PHARMACY

Pharmacists can bridge medication adherence gap

BY Alaric DeArment

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT Taking medications is like doing household chores or getting called for jury duty: Everybody would prefer not to have to do it, but it’s still necessary. The consequences for noncompliance could be unpleasant or severe.

(THE NEWS: CVS Caremark: Medication adherence gets in way of social life, patients say. For the full story, click here)

While many patients may be reluctant to adhere to their medication therapy regimens due to sticker shock, however, CVS Caremark’s recent study revealed several other reasons for noncompliance, which pharmacists are in a good position to address.

As a front line in the healthcare industry, pharmacists can talk to patients and understand some of the psychological and social reasons why they don’t adhere to their therapies. In turn, they can help patients learn that while they may enjoy rebelling against authority figures such as doctors, dislike the drug industry, see the need to take drugs as a nuisance or fear side effects, sticking to their drug therapies is ultimately in their best interest, and their prescribers and pharmacists know their stuff and have their best interests in mind.

Not only would that help patients stay compliant, but it also would help reduce costs for the healthcare industry.

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Perrigo to manufacture Analpram HC for Ferndale Labs

BY Alaric DeArment

ALLEGAN, Mich, Ferndale Labs has named generic drug maker Perrigo as the manufacturer of an authorized generic version of a topical skin cream, Perrigo announced Thursday.

The drug, Analpram HC, is a topical anesthetic and corticosteroid for relieving inflammatory and pruritic forms of corticosteroid-responsive dermatosis. Under the deal, Perrigo will also have the opportunity to distribute authorized generics of other Ferndale drugs.

“We are excited that Ferndale has chosen Perrigo as their preferred partner for authorized generics,” Perrigo chairman and CEO Joseph Papa said.

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Par wins Zegerid patent suit

BY Alaric DeArment

WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. The U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware has ruled in favor of generic drug maker Par Pharmaceutical in a patent litigation suit over a drug used to treat acid reflux, Par announced Thursday.

The court ruled that the University of Missouri’s patents covering omeprazole and sodium bicarbonate capsules in the 20-mg/1.1-g and 40-mg/1.1-g strengths and oral suspension powders in the 20-mg/1.68-g and 4- mg/1.68-g strengths are invalid. The Food and Drug Administration recently was granted tentative approval for both strengths of the capsule version.

Omeprazole and sodium bicarbonate is a generic version of Santarus’s drug Zegerid. Patents for the capsules and oral suspension powder are set to expire in 2016, according to FDA records. According to Santarus financial data, Zegerid capsules and oral suspension powder had combined sales of $119.3 million in 2009.

Santarus said Wednesday that it would appeal the District Court’s decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

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