PHARMACY

FDA OKs Abilify as maintenance treatment for bipolar disorder

BY Alaric DeArment

PRINCETON, N.J. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a psychiatric drug for treating bipolar disorder when used in combination with one of two other drugs.

The FDA approved Abilify (aripiprazole), made by Bristol-Myers Squibb and Otsuka Pharmaceutical, as an adjunct to lithium or valproate for maintenance treatment of bipolar I disorder.

The FDA approved Abilify as an adjunct to lithium or valproate for acute treatment of manic or mixed episodes associated with bipolar I disorder in May 2008. The drug also is approved as a stand-alone treatment for the disorder.

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Teva’s Jinteli now available

BY Alaric DeArment

NORTH WALES, Pa. — Generic drug maker Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has launched a generic drug for treating symptoms of menopause.

Teva announced Thursday the availability of Jinteli (norethindrone acetate and ethinyl estradiol) tablets.

The drug is a generic version of Warner Chilcott’s FemHRT and is available in the 1-mg/5-mcg strength.

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Auralgan otic solution seized by government officials

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has seized supplies of a drug used to treat ear infections, under a program the agency started to remove unapproved drugs from the market.

The FDA announced the seizure of about $16.5 million worth of Auralgan otic solution made by Brooks, Ky.-based Integrated Commercialization Solutions. Chapel Hill, N.C.-based Deston Therapeutics manufactures the drug, while ICS warehouses it.

The FDA said Deston’s sale of the drug violates federal law because it does not have approval from the FDA, which issued a warning letter to the company in February 2010.

The FDA started the Unapproved Drugs Initiative in 2006 to target companies selling drugs that have not gone through the agency’s approval process. In most cases, the drugs are in a sort of regulatory limbo, having entered the market before the FDA adopted its current drug-safety standards in 1938, with some of them existing since the 1800s.

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