PHARMACY

Rite Aid expands RX Savings Card program to California

BY Michael Johnsen

CAMP HILL, Pa. Rite Aid on Wednesday announced the expansion of its RX Savings Card program—already available at Rite Aid stores in Michigan, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia—to California.

“The Rite Aid RX Savings Card has been so successful [elsewhere] that we will expand the program nationwide later this month,” stated Bill Wolfe, Rite Aid group vice president, pharmacy. “Residents in those states really embraced the card and in only a few months have saved over $2.5 million on their prescriptions, over-the-counter medicines and Rite Aid brand items. We’re seeing a similar response in California in just the few days since the card was made available.”

Benefits of the free card include:

  • Access to more than 400 generic medications at $8.99 for a 30-day supply and $15.99 for a 90-day supply for each prescription;
  • A 20 percent discount on all other generic medications and brand drug prescriptions;
  • A 30-day supply of select generic oral contraceptives for $19.99; and
  • A 10 percent savings on Rite Aid store brand products, which include more than 1,500 over-the-counter medications.

“Nearly one in five Californians are without health insurance, even though many are steadily employed. Combine that with the high cost of living, and there is a serious need for a card like this to help people take care of themselves and their families,” Wolfe said. “That’s why our list of 30 and 90 day generics at $8.99 and $15.99 cuts across most therapeutic categories and includes some of the most widely used generic drugs such as amlodipine/simvastatin to treat cardiovascular conditions, loratadine for allergies, ranitadine for gastrointestinal conditions, and sertraline which is an antidepressant.”

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Teva’s Azilect slows Parkinson’s disease in trials

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON Results from a Phase III clinical trial have shown that Teva Pharmaceutical’s Azilect 1-mg tablets can slow the progression of the disease, the drug maker announced.

Researchers gave 1,176 Parkinson’s disease patients daily 1- to 2-mg doses of Azilect for 18 months or a placebo for the first nine months and the drug for the second nine months.

Patients who took the 1-mg dose of Azilect showed significant improvement compared with patients in the placebo group.

The Food and Drug Administration approved Azilect in May 2006 as a monotherapy for early-stage ParkinsonOs disease and as an adjunct therapy to levodopa in moderate-to-advanced stages of the disease.

The drug, known generically as rasagiline mesylate, is available in 30 countries. Danish drug maker Lundbeck markets it in Europe, and both companies plan to co-promote it in the United Kingdom, Germany and France.

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Taro to ask for extension on Sun Pharmaceuticals’ offer

BY Alaric DeArment

TEL AVIV,, Israel Taro Pharmaceutical Industries has said it will appeal to Israel’s Supreme Court to contest a ruling in the Tel Aviv District Court regarding India-based Sun Pharmaceuticals’ offer to acquire the Israeli generic drug maker.

The District Court judge had called Taro’s demand for a tender offer from Sun disingenuous, considering Taro’s acceptance of the offer a year ago.

Taro plans to ask the Supreme Court to extend the deadline for Sun’s offer, which was Tuesday at 5 p.m.

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