PHARMACY

Rite Aid offers Prescription Advisor reports

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid is offering personalized reports designed to increase medication adherence, the company said Tuesday.

The retail pharmacy chain announced the availability of Rite Care Prescription Advisor reports to show whether patients are taking prescribed medications as prescribed. Centered around consultations with pharmacists, the reports show a compliance score for each prescribed medication in the form of an easy-to-read line graph. Scores also are calculated and graphed across multiple medications used to treat the same or related conditions and combined for an overall score.

Participation in the program is optional, and those who choose to take part will receive a complete report, the company said. But Rite Aid said its pharmacists already were using the reports in their day-to-day interactions with patients. The company also is promoting the program in newspaper circulars and by including a snapshot of patients’ report on their private prescription information and a suggestion that they speak with the pharmacist about the program’s details.

"We’re witnessing a new era of patient care that is more effectively utilizing community pharmacists to ensure that medications are taken as prescribed, which can lead to better patient outcomes and lower overall healthcare costs," Rite Aid EVP pharmacy Robert Thompson said. "At Rite Aid, we believe face-to-face counseling is critical to improving therapeutic outcomes. The Rite Care Prescription Advisor is a new tool designed to do just that by facilitating meaningful face-to-face counseling and enhancing the pharmacist-patient relationship."


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PHARMACY

Amgen to acquire Kai for $315 million

BY Alaric DeArment

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Biotech manufacturer Amgen will acquire the private South San Francisco, Calif.-based drug developer Kai Pharmaceuticals for $315 million, the companies said Tuesday.

The deal includes the acquisition of KAI-4169, an experimental drug Kai is developing for secondary hyperparathyroidism in patients with chronic kidney disease who are on dialysis. Amgen has provided a loan to fund phase-3 clinical studies of the drug and will acquire rights to it worldwide, except for Japan.

"Kai has demonstrated encouraging results in the clinic," Amgen EVP research and development Sean Harper said. "We are excited about acquiring Kai, as well as the opportunity to potentially deliver a novel therapy for chronic kidney disease patients on dialysis suffering from secondary hyperparathyroidism."


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PHARMACY

FDA approves Watson diarrhea drug

BY Alaric DeArment

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a generic version of a drug for diarrhea made by Watson, the company said Tuesday.

Watson announced the approval of vancomycin hydrochloride capsules in the 125-mg and 250-mg strengths. Vancomycin hydrochloride is used to treat diarrhea associated with Clostridium difficile and enterocolitis caused by Staphylococcus aureus, including methicillin-resistant strains.

The drug is a generic version of ViroPharma’s Vancocin, which had sales of $332 million during the 12-month period ended in February, according to IMS Health.


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