PHARMACY

FDA approves new packet version of AbbVie testosterone gel

BY Alaric DeArment

CHICAGO — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new pocket-sized packet option for a testosterone-replacement therapy made by AbbVie, the drug maker said Friday.

AbbVie announced the approval of the new version of AndroGel (testosterone) 1.62%, available in a packet containing 40.5 mg of testosterone in 2.5 g of gel and a packet with 20.25 mg of testosterone in 1.25 g of gel. The drug is used to raise testosterone levels in men with low or no testosterone, known as hypogonadism, estimated to affect nearly 14 million men in the United States.

The recommended starting dose for AndroGel 1.62% is 40.5 mg of testosterone applied once daily as directed. Physicians also can titrate administration up or down in 20.25-mg increments of testosterone based on serum total testosterone levels.

 

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Medbox buys stake in drug-vending company, forms jointly controlled corporation

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Pharmaceutical vending machine maker Medbox has bought a 50% stake in a Michigan-based company that has developed an automated medicine dispensing machine, Medbox said Friday.

The $5.15 million deal with MedVend includes a $300,000 capital infusion and additional loans if needed for operating expenses into a jointly controlled new corporation that will also be called MedVend.

MedVend’s Automated Medication Dispenser, or AMD, is described as a "remote pharmacy" that dispenses medication. The AMD uses video and electronic scripting technologies to provide patients with remote, face-to-face consultation with a pharmacist and to have their prescriptions filled in less than a minute. A patient touches the display monitor, enters a birth date and a unique four-digit code at the point of care, and the AMD provides a bottled medication interaction report, prescription and receipt. An attached phone allows the patient to consult with the pharmacist, who appears on screen via two-way video conferencing.

 

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National Colon Cancer Screening Day motivates more than 2,000 to seek screenings

BY Alaric DeArment

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A record number of people were motivated to seek colon cancer screenings for a day last week, according to an organization focused on the disease.

StopColonCancerNow.com designated March 8 as National Colon Cancer Screening Day, motivating more 2,000 new patients to seek screenings for the disease. Experts recommend that anyone older than 50 years, as well as African-Americans 45 years and older and those who have a family history of polyps or colon cancer, get a colonoscopy.

When detected early, colon cancer has a 90% survival rate, according to the group. Colonoscopies allow doctors to find and remove precancerous polyps before they develop into cancer.

"We are exceedingly glad that our efforts to educate people about the importance of colon cancer screening were effective," StopColonCancerNow.com medical adviser John Popp said. "Though National Screening Day is important, every day should be National Screening Day. If this were the case, we would see the number of colon cancer cases decline rapidly because it is largely a preventable disease."

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