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FDA approves Linzess for chronic constipation, irritable bowel syndrome

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new drug for treating bowel diseases made by Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, the agency said Thursday.

The FDA announced the approval of Linzess (linaclotide) capsules for chronic idiopathic constipation and irritable bowel syndrome with constipation in adults. Chronic constipation affects an estimated 63 million people in the United States, according to the National Institutes of Health; chronic idiopathic constipation occurs when patients’ condition doesn’t respond to standard treatment. An additional 15.3 million people have IBS.

"No one medication works for all patients suffering from these gastrointestinal disorders," Office of Drug Evaluation III deputy director Victoria Kusiak said. "With the availability of new therapies, patients and their doctors can select the most appropriate treatment for their condition."


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ScripsAmerica secures $1 million in financing for RapiMed launch

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW CASTLE, Del. — ScripsAmerica last week announced that the company has secured $1 million in financing, which it will use to develop, manufacture and distribute its RapiMed brand of children’s pain reliever and other core business products.

"ScripsAmerica is very pleased to secure the funding necessary to ensure a successful product launch of RapiMed, currently slated for the first quarter of next year," stated Bob Schneiderman, ScripsAmerica CEO. "The company can now implement the most effective strategies for the development, manufacturing and marketing of RapiMed leading up to the launch without cash constraints, enabling us to grow faster and focus on meeting market demand."


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Lilly recognized for health literacy efforts

BY Allison Cerra

INDIANAPOLIS — Drug maker Eli Lilly has partnered with nationally recognized health literacy experts to implement new standards to ensure the company’s patient communications and resources adhere to health literacy principles.

"The widespread but often unrecognized public health challenge of health literacy serves as both a warning and a call to action," said Jack Harris, VP of Eli Lilly’s U.S. medical division. "Overcoming health disparities is a transformational and important journey. At Lilly we are working to develop communication and health education that connects with patients in a way that’s meaningful and understandable."

In an effort to improve health literacy among Americans, Lilly said it has put forth various health education efforts, which recently received national recognition from the Institute for Healthcare Advancement. IHA awarded Lilly the Published Materials Award for outstanding achievements in health literacy for two bilingual educational pieces. The educational materials, "Eating to Feel Your Best" and "Being Active to Feel Your Best" and their Spanish counterparts, "Comer para sentirse lo mejor posible" and "Estar activo para sentirse lo mejor possible," address the importance of making healthy food choices at every meal and staying active. Using colorful pictures, clear and concise information, simple illustrations, quick tips and space for personalized notes, readers are inspired, directed and motivated to take action to feel their best, Lilly said. Both pieces are available in English and Spanish on the Lilly for Better Health website.

According to a survey conducted by the National Assessment of Adult Literacy survey, 2-in-5 American adults — a total of 90 million people — have difficulty processing health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions. What’s more, the study also showed that 75% of Americans who reported having a long-term illness had limited health literacy and knew less about their conditions or how to handle symptoms.

"We were delighted to present Lilly USA with our 2012 IHA Health Literacy Award in the Published Materials category for their ‘Feel Your Best’ patient education brochure series," IHA president and CEO Gloria Mayer said. "These materials follow all the tenets of design for a low literate audience, and provide users with an easy-to-use resource to get and keep healthy."


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