kaletra once-daily regimen can simplify HIV treatment and offers greater flexibility for patients.”

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J&J to pay more than $80 million for unapproved promotion of Topamax

BY Alaric DeArment

TITUSVILLE, N.J. A Johnson & Johnson subsidiary will pay more than $80 million to the federal government to settle a case involving alleged promotion of an epilepsy drug for uses not approved by the Food and Drug Administration, J&J said Thursday.

In addition to the $81.5 million plus interest that Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals will pay to the federal government, a subsidiary of Ortho-McNeil-Janssen itself, Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical, will accept a misdemeanor charge concerning promotion of Topamax (topiramate) between 2001 and 2003.

According to the plea agreement, Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical promoted Topamax for unapproved uses. The settlement follows a $520 million settlement between the government and AstraZeneca Tuesday concerning alleged off-label marketing of the bipolar disorder and schizophrenia treatment Seroquel (quetiapine fumarate).

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