PHARMACY

Eisai introduces Aciphex Sprinkle capsules

BY Alaric DeArment

WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. — Drug maker Eisai has launched a new version of a drug used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease, the company said Friday.

Eisai announced the availability of Aciphex Sprinkle delayed-release capsules in the 5-mg and 10-mg strengths. The Food and Drug Administration approve the drug in March.

Aciphex Sprinkle capsules, which are approved for use in children aged 1 to 11 for up to 12 weeks, are designed to be broken open and sprinkled on soft food or liquid.

 

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PHARMACY

FDA approves generic versions of Aciphex

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved six generic versions of a drug used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, the agency said Friday.

The FDA announced the approval of the first generic versions of Eisai’s Aciphex (rabeprazole sodium) delayed-release tablets for patients aged 12 and older. The generic products are made by Dr. Reddy’s Labs, Kremers Urban Pharmaceuticals, Lupin Pharmaceuticals, Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Teva Pharmaceuticals USA and Torrent Pharmaceuticals.

"Healthcare professionals and consumers can be assured that FDA-approved generic drugs have met the same rigid standards of quality as the brand-name drug," FDA Office of Generic Drugs acting director Kathleen Uhl said. "This medication is widely used by people who have gastroesophageal reflux disease, so it is important to have access to affordable treatment options."

 

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Supporting OTC purchases through FSAs saves money in two ways — saved taxes and reduced premiums

BY Michael Johnsen

The Senate this past week heard legislation that would reverse the provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act mandating a prescription on the sale of an over-the-counter medicine being paid for through a flexible spending account. All those in the retail pharmacy industry are staunch supporters of the legislation. 

And that’s because retail pharmacy gets it. It’s not about the sales — has anyone ever heard of a consumer who decided not to purchase a pain reliever or cough syrup because it wasn’t an eligible FSA purchase without a trip to their doctor? No. That person doesn’t exist — they’ll buy the same amount of OTCs to cure what’s ailing them with an FSA as without an FSA. No, it’s about the value inherent within OTCs. It’s about tapping into that value to the benefit of both consumers and overall health care. 

Almost 1-in-6 Americans participate in an FSA, so the savings impact to the consumer will be real. 

Supporting OTCs as a first line of treatment makes sense for healthcare providers, too. OTCs provide $102 billion in savings to our nation’s healthcare system every year — $3 of every $4 by way of reducing doctor visits and $1 of every $4 by way of dispensing fewer medicines. And nearly one-third of the $102 billion in annual savings is for consumers treating cough-cold and flu symptoms.

For every $1 spent on OTC medicines, the U.S healthcare system saves as much as $7.

And that’s the real win. Because reduced healthcare costs for payers means lower healthcare premiums, or at least premiums that don’t increase year over year at such a sharp rate. 

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