PHARMACY

Octapharma USA reintroduces Octagam 5%

BY Alaric DeArment

HOBOKEN, N.J. — A drug for treating immune system disorders is available again following a voluntary market withdrawal last summer.

Octapharma USA said Wednesday that Octagam (immune globulin intravenous [human] 5% liquid preparation) again was available for purchase. The Food and Drug Administration approved its reintroduction on Nov. 3.

The company started a voluntary market withdrawal of the 5% strength of the drug in August 2010 after patients reported internal blood clots known as thromboembolic events, in which a clot or thrombus forms locally in a blood vessel or breaks loose and blocks another vessel.

"It is a very exciting time for patients throughout the United States as they again have access to Octagam 5%, a therapy that has long been valued by the medical community for patient tolerability," Octapharma USA president Flemming Nielsen said. "We have seen over the last year that there are industry-wide concerns over [thromboembolic events] connected with multiple immune globulin products that remained on the market while we have implemented enhanced safety measures for Octagam 5%."

 


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PHARMACY

Navarro Discount Pharmacy celebrates opening of 30th store

BY Antoinette Alexander

MIAMI — Navarro Discount Pharmacy, a Hispanic-owned pharmacy chain and an MBF Healthcare portfolio company, has opened its 30th store in Homestead in the Homestead Pavilion Shopping Center.

For added convenience and improved customer service, the pharmacy department has been moved to the front of the new 11,280-sq.-ft. store. The store layout features new colors and enhanced signage in English and Spanish, wider aisles, a larger fragrance section with added light boxes, and more products in the refrigerated food and dairy section. Services for customers include a pediatric window for busy parents, compounding pharmacy services, a free Diabetes Club for adults and children with diabetes, and free prescription delivery for all customers.

Navarro’s shelves in Homestead are stocked with ethnic products for the Mexican community, including Jumex nectars, an extensive variety of chili peppers, piñatas and Hispanic products from Goya and Gamesa. Signature products for Hispanics also available in the Homestead store include Café La Llave Expresso coffee and Fabuloso multipurpose cleaner, plus such popular brands as Valentini, El Sembrador and La Fe. Navarro’s new Vida Mia private-label brand products, with labels in English and Spanish, also are available in the store.

“Due to the strength of the Navarro brand in the Hispanic community, the new Homestead store, our southernmost store, has had excellent traffic and higher than normal opening sales,” stated Juan Ortiz, CEO of Navarro Discount Pharmacy. “There is a tremendous need locally for a community pharmacy such as Navarro and a lot of pent up demand.” As part of Navarro’s 22-store expansion strategy, the next store opening after Homestead is Pembroke Pines in Broward County in the spring of 2012.

Attending the ribbon-cutting ceremony and grand opening were Homestead mayor Steven Bateman, vice mayor Jon Burgess and Greater Homestead/Florida City Chamber of Commerce chairman Linda Hicks. The first 200 customers received a free Navarro reusable bag filled with product, there was free product sampling throughout the day and special 2-for-1 product offers. Representatives from Florida Health College, Dade Medical College and the American Heart Association staffed tables and administered free vascular, glucose and vitals screenings for customers.

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PHARMACY

Pfizer completes Excaliard acquisition

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK — Pfizer completed its acquisition of a drug maker that focuses on the development of skin scarring treatments.

Pfizer said its acquisition of Excaliard Pharmaceuticals will allow the company to develop "new and innovative treatments to address unmet medical needs," noting that there currently is no excessive skin scarring treatment approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Financial terms of the deal, which was announced last month, were not disclosed; however, Pfizer said it provided Excaliard’s shareholders — which include Isis Pharmaceuticals, Alta Partners, ProQuest Investments and RiverVest Venture Partners — an upfront payment and will make contingent payments if certain milestones are achieved in the future.


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