PHARMACY

Pfizer: Chantix reduces smoking in COPD patients

BY Alaric DeArment

SAN DIEGO More smokers with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease quit smoking using an anti-smoking drug from Pfizer than those taking placebo, according to results of a recent study.

The 12-week study, presented at the annual scientific assembly of the American College of Chest Physicians, showed that 42.3% of smokers with mild or moderate COPD using Chantix (varenicline) quit smoking and were able to stay away from tobacco during the last four weeks of treatment, compared with 8.8% of those taking placebo.

“Quitting smoking is of paramount importance for all smokers, particularly those with a smoking-related illness such as COPD,” University of California Los Angeles emeritis professor of medicine and study investigator Donald Tashkin said in a statement. “This study shows that varenicline is an effective means of smoking cessation for a highly nicotine-dependent, difficult-to-treat group of patients.”

Up to half of smokers may develop COPD, an illness that includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema and affects more than 12 million Americans, according to the American Lung Association.

Though studies have shown Chantix to be effective in patients trying to quite smoking, the Food and Drug Administration in July required it and GlaxoSmithKline’s Zyban (bupropion) to carry Boxed Warnings, the strongest warning the agency can require, to highlight the risks of depression, suicidal thoughts, hostility and behavior changes in patients taking them, while the Federal Aviation Administration banned its use by pilots and air traffic controllers in May 2008.

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Teva rolls out antihistamine generic

BY Alaric DeArment

NORTH WALES, Pa. Generic drug maker Teva Pharmaceuticals has introduced a generic version of a prescription antihistamine.

The Israel-based drug maker’s U.S. subsidiary announced the introduction of fexofenadine hydrochloride and pseudoephedrine hyrdochloride extended-release tablets in the 60-mg/120-mg strength.

The drug is a generic version of Sanofi-Aventis’ Allegra-D and is designed to provide 12-hour relief from allergy symptoms. Allegra products had global sales of $1.02 billion in 2008, according to Sanofi-Aventis financial data.

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NACDS, RollStream develop CPSIA Certificate Exchange Network

BY Michael Johnsen

ALEXANDRIA, Va. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores, with its technology partner RollStream, earlier this month joined together to develop a new tool — the CPSIA Certificate Exchange Network — to assist NACDS members in complying with an upcoming requirement from the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008.

Signed into law in August 2008 and effective by February 2010, CPSIA requires manufacturers to provide general conformance certificates (certificates that certify the product in question is in compliance with all relative regulations) to retailers and distributors with each shipment. The law currently affects all products in commerce that are regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

“It’s everything from prescription products, over-the-counter medicines, cosmetics [and] toys,” said Steve Perlowski, NACDS VP member relations and industry affairs, during a presentation Nov. 4.

The network enables suppliers to post general conformance certificates on a central network powered by RollStream that can be readily accessed by retailers.

To help educate retailers and manufacturers about the new requirement and the Certificate Exchange Network, NACDS is hosting a series of educational webinars each Wednesday in November, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.  Click here to register for one of the upcoming webinars.

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