PHARMACY

Mayo Clinic Health Manager seeks to organize personal medical information

BY Alaric DeArment

REDMOND, Wash. Managing a health condition can be difficult enough, but organizing personal medical information can be even more time-consuming, according to a study commissioned by the Mayo Clinic and Microsoft, which operates the online resource HealthVault. The two have developed the Mayo Clinic Health Manager, a HealthVault application that helps people organize health information.

 

The study was the result of a survey of 1,065 adults conducted by Opinion Research Corp. in April. Nearly one-third of respondents said they spent more time keeping information organized than finding answers to health questions or dealing with chronic conditions.

 

 

At the same time, almost half said they regularly left doctor’s offices without asking an important medical question or giving the physician crucial information affecting their health, while 9-in-10 had reported doing so in the past.

 

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Pfizer acquires rights to terguride

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Pfizer will acquire worldwide rights to a drug for treating pulmonary arterial hypertension, the drug maker said Wednesday.

Pfizer announced it would acquire terguride, an investigational drug, from Germany-based Ergonex Pharma. Under the agreement, Pfizer will support completion of phase 2 clinical trials of the drug and have exclusive worldwide rights to commercialize the drug, except in Japan. Ergonex will receive milestone and royalty payments.

“Pfizer’s unique business unit structure positions us to advance a broad portfolio of innovative research programs designed to lead to a diversity of products, including highly specialized ones in disease areas like PAH,” Pfizer specialty care business unit president Geno Germano said. “In the case of terguride, we are pleased that we can support its continued development given our commitment to advancing science in PAH and to bring new, potentially disease-modifying treatments to patients.”

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USP recommends prescription labeling be standardized

BY Alaric DeArment

ROCKVILLE, Md. An advisory panel of the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention has recommended standardizing prescription labeling so patients can more easily understand the instructions, USP said.

USP, a nonprofit organization that sets standards for the identity, strength, quality and purity of medicines in the United States, cited Institute of Medicine statistics indicating that limited health literacy affects 90 million adults, thus reducing their ability to benefit from the healthcare system.

“Patients have the right to understand health information that is necessary to safely care for themselves and their families,” USP Health Literacy Prescription Container Labeling Advisory Panel co-chairwoman Joanne Schwartzberg said. “Confusing medication labels is one area that can be improved considerably. As most of us who have ever received a prescription drug know, the contact and appearance of medication labels can vary widely.”

Recommendations included simplifying language on labels by eliminating unfamiliar terms and unclear medical jargon, using explicit language to describe dosing and interval instructions and improving readability by using clearer fonts.

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