PHARMACY

FDA grants Acurox priority review

BY Alaric DeArment

PALATINE, Ill. — The Food and Drug Administration has accepted for review an application for a pain medication designed to thwart drug abusers.

Acura Pharmaceuticals announced Monday the acceptance of King Pharmaceuticals’ application for Acurox (oxycodone hydrochloride). King developed the drug using Acura’s Aversion technology, which is designed to limit or impede the ability to abuse the drug by dissolving or crushing the pills and then injecting them.

The FDA has granted the drug priority-review status and will take action on the application in June.

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PHARMACY

Lilly appoints new oncology unit president

BY Allison Cerra

INDIANAPOLIS — Following the exit of its oncology unit leader, drug maker Eli Lilly announced two executive changes.

Sue Mahony, currently SVP human resources and diversity, has been named SVP and president of Lilly Oncology, effective immediately. Mahony will remain a member of Lilly’s executive committee. She succeeds John Johnson, who resigned from his post at Lilly last month to become CEO of Savient Pharmaceuticals.

In related news, Lilly also announced that Steve Fry, VP human resources for the company’s bio-medicines and emerging markets businesses, was promoted to Mahony’s former role. In this new position, Fry will serve as a member of Lilly’s executive committee.

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NCPA backs Patients’ Freedom to Choose Act

BY Allison Cerra

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Community Pharmacists Association has expressed support of legislation that seeks to overturn two provisions in the Obama healthcare law that limit a patient’s choice in how to use consumer-directed health savings plans.

The NCPA said Friday it supported the Patients’ Freedom to Choose Act, which was introduced to the House and Senate by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, and Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn. The legislation would repeal the requirement for patients to obtain prescriptions for over-the-counter medications when using their flexible saving accounts and health saving accounts.

"We want to thank Sen. Hutchison and Rep. Paulsen for their strong leadership in attempting to restore the ability for patients to purchase OTC medications through their FSAs and HSAs without the inconvenience of first having to get a prescription from a doctor’s office,” said Kathleen Jaeger, NCPA EVP and CEO. "Until this year, these commonplace and inexpensive drugs for treating pain, allergies and other ailments were not subjected to this unreasonable requirement. We call on Congress to pass these companion bills as quickly as possible."

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