PHARMACY

Kerr Drug boosts free delivery program with new website

BY Allison Cerra

RALEIGH, N.C. — Customers looking to take advantage of Kerr Drug’s free delivery service now can visit a new website developed by the chain.

By logging on to KerrDrugDelivers.com, customers can find the nearest Kerr Drug pharmacy to request free delivery. The service allows customers to find the nearest Kerr Drug pharmacy and phone number to call and order their prescriptions, along with anything else in the store they may need.

“Free delivery became a popular service as soon as we started the program, and our new Web locator makes the service even easier to use,” said Tony Civello, president and CEO of Kerr Drug. “There are circumstances when customers can’t get to the pharmacy, and providing free delivery is another way to better serve the community, which is what the concept of community pharmacy is all about.”

Kerr Drug launched the free delivery service in September 2010, and extended the program last December.

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Report: Mylan looks to block Ranbaxy from making generic Lipitor

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Generic drug maker Mylan is suing the Food and Drug Administration in an effort to prevent Gurgaon, India-based competitor Ranbaxy Labs from launching its generic version of Pfizer’s cholesterol medication Lipitor, according to published reports.

Bloomberg reported that Mylan said in a complaint filed in federal court in Washington that because of past manufacturing violations at two of Ranbaxy’s factories in India, other companies should be able to launch versions of Lipitor (atorvastatin) once Pfizer’s patent expires in June. The FDA restricted certain imports from Ranbaxy’s plants in India in 2008 and 2009 after an inspection of plants in Dewas and Paonta Sahib turned up current good manufacturing practice violations there. The FDA also had found cGMP violations at the Paonta Sahib plant in 2006.

Ranbaxy, mostly owned by Japanese drug maker Daiichi Sankyo, has been slated to launch a generic version of Lipitor this year since 2008, under an agreement with Pfizer. Under FDA regulations, Ranbaxy would be entitled to six months in which to compete directly with Pfizer, after which the atorvastatin molecule would become fair game for any generic manufacturer. But Mylan is hoping to use Ranbaxy’s past cGMP violations to expedite the process.

A victory for Mylan would be a major loss for Ranbaxy given Lipitor’s status as the world’s top-selling drug, with annual sales of more than $7 billion in the United States alone, according to IMS Health.

In other news, Bloomberg reported that the Supreme Court rejected Mylan’s challenge to Daiichi Sankyo’s patent on the hypertension drugs Benicar (olmesartan) and Azor (olmesartan and amlodipine).

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AAPCHO addresses diabetes with new program

BY Allison Cerra

OAKLAND, Calif. — The Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations has introduced a program that aims to reduce the secondary complications of diabetes among specific ethnic groups living with the disease.

AAPCHO said its five-year diabetes program addresses diabetes among vulnerable populations in three Asian-American, Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander communities:

  • In the Republic of the Marshall Islands by Ebeye Community Health Center;
  • In Los Angeles by the Asian Pacific Health Care Venture; and
  • In Waimanalo, Hawaii, by the Waimanalo Health Center.

Each program grantee is a community health center that provides healthcare services to medically underserved AA&NHOPI patients, many of whom are uninsured and low-income patients and have limited English proficiency.

The prevalence of diabetes among these ethnic groups continues to rise, AAPCHO noted.

"This program is unique for us in that its goal is to address diabetes more broadly, beyond just improving a diabetes patient’s health through the clinic or medical provider’s office," said Jeffrey Caballero, executive director of AAPCHO. "This program requires us to develop a broader collaborative strategy and network with more nontraditional partners to address diabetes not just at the individual patient level, but at the local community level."

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