FDA approves Abilify with sensor to track ingestion
SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first pill to contain a digital ingestion tracking system. The Abilify MyCite (aripiprazole with sensor) tablets — a collaboration between Otsuka Pharmaceuticals and Proteus Digital Health — send a message from the pill’s sensor to a wearable patch that links to a mobile app.
“Being able to track ingestion of medications prescribed for mental illness may be useful for some patients,” said Mitchell Mathis, director of the Division of Psychiatry Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “The FDA supports the development and use of new technology in prescription drugs and is committed to working with companies to understand how technology might benefit patients and prescribers.”
Otsuka said that the pairing of the sensor with the antipsychotic Ability was designed to allow patients with schizophrenia, bipolar I disorder or major depressive disorder to better track their daily medication intake and share that with their care team — which they can control through the linked app. The company said that the product would see an initial limited rollout with a select number of health plans and providers, who will select certain patients, on whose experiences Otsuka said I would base future enhancements.
“This approval marks a potentially transformative juncture in our more than 25 years of experience in the field of mental health therapies,” Otsuka president and representative director Tatsuo Higuchi said. “We remain committed to making a difference for individual patients and their care team by helping address the challenge of objectively measuring medication ingestion. Our rollout of the Abilify MyCite system will be done in phases to obtain, and respond to, feedback from healthcare providers and their patients.”
The sensor is made up of ingredients “found in food,” the company said, noting that it was the size of a grain of sand and activates when the sensor material comes into contact with stomach fluid. The MyCite patch records the date and time of the ingestion, as well as some physiological data. The FDA noted that product is not for use in emergency or real-time situations, as detection could be delayed or not occur. The agency also noted that the product has not shown an ability to improve patient compliance with a treatment regimen.
“The time is right for the category of digital medicines to be available to appropriate patients with serious mental illness,” Proteus Digital health president and CEO Andrew Thompson said. “Consumers already manage important tasks like banking, shopping, and communicating with friends and family by using their smart phones, as they go about their daily lives. With this FDA approval, Otsuka can help enable individuals with serious mental illness to engage with their care team about their treatment plan in a new way.”
Hy-Vee brings telepharmacy locations to 2 Iowa communities
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Two rural communities in Iowa will now have Hy-Vee pharmacy services. The retailer purchased two telepharmacies — one in Victor and another in Liberty — that will continue to operate under its name. The locations opened Nov. 6.
Hy-Vee said its telepharmacies offer patients a direct line to pharmacists and can process prescriptions similarly to how a retail pharmacy would do so. The telepharmacies are staffed with certified pharmacy technicians and pharmacists can counsel patients via iPad and telephone, the company said, adding that pharmacists can double check the accuracy of a fill using digital equipment.
“We are thrilled to provide Hy-Vee pharmacy services and maintain a personal pharmacist connection for residents in Victor and West Liberty, Iowa, through our new telepharmacy locations,” Hy-Vee senior vice president and chief health officer Kristin Williams said. “Enhancing health care for our customers is a top priority, and these locations will fill prescriptions as well as offer additional health and wellness services that Hy-Vee is known for.”
The locations also offer OTC and convenience products for purchase. A pharmacist will be on-store 16 hours monthly.
Dr. Reddy’s introduces generic Clolar injection
PRINCETON, N.J. — Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories has launched its generic of Genzyme’s Clolar (clofarabine, 1 mg/ml) injection. The drug is indicated as a treatment for patients ages 1 to 21 years with relapsed or refractory lymphoblastic leukemia after two prior regimens.
The product had brand and generic sales of roughly $53 million for the 12 months ended September 2017, according to IQVIA data. The drug will be available in single-dose 20-ml vials.