PHARMACY

Endo integrates business units, plans name change

BY Alaric DeArment

CHADDS FORD, Pa. — Endo’s parent company is looking to change its name and will integrate four of its operating units, the drug maker said Thursday.

Endo said the company, currently called Endo Pharmaceutical Holdings, would ask shareholders to approve changing the name to Endo Health Solutions at its annual shareholder meeting in May.

Endo also aggregated AMS, its medical device unit; Endo Pharmaceuticals, its branded drug unit; HealthTronics, its medical services unit; and Qualitest, its generic drugs unit. The company said the four would share "visual and verbal identity standards" with that of the parent company.

"With the right organizations in place, we have modernized our four distinct operating companies into an enterprise that reflects a powerful combination of compatible organizations aimed at delivering fully integrated healthcare solutions for the benefit of physicians, payers and patients," Endo president and CEO Dave Holveck said. "We are excited to be setting a new standard for healthcare solutions delivery."


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PHARMACY

American Diabetes Association responds to FDA’s warning on safety of statins

BY Allison Cerra

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The American Diabetes Association said it is urging people with diabetes who currently are taking a statin to continue their medication unless instructed otherwise by their healthcare provider.

ADA’s statement followed an announcement from the Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday, in which the agency said safety changes would be put into effect for the labeling of several cholesterol-lowering drugs. The FDA said Tuesday that the drugs may cause increases in blood sugar and other symptoms: "Increases in blood-sugar levels (hyperglycemia) have been reported with statin use," the agency said. "The FDA is also aware of studies showing that patients being treated with statins may have a small increased risk of increased blood sugar levels and of being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes mellitus."

"Every drug has its risks and benefits, and with statins the risk is small and can be managed," said Vivian Fonseca, president of medicine and science at the American Diabetes Association. "On the other hand, people with diabetes, can receive great benefit from taking these medications. They’ve been proven to prevent heart attacks and prolong life."

The American Diabetes Association noted that it "continues to support the FDA in its role as the regulatory agency that makes decisions regarding drug safety and efficacy."


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Walgreens tapped for AARP’s retail drug store program

BY Allison Cerra

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens and AARP are expanding their relationship with a new retail drug store program that will provide AARP members with exclusive offers and rewards, and includes member and community outreach to promote health and wellness.

The program will run for three years and builds on an already-established relationship between the two, which have collaborated on several initiatives since 2006.

“AARP is pleased to select Walgreens to provide a retail drug store program offering unique values on important health-and-wellness products and services. We are taking our relationship to a new level on behalf of our members representing America’s growing population of people over 50,” AARP CEO A. Barry Rand said.

The retail drug store program includes the following benefits:

  • AARP membership card offers: AARP members show their AARP membership cards at Walgreens registers and receive monthly and weekly offers for exclusive values on in-store purchases. Additional benefits will be announced later in 2012;

  • AARP online discount: AARP members can shop with an exclusive online discount available at a co-branded microsite, Aarp.walgreens.com; and

  • Pharmacy benefits: Walgreens is developing program services for AARP members focused on the pharmacy experience, including accessing pharmacists by phone, online chat and in-person interactions. Additional benefits could include education and tools to help members manage new prescriptions. These programs will be tested throughout 2012 for potential national rollout. Additionally, AARP members will receive special preventive health offers throughout the year.

“As the nation’s largest community pharmacy with the most 24-hour locations, a growing range of pharmacy, health-and-wellness services and constant innovations to deliver cost-effective care, Walgreens is essential to AARP members," Walgreens president and CEO Greg Wasson said. "We are proud to work with AARP in improving the health and wellness of people over 50, so we are excited to be selected to provide the retail drug store program that carries the AARP name and to take our relationship into the future. Millions of Americans over 50 choose Walgreens for their health and daily living needs, and we are pleased to provide AARP’s members with extra rewards, offers and services."

The program also is supported by:

  • Walgreens Way to Well Health Tour with AARP: With a combined goal of screening approximately 100,000 people annually in the country’s medically underserved areas with a high prevalence of chronic disease, this effort includes the Walgreens Way to Well Health Tour with AARP and the Walgreens Way to Well Community Health Events with AARP. The tour is comprised of four buses with trained staff delivering six free health tests in underserved communities. The Walgreens Way to Well Community Health Events with AARP also include free health tests delivered by Walgreen pharmacists and are hosted by local Walgreens stores. Both programs provide a free AARP annual membership to all participants.

“The AARP/Walgreens Wellness Tour proved successful in bringing more than $60 million in free health tests to communities across America during the past three years, and we are looking forward to bringing a new tour, the Walgreens Way to Well Health Tour with AARP, to many more Americans, particularly in medically underserved areas of the country,” Rand said.


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