PHARMACY

Publix pharmacies offering free metformin in line with diabetes program debut

BY Allison Cerra

LAKELAND, Fla. Publix launched the first phase of its new diabetes management system, a multifaceted program designed to assist customers and associates living with diabetes.

In its first phase, the program offers diabetic patients free medication, online resources and the benefit of pharmacists. At the core of the program is the free generic immediate-release metformin (500 mg, 850 mg or 1,000 mg) — the generic form of the drug Glucophage. Additionally, the program helps diabetics manage their medication, compliance, monitoring, education, nutrition and exercise.

“As both a supermarket and pharmacy, Publix is the ideal setting in which to promote healthy living,” said Maria Brous, Publix media and community relations director. “We are uniquely positioned to educate our customers and associates on the nutritional aspects of living with diabetes. As a grocer of choice for so many, we saw an opportunity to better serve the health and maintain the wellness of those leaning to live with and manage their diabetes.”

In addition to receiving free metformin, Publix Pharmacy customers will have all their maintenance medications enrolled into Publix’s Auto Refill program. This will ensure all prescriptions are refilled when due. A reminder call, to the telephone number on file, will be placed to customers when prescriptions are ready for pick-up.

A robust online library of diabetes-related content, including educational articles, interactive tools for risk assessments, quizzes, podcasts and videos will be available at www.publix.com/diabetes. Customers also are encouraged to sign-up and receive a monthly e-newsletter, which will contain additional diabetes-related articles, a featured recipe of the month and special offers from Publix and Publix Pharmacy. Included in the program is a voucher for a free Publix brand glucose meter.

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Late-stage clinical trial of Avastin fails to meet expectations, Genentech says

BY Alaric DeArment

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. A late-stage clinical trial of a Genentech drug for men with late-stage prostate cancer has failed, the biotech company announced Friday.

Genentech, part of Swiss drug maker Roche, announced that a phase 3 trial of Avastin (bevacizumab) combined with prednisone and the chemotherapy drug docetaxel did not extend the amount of time that patients survived, compared with chemotherapy and prednisone alone.

The drug already has approval from the Food and Drug Administration for treating tumors and cancers of the lungs, colon, rectum, breasts, kidneys and brain.

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Abbott’s submits supplemental approval application for Lupron Depot to FDA

BY Alaric DeArment

ABBOTT PARK, Ill. Abbott is hoping that the Food and Drug Administration will approve one of its drugs as a treatment for advanced prostate cancer.

The Chicago-based drug maker announced Thursday that the FDA accepted its supplemental approval application for Lupron Depot (leuprolide acetate) in the 45-mg strength. The drug, an injectable, works by suppressing production of testosterone for six months. It is currently available in 7.5-mg, 22.5-mg and 30-mg formulations that work for one, three and four months.

“For many patients with advanced prostate cancer, Lupron Depot is an important treatment option because it can help manage the symptoms of their disease,” Abbott VP global pharmaceutical development Eugene Sun said in a statement. “Abbott is seeking approval for a new six-month formulation to provide greater convenience and dosing flexibility to physicians and patients who could benefit form this medication.”

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