PHARMACY

FDA to examine pleasing TV ads vs. warning messages about drugs

BY Drew Buono

WASHINGTON The Food and Drug Administration announced today that they plan on investigating as to whether TV drug ads distract consumers from warnings about the drugs’ risks, according to the Associated Press. The announcement was made in response to a study by the New England Journal of Medicine suggesting that the agency has declined in its drug ad enforcement.

The investigation will involve the FDA studying how 2,000 people react to television drug ads to determine if the people experience a positive impression despite audio warnings of side effects. Drug companies are required to legally present the benefits and risks of a drug in promotions.

According to the Journal, the FDA sent only 21 citations to drug companies last year for problems with their ads as compared to 142 in 1997.

The FDA will also be looking into how text on the screen can divert focus away from audio warnings, for example when the ad shows the company’s website.

The House of Representatives last month rejected the proposal of having drug companies paying the salaries of FDA ad reviewers stating that it creates a conflict of interest.

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United Supermarkets to open first health care clinics in west Texas

BY Adam Kraemer

LUBBOCK, Texas United Supermarkets, a regional family-owned grocery chain with stores in 26 markets throughout north and west Texas is joining forces with Family Medicine Centers to offer a Living Well ExpressCare clinic in its Amarillo, Texas store beginning next month.

The clinic will offer primary medical services to store guests at United’s 45th and Bell location beginning Sept. 1. It will be located next to the pharmacy, allowing patients to get their prescriptions filled immediately at the same location.

United announced that similar facilities, the first in-store health clinics in west Texas, also are under construction in two United stores in Lubbock, as well as the new Market Street store being built in Frisco, near Dallas, according to the retailer.

“The need for accessible, affordable, high-quality health care in our country has never been greater, as studies indicate that nearly a third of the U.S. population does not have a family physician,” stated Mark Yowell, Specialty Division vice president of United Supermarkets. “[The clinics] “will allow us to focus attention on the wellness and nutrition products and services available in our stores.”

The facility will be open seven days a week, maintaining operating hours similar to those of the store’s pharmacy. It will be staffed by a licensed nurse practitioner or physician assistant under the supervision of a licensed physician.

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FDA approves Acatvis’ generic Duragesic patch

BY Drew Buono

MORRISTOWN, N.J. Actavis, the generic pharmaceutical company announced today that it has received approval from the Food and Drug Administration to market Fentanyl, the generic equivalent of the pain patch Duragesic.

President and chief executive officer Robert Wessmann said, “The addition of transdermal fentanyl is representative of our continued effort to expand the depth and breadth of our product portfolio, and highlights our product development expertise in specialty generic products.”

Annually, the brand and generic sales of Fentanyl in the U.S. were approximately $1.2 billion for the twelve months ending June 2007 according to IMS health data.

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