PHARMACY

New flu vaccine will mirror this past season’s

BY Allison Cerra

WASHINGTON — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that the Food and Drug Administration has recommended that the flu vaccine for the 2011-2012 season protect against the same strains as it did this year.

The FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee recommended that the vaccine will protect those immunized against H1N1, H3N2 and a type of influenza-B virus, the same formulation as this past season’s vaccine.

This past 2010-2011 flu season, outpatient visits for influenza-like illness peaked at 4.6% during the week ended Feb. 19, according to the CDC. What’s more, based on the percentage of deaths resulting from pneumonia or flu, the number of flu-associated pediatric deaths reported and the percentage of visits to outpatient clinics for ILI, the CDC reported that the 2010-2011 flu season was less severe than the 2009-2010 and 2007-2008 seasons, but more severe than the 2008-2009 flu season.

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PHARMACY

Impax confirms patent challenge for generic Detrol

BY Alaric DeArment

HAYWARD, Calif. — Pfizer has filed suit against generic drug maker Impax Labs in connection with the latter’s attempt to market a generic drug for bladder problems.

Impax said Friday that Pfizer filed a patent infringement suit in the U.S. District Court of the District of New Jersey in connection with Impax’s attempt to market a generic version of Detrol (tolterodine tartrate) immediate-release tablets in the 1-mg and 2-mg strengths. The drug is used to treat overactive bladder and urinary incontinence.

Impax filed a regulatory approval application with the Food and Drug Administration for the drug that contained a Paragraph IV certification, a legal assertion that patents covering Detrol are invalid, unenforceable or won’t be infringed.

Detrol had sales of about $62 million during the 12-month period ended in March, according to Wolters Kluwer Health.

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Navarro brings business online

BY Antoinette Alexander

MIAMI — Navarro Discount Pharmacy, a Hispanic-owned pharmacy chain and an MBF Healthcare portfolio company, has added e-commerce capabilities to its existing website. The retailer also plans to add in the fall an interactive social media retail forum, video, content on family and health-related topics, and reviews.

"The e-commerce capability allows us to better serve our loyal customers already familiar with the Navarro brand and its discount pricing, and, in addition, [allows us to] reach out to the growing Hispanic population in the [United States], Central/South America, the Caribbean and internationally," stated Juan Ortiz, CFO of Navarro Discount Pharmacy, which operates 28 stores.

In addition to prescription management tools currently found on the website, Navarro.com now sells its product line across a variety of categories, including fragrance, over-the-counter, health, beauty, appliances, household, food and a large assortment of niche, hard-to-find Hispanic products.

By 2012, it is estimated that nearly 30 million U.S. Hispanics will be online. Many of them will be native-born Hispanics rather than immigrants. Proud of their Hispanic origins, these consumers are in search of products familiar to them from their countries of origin, such as food, tea, nectars and cola, soap, cleaners and such entertainment as domino tables and cards, the company stated. Over the years, Navarro said it had received repeated requests to ship its products in the United States to New York, Texas, California and as far west as Alaska.

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