PHARMACY

NACDS responds to proposed Rx labeling recommendations

BY Antoinette Alexander

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Following the release of U.S. Pharmacopeia’s Proposed General Chapter Prescription Container Labeling recommendations, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores issued a letter to USP urging flexibility and an open dialogue with pharmacy and prescriber communities as review of the recommendations continues.

"The chain pharmacy industry shares the goal of providing prescription container labels that are useful for patients. Our members have devoted significant resources and time to developing prescription container labels that are designed to provide patients with the useful information that they need to take their medications as prescribed," NACDS stated in its comment letter.

In the letter, NACDS addressed concerns with some of the recommendations, including technological issues, cost concerns, legal restrictions, prescriber requirements, container and label size limitations, as well as linguistic challenges.

NACDS also highlighted the role of pharmacy in delivering medication therapy management services, which can improve medication adherence. Poor medication adherence costs the United States approximately $290 billion annually — 13% of total healthcare expenditures. Providing concise, understandable prescription container labeling can further assist patients in adhering to their medication regimens to improve health and reduce costs.

"We ask USP to consider outreach and further interaction with prescribers, pharmacies and pharmacists for further discussion, and to develop a greater understanding of the issues for pharmacies," the letter stated.

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Intellipharmaceutics seeks to market generic Seroquel XR

BY Alaric DeArment

TORONTO — Canadian drug maker Intellipharmaceutics International is seeking approval for a generic version of a treatment for mental disorders.

Intellipharmaceutics announced Monday that it had filed an application with the Food and Drug Administration for quetiapine fumarate extended-release tablets, a generic version of AstraZeneca’s Seroquel XR.

Seroquel XR is used to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder. It had sales of about $823 million in 2010, according to Intellipharmaceutics. The last of the patents covering Seroquel XR expire in 2017, according to FDA records.

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Vera Begley, wife of former NACDS chairman, dies

BY Alaric DeArment

RICHMOND, Ky. — The wife of former National Association of Chain Drug Stores chairman Robert Begley has died, according to published reports.

In an obituary published last month, the Lexington Herald-Leader, a Kentucky newspaper, reported the death of Vera Begley at the age of 93.

Robert Begley, who died in 1979, founded the Begley Drug Co. and served as NACDS chairman. The Robert B. Begley Award, created in 1980, is named in his honor.

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