PHARMACY

Independents will gain clout with NCPA-CDC alliance

BY Alaric DeArment

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT The partnership between the National Community Pharmacists Association and Chain Drug Consortium brings together one of the largest pharmacy trade groups in the country with one of the largest purchasing organizations.

(THE NEWS: NCPA, CDC buying group forge new ties. For the full story, click here)

This means the amount of clout that the NCPA has on Capitol Hill will combine with the CDC’s purchasing and marketing abilities to help bolster independents, a segment of the pharmacy industry that often has struggled in comparison with the big national chains.

For the NCPA, it also might be a way to attract new members. The CDC’s membership includes a number of regional chains around the country that still may qualify for NCPA membership and often face many of the same challenges as independents, especially considering the difficulties that the group often has had in finding new members and the number of independent pharmacies that have been forced to close down over the years.

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Merck gets nod from FDA for Dulera

BY Alaric DeArment

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new drug by Merck for treating asthma in patients ages 12 years and older, Merck said Thursday.

The FDA approved Dulera (mometasone furoate and formoterol fumarate dihydrate), an inhaled, fixed-dose combination asthma treatment.

“Despite the advances made in the treatment of asthma in recent years, many patients may still not be well-controlled on their current therapies,” University of Tennessee Health Science Center medical professor Michael Blaiss said in a statement on behalf of Merck. “Asthma control is an important treatment goal, and Dulera provides a new option for physicians to help manage this chronic condition in appropriate patients.”

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FDA approves Mylan’s version of Procardia XL

BY Alaric DeArment

PITTSBURGH The Food and Drug Administration has approved a generic drug made by Mylan for heart disease, Mylan said Thursday.

Mylan announced the approval of nifedipine extended-release tablets in the 30, 60 and 90 mg strengths. The drug is used to treat hypertension and angina.

The drug is a generic version of Pfizer’s Procardia XL. Branded and generic versions of the drug had sales of around $234 million during the 12-month period ended in March, according to IMS Health.

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