PHARMACY

Novartis launches Arcapta Neohaler

BY Alaric DeArment

EAST HANOVER, N.J. — Novartis has launched a new treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, the drug maker said Monday.

Novartis Pharmaceuticals, the U.S. division of the Swiss drug manufacturer, announced the launch of Arcapta Neohaler (indacaterol inhalation powder) in the 75-mcg strength. The Food and Drug Administration approved the drug last July.

The company said the inhaler is designed for the long-term maintenance bronchodilator treatment of airflow obstruction in adults with COPD, which includes the diseases chronic bronchitis and emphysema, though the drug is not approved by the FDA for treating asthma.


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PHARMACY

Walgreens launches health-and-wellness database from its Facebook page

BY Michael Johnsen

ATLANTA — Walgreens on Tuesday partnered with the online platform Sharecare on the launch of a new "Answers" application, which provides access to a comprehensive and searchable drug, supplement and wellness database on Facebook.

The application, which is integrated into Walgreens’ Facebook page, gives Walgreens nearly 2 million followers convenient access to an interactive portal containing health information and resources.

"With the success of our online health initiatives, such as the ability to chat live with a Walgreens pharmacist 24/7, this is yet another example of our commitment to innovation in the digital space that gives people greater access to Walgreens pharmacists and other clinical experts," Walgreens president of e-commerce Sona Chawla said. "Our relationship with Sharecare further extends our Answers promise beyond Walgreens retail locations, providing important healthcare information to customers online, through mobile applications and social media."

In addition to existing applications on the Walgreens Facebook page offering health advice and cost-saving tips, the Answers section provides seamless integration to Sharecare.com content for Walgreens followers. Answers features information related to a broad range of health topics, including prescription drugs, disease symptoms, at-home remedies and over-the-counter recommendations.

As part of its relationship with Sharecare, Walgreens pharmacists will provide answers to the thousands of frequently-asked health questions.


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PHARMACY

Taro shares to trade on NYSE

BY Alaric DeArment

HAWTHORNE, N.Y. — Taro Pharmaceutical Industries will list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange, the Israel-based generic drug maker said Monday.

Starting Thursday, shares of Taro will trade on the exchange under the ticker symbol "TARO" and will concurrently cease to trade on the over-the-counter Pink Sheet markets.

"We are very happy that Taro will soon be listed on the New York Stock Exchange," Taro chairman Dilip Shanghvi said. "This achievement is in line with what we indicated in the past, that Taro would seek re-listing on an exchange once the company is in compliance with its [Securities and Exchange Commission] filing commitments. We are pleased that over the past 18 months, Taro has completed its long-pending audited financial statements and attained full compliance with its SEC reporting obligations, both of which are prerequisites for listing."

Shares of Taro were at $35.36 Monday, down 3.12% from the previous closing price of $36.50.


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