PHARMACY

PharmaSmart International integrates patient hypertension tracking portal

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK A company that designs and markets blood pressure monitors has integrated with an online health information storage service.

PharmaSmart International announced Wednesday the integration of its patient hypertension tracking portal, Blood Pressure Tracker, with Microsoft HealthVault, allowing users to access and share blood pressure readings from PharmaSmart’s network of pharmacy-based health kiosks.

“PharmaSmart, along with our retail pharmacy partners, is committed to offering the hypertensive patient a more convenient, easy-to-use and affordable way to track and manage their blood pressure between visits to the doctor,” PharmaSmart president Fred Sarkis said. “Our patient with HealthVault makes it easier for millions of Americans to track their blood pressure and then share that information with their family members or healthcare provider.”

Users can obtain a “Smart Card” from a pharmacist, test their blood pressure and access readings online with Blood Pressure Tracker, copying their data to their HealthVault record.

“PharmaSmart and their retail pharmacy partners offer an innovative approach in the management of hypertension,” Microsoft Health Solutions Group director James Mault said. “Aligning HealthVault’s capability with PharmaSmart’s pharmacy-based solutions improves the integration of blood pressure data with other wellness information and delivers information at the point of care.”

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Aurora Health Care to honor cancer survivors

BY Alaric DeArment

MILWAUKEE With more people diagnosed with cancer every year but more of them surviving, a nonprofit healthcare system in eastern Wisconsin plans to honor cancer survivors.

Aurora Health Care, which runs the Aurora Pharmacy chain as well as a network of hospitals and clinics, announced Tuesday that it would mark National Cancer Survivors Day on Saturday with several events in three Wisconsin cities.

“There has been great progress in cancer prevention, early detection and treatment that has resulted in ever-increasing numbers of survivors,” Aurora Health Care VP cancer services Joseph Mirro said. “Now that more patients are being cured of their cancer and living longer, there’s a growing number of survivors with unique needs.”

Events will include a walk and run for cancer in Milwaukee, a gathering in Sheboygan and booths offering cancer screenings and information in Oshkosh.

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FDA gives tentative approval to generic breast cancer treatment

BY Alaric DeArment

ROCKVILLE, Md. The Food and Drug Administration has given tentative approval to a generic drug for treating breast cancer.

The drug, Roxane Labs’ letrozole tablets in the 2.5 mg strength, is a generic version of Novartis’ Femara.

Femara had global sales of $1.13 billion in 2008, according to Novartis financial data. Novartis’ patent on the drug will expire in 2011, according to the FDA’s Orange Book.

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