PHARMACY

Octapharma launches bleeding disorder treatment

BY Alaric DeArment

HOBOKEN, N.J. A drug for treating the bleeding disorder von Willebrand disease has become available, manufacturer Octapharma USA said Thursday.

Octapharma announced the launch of Wilate (von Willebrand factor and coagulation factor VIII complex [human]), approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treating spontaneous or trauma-induced bleeding episodes in patients with severe VWD, as well as mild or moderate forms of the illness.

“Wilate is an innovative treatment option for patients with von Willebrand disease that offers a high-purity [von Willebrand factor-factor VIII] complex with a physiologic ration of FVIII and VWF, double virus inactivation, convenient dosing and clinical efficacy, safety and tolerability proven in adult and pediatric populations,” Octapharma USA president Flemming Nielsen said.

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Pfizer acquires rights to terguride

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Pfizer will acquire worldwide rights to a drug for treating pulmonary arterial hypertension, the drug maker said Wednesday.

Pfizer announced it would acquire terguride, an investigational drug, from Germany-based Ergonex Pharma. Under the agreement, Pfizer will support completion of phase 2 clinical trials of the drug and have exclusive worldwide rights to commercialize the drug, except in Japan. Ergonex will receive milestone and royalty payments.

“Pfizer’s unique business unit structure positions us to advance a broad portfolio of innovative research programs designed to lead to a diversity of products, including highly specialized ones in disease areas like PAH,” Pfizer specialty care business unit president Geno Germano said. “In the case of terguride, we are pleased that we can support its continued development given our commitment to advancing science in PAH and to bring new, potentially disease-modifying treatments to patients.”

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USP recommends prescription labeling be standardized

BY Alaric DeArment

ROCKVILLE, Md. An advisory panel of the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention has recommended standardizing prescription labeling so patients can more easily understand the instructions, USP said.

USP, a nonprofit organization that sets standards for the identity, strength, quality and purity of medicines in the United States, cited Institute of Medicine statistics indicating that limited health literacy affects 90 million adults, thus reducing their ability to benefit from the healthcare system.

“Patients have the right to understand health information that is necessary to safely care for themselves and their families,” USP Health Literacy Prescription Container Labeling Advisory Panel co-chairwoman Joanne Schwartzberg said. “Confusing medication labels is one area that can be improved considerably. As most of us who have ever received a prescription drug know, the contact and appearance of medication labels can vary widely.”

Recommendations included simplifying language on labels by eliminating unfamiliar terms and unclear medical jargon, using explicit language to describe dosing and interval instructions and improving readability by using clearer fonts.

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