PHARMACY

Microsoft, NextGen team up on medication-record application

BY Alaric DeArment

HORSHAM, Pa. — A division of Quality Systems has teamed up with Microsoft to develop and launch what it called the first joint consumer-based mobile healthcare information technology application for the Windows 8 platform.

QSI subsidiary NextGen Healthcare announced the partnership with Microsoft to create the NextGen MedicineCabinet application, which allows customers to create, store, track and share personal medication records. NextGen said the application, available free of charge from the Microsoft app store, would enable customers to take an active role in care collaboration, setting the stage for future consumer-based healthcare information technology services, available anywhere and anytime across any mobile network.

"Windows 8 is providing new ways for healthcare IT developers like NextGen to enable consumers to use one device to take charge of their own health care and well-being," Microsoft chief health strategy officer for U.S. health and life sciences Dennis Schmuland said. "With the MedicineCabinet app, patients can easily and seamlessly tap, type or swipe to share and stay connected."

NextGen said the app would allow providers to identify drug interactions, recognize potentially inappropriate medications, reduce unnecessary medication and supplication of therapies, monitor medications, improve adherence and enhance patients’ understanding of how to use their medications.


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PHARMACY

Wockhardt receives three FDA approvals

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. — Indian generic drug maker Wockhardt received three new drug approvals from the Food and Drug Administration, agency records show.

The FDA approved Wockhardt’s generic version of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s and Sanofi’s blood-thinning drug Plavix (clopidogrel bisulfate) in the 75-mg and 300-mg strengths; bupropion hydrochloride extended-release tablets in the 150-mg strength, a generic version of GlaxoSmithKline’s antidepressant Wellbutrin SR; and a generic version of Novartis’ Parkinson’s disease drug Stalevo (carbidopa, levodopa and entacapone) in the 18.75-mg/200-mg/75-mg, 25-mg/200-mg/100-mg, 31.25-mg/200-mg/150-mg, 37.5-mg/200-mg/150-mg and 50-mg/200-mg/200-mg strengths.

According to IMS Health, Plavix had sales of $6.8 billion in 2011, while Wellbutrin SR has sales of $268 million, and industry sources estimate Stalevo has sales of about $95 million.


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Ranbaxy recalls several lots of generic Lipitor

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Ranbaxy Labs has recalled more than three dozen lots of its generic version of a cholesterol-lowering statin drug due to the possible presence of foreign particles, the company said.

In a notice posted on its U.S. website, the India-based drug maker said it had voluntarily recalled several lots of 500-pill bottles of atorvastatin calcium, a generic version of Pfizer’s Lipitor, in the 10-mg, 20-mg and 40-mg strengths. The recall, which is taking place with the "full knowledge" of the Food and Drug Administration, does not affect the 80-mg strength of the drug, the company said.

The drug maker said select batches of the drug may contain small glass particles less than 1 millimeter in size.

Ranbaxy received Food and Drug Administration approval to market its generic version of Lipitor in November 2011.


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