PHARMACY

FDA approves Hospira’s generic Hycamtin

BY Alaric DeArment

LAKE FOREST, Ill. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a generic cancer drug from Hospira.

The drug maker announced the approval of topotecan injection for treating small-cell lung cancer sensitive disease after first-line chemotherapy has failed.

The drug is a generic version of GlaxoSmithKline’s Hycamtin, which had sales of more than $140 million in 2010, according to Hospira.

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NACDS reaches out to Sebelius about state Medicaid program expansion

BY Allison Cerra

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Shortly after Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius reached out to state governors about extending their Medicaid programs, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores sent a letter to Sebelius emphasizing the importance of expanding patient access to prescription drugs and pharmacy services to cut healthcare costs and improve patient outcomes.

“We have spoken with many governors and state Medicaid directors, and [we] share their concerns about the current economic climate and the pressure that the Medicaid program places on state budgets," the NACDS letter stated. "We have worked with states to put cost-effective best practices in place to control prescription drug costs, such as increasing generic utilization, expanding the use of e-prescribing and other technologies, and improving medication adherence as a means to reduce more costly medical interventions, such as doctor visits and hospital stays.”

Click here to view the full letter.

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NACDS Foundation: Patient care database more than doubled in size

BY Allison Cerra

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A free, publicly accessible and searchable healthcare resource developed last year by the charitable arm of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores dramatically has grown since its inception.

The NACDS Foundation said its patient care database — which seeks to provide a convenient portal to information on pharmacist-provided patient care services beyond dispensing prescription medications — has more than doubled in size. NACDS Foundation president Edith Rosato said the database’s growth “runs parallel to the public’s own desire, interest and demand for information that empowers their healthcare decisions.”

NACDS Foundation’s patient care database can be accessed here.

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