PHARMACY

FDA approves Sandoz dermatology drug

BY Alaric DeArment

PRINCETON, N.J. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug made by Sandoz for treating symptoms of various skin diseases.

Sandoz, the generics arm of Swiss drug maker Novartis, announced the approval of desoximetasone ointment in the 0.25% strength. The drug is a generic version of Taro Pharmaceutical Industries’ Topicort and, according to Sandoz, is the first Fougera dermatology product Sandoz has launched since its $1.5 billion acquisition of the company in May 2012.

Topicort and its generic versions had sales of $36.5 million during the 12-month period that ended in August 2012, according to IMS Health.


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FDA approves Celgene lung-cancer drug

BY Alaric DeArment

SUMMIT, N.J. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved an injected drug for lung cancer made by Celgene, the company said Friday.

Celgene announced the approval of Abraxane (paclitaxel) protein-bound particles for injectable suspension, for the first-line treatment of non-small cell lung cancer that has advanced locally or spread to other parts of the body, in combination with carboplatin, for patients who are not candidates for curative surgery or radiation therapy.

"Non-small cell is the most common type of lung cancer, the leading cause of cancer death in the United States," said Mark Socinski, director of the lung cancer section in the division of hematology and oncology at the University of Pittsburgh and lead investigator in the phase-2 and phase-3 clinical trials of the drug. "The FDA approval of Abraxane is exciting for healthcare professionals because it offers an important new treatment option for all types of non-small cell lung cancer patients, in an area that has seen few treatment advancements in recent years."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 200,000 people were diagnosed with lung cancer, and more than 150,000 died from it. Non-small cell lung cancer, or NSCLC, accounts for 87% of lung cancer cases.


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Kirby Lester to introduce updated tablet counter

BY Alaric DeArment

LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Pharmacy automation manufacturer Kirby Lester has launched a version of one of its tablet counters with streamlined verification software.

The company announced the launch of KL1Plus, which it said combines the KL1 tablet counter with the updated software. The device will be introduced at the National Community Pharmacists Association and Department of Defense Joint Forces Pharmacy Services annual convention in San Diego this month.

"There is absolutely no reason why a pharmacy can’t afford to verify 100% of orders now that the KL1Plus has been developed," Kirby Lester president and CEO Garry Zage said. "Pharmacies across the country have incorporated the KL1 into their operations. Now, they can use the KL1, plus verification."

The counter, which is seven inches wide and weighs eight pounds, is designed to verify all pharmacy orders so that patients receive the right medication, dosage and quantity each time, allowing the pharmacy technician to scan the barcode on the patient’s prescription label and then scan the label on the corresponding stock bottle to ensure there’s a match.


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