PHARMACY

Part D helps generics eat into brand name heartburn drug market share

BY Drew Buono

NEW YORK With Medicare Part D’s prescription drug plans seeing an increase in enrollment in 2006, sales of heartburn medications rose as well, according to the Associated Press. The plans, though, focus on generic medications like Prilosec’s omeprazole over such market giants as Protonix and Nexium.

Heartburn medications were the second largest class of drug by sales and grossed almost $14 billion last year. The IMS reports that Part D had such an effect on the amount of generic omeprazole sold in 2006, “that the plan’s use of the drug exceeded the proton pump inhibitor market by 11 percent.

The heartburn market will only get more cluttered with drugs in the future, as not only brand name drugs will compete with each other and generics, but generics will also be in competition with one another with the final approval granted to Teva Pharmaceuticals to release a generic version of Protonix.

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United Supermarkets to open first health care clinics in west Texas

BY Adam Kraemer

LUBBOCK, Texas United Supermarkets, a regional family-owned grocery chain with stores in 26 markets throughout north and west Texas is joining forces with Family Medicine Centers to offer a Living Well ExpressCare clinic in its Amarillo, Texas store beginning next month.

The clinic will offer primary medical services to store guests at United’s 45th and Bell location beginning Sept. 1. It will be located next to the pharmacy, allowing patients to get their prescriptions filled immediately at the same location.

United announced that similar facilities, the first in-store health clinics in west Texas, also are under construction in two United stores in Lubbock, as well as the new Market Street store being built in Frisco, near Dallas, according to the retailer.

“The need for accessible, affordable, high-quality health care in our country has never been greater, as studies indicate that nearly a third of the U.S. population does not have a family physician,” stated Mark Yowell, Specialty Division vice president of United Supermarkets. “[The clinics] “will allow us to focus attention on the wellness and nutrition products and services available in our stores.”

The facility will be open seven days a week, maintaining operating hours similar to those of the store’s pharmacy. It will be staffed by a licensed nurse practitioner or physician assistant under the supervision of a licensed physician.

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FDA approves Acatvis’ generic Duragesic patch

BY Drew Buono

MORRISTOWN, N.J. Actavis, the generic pharmaceutical company announced today that it has received approval from the Food and Drug Administration to market Fentanyl, the generic equivalent of the pain patch Duragesic.

President and chief executive officer Robert Wessmann said, “The addition of transdermal fentanyl is representative of our continued effort to expand the depth and breadth of our product portfolio, and highlights our product development expertise in specialty generic products.”

Annually, the brand and generic sales of Fentanyl in the U.S. were approximately $1.2 billion for the twelve months ending June 2007 according to IMS health data.

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