PHARMACY

FDA approves Watson PAH drug

BY Alaric DeArment

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a generic drug for pulmonary arterial hypertension made by Watson Pharmaceuticals, the drug maker said Monday.

Watson said the FDA approved its sildenafil tablets in the 20 mg strength through a subsidiary. Watson said it would launch the drug "in the near future."

The drug is a generic version of Pfizer’s Revatio tablets, which had sales of about $339 million during the 12-month period ended in September, according to IMS Health.


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PHARMACY

Cardinal arms community pharmacists with resources to augment diabetes awareness efforts

BY Michael Johnsen

DUBLIN, Ohio — Cardinal Health on Monday announced the availability of free, downloadable materials to help community pharmacists educate patients about effective strategies for preventing and living with diabetes as part of National Diabetes Awareness Month. 

“The diabetes population is expected to double by 2034, and we are committed to providing community pharmacists with the tools and resources they need to help these patients better understand and manage this disease," stated Christi Pedra, SVP marketing for Cardinal Health’s Pharmaceutical segment. 

Cardinal Health is providing access to the following tools and materials:

  • An interactive presentation, developed in partnership with CreativePharmacist.com, which helps pharmacists educate patients about diabetes awareness, risk prevention and daily management. The presentation also focuses on how patients can build their relationships with their local pharmacist to improve healthcare outcomes;
  • Patient informational handouts that help the patient follow along with the interactive presentation, allowing the patient to record what they are learning about diabetes from their pharmacist;
  • An ADA risk assessment form that helps patients identify whether they are at risk of developing the disease; and
  • Promotional materials, including customizable bag clippers and flyers.

Cardinal Health also offers a Specialized Care Center focused on diabetes where participating pharmacies have access to an array of tools and resources to help position themselves as a local destination for diabetes care.

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PHARMACY

Loyalty cards explain how three pharmacy operators are bullish around winning the same patient

BY Michael Johnsen

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark reported strong numbers on both the retail and PBM sides of its business — but the real bombshell for analysts on the call was the news that the company has raised its estimate on the number of Express Script patients that CVS feels it can keep from going back to Walgreens.

That’s a big boast. But Rite Aid, too, likes its shot to keep the ESI customers who at one time frequented Walgreens’ pharmacies to fill their prescriptions. And Walgreens, for its part, reminds analysts that there was a reason those ESI patients were filling their prescriptions in the first place. So the Chicago retailer is confident that they’ll be able to entice many of their former patients to return to the pharmacy fold. But in the end, who’s really going to capture that coveted ESI patient? Will they stay, or will they go?

And that all depends on what each of these retailers do to grow their respective businesses going forward. The one big difference between CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens before the Walgreens/ESI split, and after? Loyalty cards. That’s where we think the battle for the customer might be won or lost. 

It’s certainly a big issue, as outlined by DSN’s recent coverage of the loyalty wars raging between the pharmacy operators

Champions of today’s best-in-class loyalty cards — and that would include each of the drug store chains mentioned here — are looking well beyond using simple discounts to drive shopper behavior. That’s low-hanging fruit. The good stuff, the high-up-top stuff will only be reached with the greater adoption of big data mining tools and predictive analytics. Ascertaining what a customer is going to buy before even she knows to put it on the shopping list, and then propositioning a deal on that knowledge, that’s what’s going to shake out the winners and losers. Because armed with that kind of knowledge, the best-in-class retailers will be able to construct a steady stream of personalized offers catered to their highest-profit customers and enticing them to walk into their respective stores.

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