PHARMACY

MinuteClinic begins allergy screenings

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. As trees blossom and shed their pollen, and grasses and weeds germinate in yards, MinuteClinic is reminding allergy sufferers that it can help them take control of their seasonal allergies this spring.

 

"It’s simple to suggest to allergy sufferers that they stay indoors and turn on the air conditioning, but for most, that’s not a practical solution, especially when they want to mow the lawn, plant a garden and or see a child’s Little League game," stated Andrew Sussman, M.D., president of MinuteClinic and SVP/associate chief medical officer of CVS Caremark. "MinuteClinic practitioners can assess a patient’s condition and recommend an appropriate course of treatment that may include prescription medications to provide relief and clear nasal pathways before they become overly inflamed."

 

 

When visiting a MinuteClinic, a practitioner provides a thorough exam that focuses on the patient’s eyes, nasal passage, throat and lungs to determine the extent of allergy-related irritation, inflammation and blockage. Treatment options may include OTC recommendations such as nasal saline and eye drops along with prescriptions when clinically appropriate. Effective prescription therapies may include antihistamines, decongestants, steroid nasal sprays and anti-inflammatory medications.

 

 

Spring allergy exams at MinuteClinic are $62 and are covered by most health care insurance. A MinuteClinic visit summary, which includes the results of any lab tests performed, is provided to primary care providers with patient permission. Visit summaries are typically sent within 24 hours via electronic medical record, fax or mail.

 

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Take Care Health Systems to offer blood pressure screenings through May

BY Antoinette Alexander

CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. Take Care Health Systems has announced that it now is offering free blood pressure screenings at all of its 359 Take Care Clinics nationwide through May 31.

The free screenings are available to all patients 18 years and older. If a patient’s blood pressure is elevated, the provider will recommend a return visit to a Take Care Clinic or follow-up with a primary care provider to rule out or confirm a diagnosis of hypertension. If a patient does not have a primary care provider, the Take Care health provider will offer a list of area providers accepting new patients.

 

"Nearly 22% of individuals in the United States with hypertension are unaware of their condition, according to the American Heart Association," stated Sandy Ryan, chief nurse practitioner officer for Take Care Health Systems, which is owned by Walgreens. "Take Care nurse practitioners and physician assistants will provide free blood pressure screenings to identify at-risk patients, and refer them to the appropriate level of care for treatment. In addition, Take Care health providers will serve as an educational resource to answer questions about hypertension and risk factors associated with the disease."

 

 

A majority of Americans with hypertension are untreated or under-treated, potentially unaware that their current behavior and treatment may not be generating adequate results. There are several lifestyle modifications a person can make, including smoking cessation, weight loss if overweight and an increase in physical activity.

 

 

"High blood pressure increases the risk of heart attack, heart failure, stroke and kidney disease. Given the accessibility and convenience of Take Care Clinics across the country, we can play a vital role in identifying individuals with undiagnosed or untreated hypertension, helping to decrease the risk for cardiovascular disease," stated Peter Miller, president and CEO of Take Care Health Systems. "These free blood pressure screenings reinforce Take Care Clinics’ commitment to offering quality healthcare services that meet the needs of patients and their families."

 

 

In February, Walgreens and Take Care Clinics offered free blood pressure glucose screenings at thousands of locations across the country, offering a convenient access point to receive diabetes awareness and education.

 

 

The company expects to unveil later this summer additional efforts screen, diagnose and treat hypertension.

 

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Teva, Pozen reach settlement for Treximet patent

BY Alaric DeArment

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. The U.S. subsidiary of generic drug maker Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has reached a settlement with Pozen in a patent-infringement suit over a migraine drug, Pozen announced Wednesday.

Teva had filed a regulatory approval application for a generic version of Treximet (sumatriptan and naproxen sodium) with the Food and Drug Administration containing a legal assertion that the drug’s patents were invalid, unenforceable or would not be infringed by a generic version, also known as a Paragraph IV certification. Under the Hatch-Waxman Act of 1984, which created an abbreviated approval pathway for generic pharmaceuticals, Pozen filed the suit against Teva in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. GlaxoSmithKline markets Treximet in the United States under a licensing agreement with Pozen.

Under the agreement, Teva will be removed from the lawsuit, which Pozen also filed against Par Pharmaceutical, Alphapharm and Dr. Reddy’s Labs, but will still be bound by the outcome of the suit or any resulting settlement, Pozen said.

Patents covering Treximet expire in 2025, according to FDA records.

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