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FDA turns down Merck insomnia drug

BY Alaric DeArment

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. — The Food and Drug Administration has declined to approve a sleeping pill made by Merck & Co., citing issues with dosage.

The drug maker said Monday that it received a complete response letter from the FDA concerning the drug suvorexant, for which it is seeking regulatory approval. A complete response letter means that the agency has finished reviewing its approval application, but questions remain that preclude final approval.

The FDA determined that the drug should be available in a 10-mg dosage, and the 15-mg and 20-mg doses should be given to patients if 10 mg isn’t enough, but based on clinical data, the agency did not think the 30-mg and 40-mg doses would be safe.

"We will evaluate the requests outlined in the complete response letter and expect thereafter to work expeditiously with the FDA to make suvorexant available as a new treatment option for patients suffering from insomnia," Merck Research Labs president Roger Perlmutter said.

 

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Mentholatum Company promos Rohto Cooling Eye Drops at the UFC Fan Expo

BY Michael Johnsen

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — The Mentholatum Company will promote its Rohto Cooling Eye Drops at the UFC Fan Expo in Las Vegas July 5-6. As part of the promotion, Rohto Cooling Eye Drops, is providing fans an opportunity to challenge "The Ultimate Fighter" Season 3 winner, Michael "The Count" Bisping outside the octagon in a "Stare Wars" staring competition on July 5.

One $500 American Express gift card will be awarded for the longest stare time and one 50-inch flat screen television for most wins accumulated.

And Rohto Cooling Eye Drops can give an assist. "When training two to three times a day in preparation for a fight, it is important to make the most of each session," stated Michael Bisping, UFC middleweight contender. "Rohto Cooling Eye Drops help my eyes feel alert and extremely refreshed within a matter of seconds, allowing me to maximize my potential during each workout."

Rohto Cooling Eye Drops provide cooling relief on contact and soothe eyes for up to eight hours, the company stated. 

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CVS/pharmacy adds Drug Interaction Checker to mobile app features

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS/pharmacy has bolstered its mobile app by adding the new Drug Interaction Checker, which is an industry first that allows customers to easily check for potential drug interactions by comparing OTC products with their prescriptions and other OTCs on their smartphones.

Users enter the name of the product or active ingredients, or scan the UPC barcode on thousands of products with their smartphone camera. The Drug Interaction Checker will then compare available product details against the OTCs or prescription medications that are entered or imported through the patient’s pharmacy history. The tool will identify possible interactions based on a continually updated database of drug information to alert users of any potential issues.

"Our new Drug Interaction Checker empowers our customers to make important decisions about their health with a convenient tool that determines whether an over-the-counter product may impact the prescriptions they are taking," stated Brian Tilzer, SVP, chief digital officer for CVS/pharmacy. "Our goal at CVS/pharmacy is to continually find new ways of helping people on their path to better health, and this new feature demonstrates how we intend to harness the power of mobile technology as a cutting-edge health resource that addresses real needs of our customers. Now customers will have more information right at their fingertips, so they can make more informed decisions or seek advice from a pharmacist as needed, if the CVS Mobile app alerts them to a potential interaction."

According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly half of all Americans take at least one prescription drug per month, with more than 20% taking three or more prescriptions. In order for prescriptions to be most effective, patients need to understand how to take their medications and how other drugs, food or lifestyle elements might interfere with or impact its efficacy.

The Drug Interaction Checker leverages native smartphone technology for a fast, easy and intuitive way to check for interactions anytime and anywhere. Users have the option to import prescriptions from their online MyCVS Pharmacy accounts or manually enter drug information. The Drug Interaction Checker is located on the home screen of the CVS Mobile app, with a new and easy-to-identify icon.

Customers also can use the app to manage and refill prescriptions, access ExtraCare savings and rewards, order photo prints, view the weekly circular and Deal of the Day, find their local pharmacy or MinuteClinic and more. The CVS Mobile app is available as a free download from Apple’s App Store or through Google Play. Current users can update their existing app to instantly receive the new feature.

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