PHARMACY

Federal court upholds DEA action against Cardinal Health

BY Alaric DeArment

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A federal court has turned down Cardinal Health’s request for an injunction against the Drug Enforcement Administration’s suspension of the its ability to ship controlled medications from one of its distribution centers, the company said Wednesday.

Reggie Walton, a judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, ruled against Cardinal’s request to enjoin the DEA from preventing the company from shipping controlled substances from the distribution center, in Lakeland, Fla.

Cardinal said it planned to appeal the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

"We have demonstrated a deep commitment to helping fight prescription drug abuse," a statement from Cardinal read. "We work hard to actively prevent drug diversion and have spent millions of dollars to build a system of advanced analytics and on anti-diversion specialists. We have stopped distribution to hundreds of pharmacies determined to pose an unreasonable risk of diversion. The majority of those pharmacies still maintain their DEA registrations to dispense controlled medicines."

The DEA suspended the Lakeland distribution center’s registration to distribute controlled substances earlier this month, alleging that four of the 2,500 retail pharmacies it serves dispensed prescriptions for them illegally and that the company failed to ensure that the drugs were not diverted, though Cardinal said the allegations were wrong.


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PHARMACY

Publix to open pharmacy at Moffitt Cancer Center

BY Allison Cerra

LAKELAND, Fla. — Publix will open an expanded access, full-service retail pharmacy at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla., on July 2.

Currently, Moffitt’s retail pharmacy offers specialized convenience to patients treated at Moffitt on an outpatient basis, Moffitt employees and their dependents, and other cancer center visitors, Moffitt said. The Publix pharmacy at Moffitt will continue to provide excellent customer service to patients and will be able to expand services including:

  • Pickup of prescriptions at their neighborhood Publix pharmacy;

  • Ease of refilling prescriptions at multiple convenient locations;

  • Mail-order capability;

  • Electronic routing of prescriptions to desired neighborhood Publix pharmacy locations; and

  • Expanded hours through their neighborhood Publix pharmacy and the Publix pharmacy at Moffitt.

“Publix pharmacies have been dedicated to the health and wellness needs of our customers and their families,” Publix VP pharmacy operations Fred Ottolino said. “The opportunity to bring our level of customer care to patients of Moffitt Cancer Center not only allows us to meet their immediate needs, but also to build long-term relationships with our customers as they return home.”

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FDA approves Biogen Idec’s Avonex Pen, dose titration regimen

BY Allison Cerra

WESTON, Mass. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved two separate dosing innovations for multiple sclerosis patients that are being treated with a Biogen Idec drug.

Biogen Idec said the FDA approved Avonex pen, the first single-use, once-weekly intramuscular autoinjector approved for MS, and a dose titration regimen, which gradually escalates the dose of Avonex at treatment initiation. The drug maker said the new offerings are designed to improve the treatment experience.

The Avonex pen incorporates a smaller needle and easier administration to help patients reduce anxiety about self-injection, reduces the incidence and severity of flu-like symptoms that can occur at the beginning of therapy.


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