PHARMACY

FDA approves Pfizer rheumatoid arthritis drug

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug for rheumatoid arthritis ahead of the day the agency was scheduled to decide whether or not to approve it, the agency said Tuesday.

The FDA announced the approval of Pfizer’s Xeljans (tofacitinib) for adults with moderately to severely active RA who have responded inadequately or can’t tolerate methotrexate, a commonly used generic drug for the disease. The FDA had been scheduled to decide whether or not to approve the drug on Nov. 21. RA affects about 1.5 million Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Xeljanz provides a new treatment option for adults suffering from the debilitating disease of RA who have had a poor response to methotrexate," FDA Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Rheumatology Products director Badrul Chowdhury said.


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PHARMACY

Pharmacy gains as preferred flu shot venue

BY DSN STAFF

One important finding from a recent online survey of more than 900 AccentHealth viewers conducted in September confirmed that more patients continue to embrace the community pharmacy as a preferred destination for flu vaccinations. Nearly 1-in-4 said they have received or plan to receive a flu shot this year in a retail pharmacy setting — up four percentage points from a year ago.

To see more Patient Views, click here.

Patient Views is an exclusive consumer insights feature that appears in every edition of DSN A.M., and every issue of DSN magazine. If you could ask 4,000 patients anything at all, what would it be? Send your questions to [email protected].

 

Source: AccentHealth. To view the demographic breakdown of participants, click here.

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PHARMACY

Pharmacist care for patients has grown, study finds

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — About two-fifths of pharmacists say they spend more time providing care and support for patients than they did two years ago, according to a new study from a market research and advisory firm.

Manhattan Research released the results of its "Taking the Pulse Pharmacists 2012" study, which surveyed 752 U.S. pharmacists online in September and October about their use of various channels and sources, including digital content and mobile devices for professional purposes and patient care.

"Pharmacists are stepping outside their traditional roles and are increasingly providing patient care services supplemented by the vast array of digital information and tools at their disposal," Manhattan Research principal analyst Shawn Dimantha said. "As primary care providers struggle to meet patient demand, pharmacists will play a growing role as an alternative point of care."

The top disease states for which retail pharmacists provided the most care and support were diabetes, cardiovascular disorders, pain, respiratory diseases, and psychosis and depression, according to the study, which also found that pharmacists would like drug companies to provide them with online access to resources to help them support patients. For example, more than three-quarters of pharmacists would like access to online patient education materials, while 64% of retail pharmacists would like patient assistance or vouchers.


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