PHARMACY

FDA approves Abbott’s AndroGel

BY Alaric DeArment

ABBOTT PARK, Ill. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a treatment made by Abbott for low testosterone in men, the drug maker said Friday.

Abbott announced the approval of AndroGel (testosterone gel) in the 1.62% strength, a clear, odorless topical gel for men with hypogonadism. The company already markets AndroGel in the 1% strength.

The new gel contains 40.5 mg of testosterone in two pump presses, while AndroGel 1% contains 50 mg in four pump presses, but the company said the two were not interchangeable.

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Walgreens to offer daily testing for cholesterol, blood glucose and A1C

BY Allison Cerra

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens is expanding its scope of preventive healthcare services by offering daily testing for total cholesterol, blood glucose and A1C levels at more than 1,400 pharmacies across 33 states and Washington, D.C.

The drug store chain, which began offering scheduled testing days at select stores last December, said that the tests are available at select stores during pharmacy hours, with no appointment necessary, to customers ages 18 years and older. Each test also includes a free blood-pressure reading and personal consultation with a Walgreens pharmacist.

Walgreens pharmacists administer tests by fingerstick. Cost for testing is:

  • Total cholesterol and HDL: $30;

  • Blood glucose: $20;

  • A1C (for self-identified diabetics only): $35; and

  • Blood pressure: Free with every health test.

Test results are not for diagnostic or treatment purposes and are not conclusive as to the absence or presence of any health condition. Recipients are encouraged to share test results with their primary care physicians, Walgreens said.

Locations offering these testing services can be found online by visiting Walgreens.com/FindAStore and checking the “health tests” box, or by calling (877) W-and-YOU (877-926-3968).

“Providing convenient, affordable access to health-testing services is an important part of our commitment to disease prevention and chronic care management,” said Kermit Crawford, Walgreens president of pharmacy, health and wellness. “As the most accessible healthcare professionals, our pharmacists are spending more time with patients through consultations, immunizations, medication questions or concerns, health testing and other important services.”

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Anda event focuses on networking, health reform

BY Michael Johnsen

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — More than 250 executives who participated in Anda’s 4th Annual Supply Chain Symposium here Thursday and Friday were treated to a keynote address from Linda Tarplin, a leading healthcare consultant and former senior White House and Department of Health and Human Services staff member.

And more than 158 golfers played 18 holes of golf on the TPC Scottsdale Stadium course with top-ranked golfing instructor Butch Harmon, who boasts Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Nick Watney and Natalie Gulbis as just a few of his students. Rounding out the guest list was NBA hall-of-famer “The Logo” Jerry West. 

The event kicked off the night before with a series of one-on-ones that brought together Anda’s key customers and business partners. “The Anda Supply Chain Symposium is really designed to highlight Anda’s capabilities and bring together customers and manufacturers,” said Bill Versosky, VP sales and marketing at Anda. “We shipped to an incredible amount of locations last year, and we just want to thank all of our manufacturers and customers for coming out.”

“The symposium is a great format to exchange business ideas [and] facilitate commerce, both on and off the golf course,” added Marc Falkin, Anda VP purchasing. “We took our event to Scottsdale this year and reached a capacity of attendance I’m not sure anyone thought would take place when we first started planning.”

During the keynote address, Tarplin reviewed the impact of healthcare reform from the past year — in particular, how to control rising healthcare costs. Among the issues addressed by Tarplin:

  • Healthcare issues — in particular, how to control rising healthcare costs and contain the growth of the entitlement programs. Bipartisan discussions regarding the Medicare and Medicaid programs and policies to constrain the costs of entitlement programs, once considered politically untouchable, may soon be on the table for consideration;
  • The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that was passed last Congress and lauded by the administration as one of the landmark achievements of President Obama will continue to be a focal point for Republicans, who will continue their efforts to repeal the healthcare legislation. Republicans and Democrats will continue to debate the merits of this law, Tarplin said, while closely watching the various court cases moving forward on the constitutionality of the individual mandate; and
  • While some issues may get addressed in a bipartisan fashion this year, most of the larger healthcare debate at the national level will continue to be about setting the political stage for the 2012 elections.

For more pictures, click here.

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