PHARMACY

Pradaxa granted preferred formulary status through AARP’s Prescription Solutions

BY Alaric DeArment

RIDGEFIELD, Conn. — A drug for cardiovascular disease made by Boehringer Ingelheim has received preferred formulary status with AARP’s Medicare Part D plans, the drug maker said Thursday.

BI announced that Pradaxa (dabigatran etexilate mesylate) received preferred Tier 2 formulary status through AARP’s pharmacy benefit manager, Prescription Solutions. The Food and Drug Administration approved Pradaxa in October 2010 to reduce the risk of stroke and embolism in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation.

“The addition of Pradaxa to the nation’s largest Part D plans helps ensure that many more NVAF patients have access to this important medication, which in a clinical study has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of stroke compared to warfarin,” Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals VP cardiovascular and metabolic disorders marketing Wa’el Hashad said. “Pradaxa is now on formulary with AARP, Medco, Express Scripts and several more of the nation’s largest managed care providers.”

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PHARMACY

Assured Pharmacy reports spike in Q1 net sales

BY Allison Cerra

FRISCO, Texas — Specialty pharmacy provider Assured Pharmacy said first-quarter net sales jumped to $4.4 million for the period ended March 31, an increase of 22.4% from the year-ago quarter.

The 22.4% increase in sales for the quarter primarily was attributed to an increase in the number of prescriptions dispensed during the period, Assured said.

Meanwhile, basic and diluted net loss per share was 12 cents for first quarter 2011 — thanks to the increased sales and reduced operating expenses, as a result of cost-control initiatives — a 78.9% improvement  compared with a net loss of 57 cents per share in the same period in 2010.

"We are pleased with our strong year-over-year performance for the first quarter. The improved results reflect continued progress in the implementation of our strategies and provide further validation of our business model as we move forward to the expansion phase of our business cycle," said Robert DelVecchio, Assured Pharmacy CEO.

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CDC warns public on zombies. No, really.

BY Michael Johnsen

ATLANTA — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention posted an attention-grabbing page Wednesday titled: “Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse.”

“There are all kinds of emergencies out there that we can prepare for,” the CDC stated on the Web page. “Take a zombie apocalypse for example. … You may laugh now, but when it happens you’ll be happy you read this, and hey, maybe you’ll even learn a thing or two about how to prepare for a real emergency.”

In addition to click-through graphic elements — which can be posted to any website, blog, social networking profile or email signature — that link users to more information, the site actually offers advice on emergency supplies, developing a family disaster plan and what to do when under quarantine.

And it’s working — the faux emergency page with real emergency advice has been picked up by a number of mainstream news outlets, including the Wall Street Journal.

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