PHARMACY

Purdue Pharma drug ‘significantly’ reduces time to fall back asleep in insomnia patients, study finds

BY Alaric DeArment

STAMFORD, Conn. — An insomnia drug made by Purdue Pharma "significantly" reduced the time it took patients to return to sleep after they’d woke up in the middle of the night, according to a new study.

The placebo-controlled study, published in the journal Sleep, tested the drug Intermezzo (zolpidem tartrate) sublingual tablets on 295 adults with primary insomnia and difficulty returning to sleep after waking up in the middle of the night. Purdue said Intermezzo was the only drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treating such patients.

"In this outpatient pivotal trial, patients taking Intermezzo reported significantly reduced time to return to sleep than those taking placebo, which confirms that patients who wake in the middle of the night and have difficulty returning to sleep have an important treatment option to consider," study author and director of the Sleep Disorders and Research Center at Detroit’s Henry Ford Hospital Thomas Roth said.

Patients in the study were randomized to receive 3.5 mg of Intermezzo or placebo, and while all the patients took the 3.5 mg dose, only the 1.75 mg dose has the FDA’s approval for use in women, the company said. Over four weeks, the drug "significantly" reduced patient-estimated latency to sleep onset following middle-of-the-night awakenings compared with placebo, the study found.


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PHARMACY

Innovation appoints Stephen Donohue as regional VP sales, chain, high-volume

BY Alaric DeArment

JOHNSON CITY, N.Y. — Pharmacy automation system manufacturer Innovation has appointed Stephen Donohue as divisional VP sales, chain and high volume, the company said Thursday.

Innovation, which makes the PharmASSIST automation system, said Donohue would lead all the company’s sales and marketing activity for the retail chain, mail order and central fill markets.

Donohue has worked in sales and senior sales management roles in various pharmacy markets for more than 30 years, most recently as regional sales manager with pharmacy, workflow and inventory management firm Health Business Systems, which works with the retail, institutional, nursing home and mail-order pharmacy markets. Before that, he had senior management positions with ScriptPro and BSI Business Systems.

"Steve brings a wealth of industry experience, leadership skills and sales savvy to the Innovation team," Innovation EVP global business development Doyle Jensen said. "He has a proven track record of success at every level of his career."


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PHARMACY

Rexall Pharma Plus pharmacists administered 190K flu shots this season

BY Antoinette Alexander

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario — The team of pharmacists at Rexall Pharma Plus administered 190,000 of the more than 200,000 flu shots provided by pharmacists in Ontario this flu season, the Canadian retailer announced on Thursday.

Rexall Pharma Plus offered flu shots at all of its more than 250 Ontario pharmacies any time, with no appointment necessary. Rexall is Katz Group Canada’s flagship national chain.

“On behalf of the entire team at Rexall Pharma Plus, I would like to thank our exceptional team of pharmacists for their commitment to their patients’ health,” stated Frank Scorpiniti, CEO of Rexall Pharma Plus. “By providing flu shots any time at any of our Ontario pharmacies with no appointment necessary, our pharmacists made it easier than ever for Ontarians to receive their influenza vaccinations and protect themselves and their families from the flu. With the flu season still upon us, our pharmacists are always available until the end of the season.”

Ontario community pharmacists joined their colleagues in Alberta and British Columbia this flu season in helping to immunize patients against the influenza virus for the first time after the Government of Ontario expanded pharmacists’ scope of practice in October 2012.

The Public Health Agency of Canada estimates that between 2,000 and 8,000 Canadians die each year from the flu and its complications, with thousands more becoming seriously ill and requiring hospitalization.


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