PHARMACY

Prasco agrees to distribute authorized generic of Pentasa

BY Alaric DeArment

CINCINNATI — Prasco Labs will distribute an authorized generic version of an ulcerative colitis treatment made by Shire in the event that any other company steps forward to file an abbreviated new drug application for the drug.

Prasco announced an agreement with Shire US Manufacturing for mesalamine controlled-release capsules, an authorized generic of Shire’s Pentasa, in the 250-mg and 500-mg strengths, whereby Prasco will distribute the authorized generic when the Food and Drug Administration approves a generic version of the drug. At present, no generic version is available.

An authorized generic is a branded drug sold under its generic name at a discounted price, usually as part of an agreement between the branded drug’s manufacturer and a third-party company.

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PHARMACY

Medco’s Q4, fiscal-year sales rise

BY Alaric DeArment

FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J. — Sales at Medco Health Solutions increased to $16.9 billion during fourth quarter 2010 and to $66 billion for the fiscal year as a whole, representing respective 11.1% and 10.3% increases over the same periods the year before, the pharmacy benefit manager said Tuesday.

Profits for the quarter were $378.5 million, a 10.8% increase over fourth quarter 2009, while profits for the year were $1.4 billion, an 11.5% increase over fiscal year 2009.

Specialty pharmacy sales for the quarter were nearly $3 billion and were more than $11.3 billion for the year, representing respective increases of 21.3% and 19.1% over the year before. The generic dispensing rate increased by 3.9% to 72.2% for the quarter, while increasing by 3.5% to 71% for the year as a whole.

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Rite Aid expands free Rx delivery

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid has expanded its free prescription delivery service to more than 400 stores in the New York metropolitan area, the retail pharmacy chain announced Monday.

The service allows patients to receive their medications between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m., though they must wait until the next day if they send their prescriptions after 11 a.m., and some limitations apply, such as for medications that require refrigeration.

“At Rite Aid, we understand that our customers’ time is valuable and that they are looking for convenient services that make their life easier,” Rite Aid EVP pharmacy Robert Thompson said. “Our free prescription delivery service makes it easier than ever for our customers in the New York metro area to get the medicine they need when and where they need it. It also helps ensure that they take their medication as prescribed, which helps to improve their overall health and well-being.”

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