PHARMACY

Kerr Drug hosts North Carolina launch of Script Your Future campaign

BY Alaric DeArment

RALEIGH, N.C. — Kerr Drug is hosting the North Carolina launch of the National Consumer League’s “Script Your Future” medication adherence campaign, the regional retail pharmacy chain said.

The campaign includes a coalition of healthcare professionals, hospitals, nonprofit groups, government agencies and the NCL, which are collaborating to launch the campaign in Raleigh, N.C., and throughout the state. The Raleigh Script Your Future Kick-Off is scheduled for Tuesday at 10 a.m., with Kerr Drug president and CEO Anthony Civello, North Carolina lieutenant governor Walter Dalton and others in attendance.

Other regional markets include Baltimore; Cincinnati; Sacramento, Calif.; Birmingham, Ala.; and Providence, R.I. Tools included in the campaign include free text message reminders, sample questions to ask during doctor visits, medication lists, condition management sheets and fact sheets on the chronic conditions the campaign is focusing on, including diabetes, respiratory disease and cardiovascular disease.

“Nonadherence to medication is a major public health concern,” Civello said. “We know from our pharmacists working closely with physicians and patients how important it is that our customers understand their medications. The Script Your Future campaign will bring even more tools and resources to the state to provide residents with the knowledge they need to talk with their physicians and pharmacists about their medicines, improve medication adherence and lead healthier lives.”

According to studies, nonadherence costs the country about $300 billion per year, including costs from hospital readmissions and medical complications, and nearly three-quarters of Americans report that they do not always take their medicines as directed.

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PHARMACY

12 generic versions of Femara in market, FDA reports

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a dozen new generic versions of a drug used to treat breast cancer, the agency said Monday.

The FDA said that on Friday it approved versions of Novartis’ drug Femara (letrozole) made by Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Dr. Reddy’s Labs, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Impax Labs, Endo Pharmaceuticals, Roxane Labs, Accord Healthcare, Synthon Pharmaceuticals, Natco Pharma, Indicus Pharma, Fresenius Kabi Oncology and Kudco Ireland.

The agency originally approved Mylan’s version of the drug in December 2008, but Mylan didn’t launch until April 21 of this year.

Femara had sales of $682 million in 2010, according to IMS Health.

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Alimta extends progression-free survival among patients in late-stage study

BY Alaric DeArment

INDIANAPOLIS — Cancer patients taking a drug made by Eli Lilly extended the amount of time they survived without their disease worsening, according to results of a study announced Sunday.

Lilly said results of the phase-3 “PARAMOUNT” study of the injected drug Alimta (pemetrexed) extended progression-free survival in patients with nonsquamous nonsmall-cell lung cancer. The study focused on continuation maintenance when one of the same drugs used as a first-line treatment for cancer is continued as maintenance therapy in an effort to control the disease.

Results were presented Sunday at the 47th annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago.

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