PHARMACY

Novartis’ Diovan HCT wins HCPC’s Compliance Package of the Year award

BY Alaric DeArment

RICHMOND, Va. — A blood pressure drug made by Swiss drug maker Novartis has won an award from the Healthcare Compliance Packaging Council.

Novartis Diovan HCT (valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide) won the HCPC’s Compliance Package of the Year award at the council’s RxAdherence 19th annual symposium for its Shellpak packaging design, made by product packaging manufacturer MeadWestvaco Corp. Anderson Packaging, part of AmerisourceBergen Packaging Group, handles the drug’s fulfillment.

“The Diovan HCT design is a great collaboration between the teams at Novartis, MWV and Anderson,” Anderson Packaging senior director of marketing and development services Justin Schroeder said. “The package is well thought out, facilitating patient compliance and adherence [and] supporting patient education and regulatory requirements, while at the same time creating a convenient format for the end user.”

Shellpak is designed to deliver medication in single, controlled doses. Novartis also uses the large, flat label space that Shellpak provides to include an extended content label that educates patients about the importance of adhering to their dosing regimen.

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Report: Takeda to acquire Nycomed in $12 billion deal

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Japan-based Takeda Pharmaceutical may acquire Switzerland’s Nycomed for $12 billion, according to published reports.

Reuters reported Thursday that Takeda was in talks to buy Nycomed in order to expand its presence in the European market. Most of Takeda’s business is in Asia and the United States.

Nycomed makes treatments for such diseases as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic pain, osteoporosis and others.

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J&J recalls lots of Prezista amid odor reports

BY Alaric DeArment

HIGH WYCOMBE, United Kingdom — A subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson is recalling several batches of an HIV drug after reports of a strange odor that may have come from the shipping pallets.

Janssen-Cilag International said it would recall five lots of Prezista (darunavir) due to consumer reports of a musty or moldy smell coming from them. The odor is believed to result from traces of the chemical TBA, which is used in the construction of the pallets. The recalled lots were found in Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany and Austria.

TBA, also called 2,4,6 tribromoanisole, is a chemical byproduct of preservatives used in shipping pallets. While the chemical is not toxic, many consider the smell offensive, and some patients have reported temporary gastrointestinal symptoms.

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