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FDA gives tentative approval to Teva’s abacavir sulfate, lamivudine tabs

BY Ryan Chavis

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has granted tentative approval to Teva Pharmaceutical for abacavir sulfate and lamivudine tablets in 600-mg and 300 mg strengths, according to agency records. 

Abacavir sulfate and lamivudine combination tablets is used for the treatment of HIV-1 infection.

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Walgreens opens pharmacy at Children’s National Health System

BY Ryan Chavis

WASHINGTON — Walgreens announced the official opening of a new pharmacy at Children's National Health System, which will provide access to pharmacy and other health-and-wellness services for patients and their families, helping to expedite the discharge process, the company said.

The pharmacy — located at the Sheikh Zayed Campus for Advanced Children’s Medicine in Washington, DC. — will allow patients to fill prescriptions on site before leaving the hospital and also will offer medication consults, immunizations, daily living items and consumables.

“At Children’s National, we are dedicated not only to delivering the highest quality health care to children, but to going above and beyond for our patients and families,” said Kathy Gorman, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, EVP and COO patient care services at Children’s National. “Our relationship with Walgreens on the Sheikh Zayed Campus is intended to provide our patients and families with more access and greater convenience to the medications and pharmacy services they need.”

Walgreens will work closely with Children’s National Division of Pharmacy and individual units to provide outpatient pharmacy services at patient bedsides upon discharge, as well as other supported programs.

"This location provides a new level of convenience and access to health and wellness services for patients, staff, and the Children’s National community,” said Darron Briscoe, Walgreens market VP. "It’s a testament to the great relationship we’ve built with Children’s National Health System, and we’re proud to complement the medical care that the hospital center provides with programs and services that can help more patients get, stay and live well.”

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Walgreens announces new Balance Rewards for healthy choices

BY Ryan Chavis

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Tuesday announced the new Balance Rewards for healthy choices initiatives, which is aimed at helping participants modify behavior risk factors associated with the nation's most pressing public health issues. The initiative marks the first community pharmacy program that includes training based on the methodology of psychologist Dr. B.J. Fogg.

The incentive will reward members who adopt healthy habits with Balance Reward points, Walgreens said. Select pharmacists and online Pharmacy Chat agents will receive behavior change training led by Dr. Fogg, which will provide the necessary resources to provide wellness coaching via the Tiny Habits method — an approach to behavior change that involves simple steps that lead to a healthier lifestyle.

“Adopting a consistently healthy action like practicing a balanced diet, exercising more or changing other lifestyle habits is typically not easy,” said Kermit Crawford, Walgreens president of pharmacy, health and wellness. “Through our Balance Rewards for healthy choices initiative, Walgreens encourages participants to adopt healthy actions with the added support and guidance of our pharmacists and Walgreens online Pharmacy Chat agents trained on Dr. Fogg’s Tiny Habits approach. This is a perfect fit for a community pharmacy based program in which our pharmacists have frequent contact with consumers.”

Program members can accrue points by taking part in assorted health-related programs and tracking their progress toward a goal. The program will make this more seamless through the optional use of mobile devices and such apps as MapMyFitness, Lose It!, MyFitnessPal and RunKeeper. Additionally, health plans and other payers will have the ability to define additional activities for their members to earn points.

Rewards for healthy choices are comprised of three elements: exercise and activity; adopting healthy habits; and eating right. The company said it expects the initatives to expand over time.

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