PHARMACY

Report: Many French pharmacies may be forced to bid adieu

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — More than 5,000 pharmacies in France face a strong risk of bankruptcy following government efforts to contain escalating healthcare costs, Le Parisien reported.

Citing recent data from credit insurance company Coface, the French newspaper reported that as many as 24% of the country’s 22,259 pharmacies were at risk in the face of greater government price controls.

That compares with 126 pharmacies that went out of business last year, the French paper reported.

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PHARMACY

Zipnosis, Park Nicollet Health Services team up with Minn. service cooperative

BY Antoinette Alexander

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Zipnosis, which offers online access to mainstream medicine by providing consumers with simple and convenient online diagnosis and treatment of common health needs, and Park Nicollet Health Services have announced a new initiative with Resource Training and Solutions that will bring online health care to people living in central Minnesota.

Resource Training and Solutions, one of Minnesota’s nine service cooperatives, now will be able to help connect employers with this online healthcare solution, which, according to Zipnosis, will result in costs savings to the employee through out-of-pocket expenses and ultimately help reduce healthcare premiums. Zipnosis and Park Nicollet Health Services noted that they are hoping that many school district and state employees in the region will use the service, thereby helping to also cut costs at the state level.

"This new initiative will not only help fill a gap in care, but it will also reduce the out-of-pocket healthcare costs for patients," stated Zipnosis CEO and founder Jon Pearce. "Our ability to help patients gain quick diagnosis and treatment of their minor health needs from any computer, without worrying about deductibles or whether the clinic is in- or out-of-network, brings huge benefits to these communities."

"We are excited to be expanding the reach of online health care to Central Minnesota, and eager to share the benefits of Zipnosis with companies and their employees throughout the region," added John Misa, Park Nicollet’s chief of primary care. "Our partnership with Zipnosis reflects Park Nicollet’s goal to be a leader in healthcare technology, while preserving our commitment to improving access to health care and providing exceptional care to our patients."

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Perrigo files regulatory application for Taclonex generic

BY Alaric DeArment

ALLEGAN, Mich. — Generic drug maker Perrigo has filed for approval of a drug to treat psoriasis with the Food and Drug Administration.

Perrigo announced Tuesday that it had filed an application with the FDA for calcipotriene and betamethasone dipropionate in the 0.005%/0.064% strength. The drug is a generic version of Leo Pharma’s Taclonex and is used to treat psoriasis vulgaris in adults.

Taclonex had sales of $135 million during the 12-month period ended in November 2010, according to Wolters Kluwer Health. Perrigo included in its application a Paragraph IV certification, a legal assertion that the patent covering Taclonex is invalid, unenforceable or won’t be infringed, attracting a patent infringement lawsuit from Leo, though a different generic company was the first to file for approval with the FDA.

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