PHARMACY

PCMA drug diversion ad draws criticism

BY Alaric DeArment

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — An organization representing independent retail pharmacies is criticizing a new ad by a pharmacy benefit manager industry group, calling the ad "irresponsible."

The National Community Pharmacists Association condemned an advertisement by the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association that seemed to place some of the blame for drug diversion on pharmacy retailers, asking "Why is the drug store lobby trying to limit pharmacy fraud and abuse enforcement."

The ad was released in response to a hearing Thursday of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, dubbed "Prescription Drug Diversion: Combating the Scourge." The hearing also included testimony from National Association of Chain Drug Stores VP government affairs and pharmacy adviser Kevin Nicholson, who detailed some of the methods that chain pharmacy retailers use to prevent diversion, a major component of what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has called the growing problem of prescription drug abuse in the United States.

"This divisive and deceptive ad marks a new low," NCPA SVP government affairs John Coster said. "It’s like the pot calling the kettle black. PBM mail-order outlets push huge quantities of controlled substances out the door each and every day to patients they don’t know — many of whom don’t need them or order them — and get delivered to unsecured mail boxes. In fact, mail order was prominently mentioned as a problem by Kentucky attorney general Jack Conway during his testimony before Congress [Thursday]."

 


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PHARMACY

Watson launches authorized generic menopause drug

BY Alaric DeArment

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Watson has launched an authorized generic drug for treating postmenopausal women, the company said Friday.

Watson announced the launch of progesterone capsules in the 100-mg and 200-mg strengths, an authorized generic version of Abbott Labs’ Prometrium, under an agreement with Abbott. Abbott will manufacture the drug and supply it to Watson, which will market and distribute it and share profits. Other terms were not disclosed, the companies said.

The drug is used to prevent endometrial hyperplasia in postmenopausal women who have not undergone a hysterectomy and who are receiving conjugated estrogen tablets.

Prometrium had sales of about $198 million during the 12-month period ended in January, according to IMS Health.

 


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PHARMACY

Teva launches generic version of Prometrium

BY Allison Cerra

JERUSALEM — A generic drug maker has launched its version of an Abbott Labs drug.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries said it launched progesterone capsules in the 100-mg and 200-mg strengths, a generic version of Prometrium.

Prometrium is indicated for use in the prevention of endometrial hyperplasia in nonhysterectomized postmenopausal women who are receiving conjugated estrogen tablets. The drug also is indicated for use in secondary amenorrhea.

For the 12 months ended Jan. 31, Prometrium had sales of approximately $198 million, according to IMS Health data.


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