PHARMACY

Sagent launches generic chemotherapy drug

BY Alaric DeArment

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. — Sagent Pharmaceuticals has launched a generic version of a chemotherapy drug, the company said Thursday.

Sagent announced the launch of irinotecan injection, a generic version of Pfizer’s Camptosar, in latex-free, preservative-free, single-dose vials.

Various versions of the drug had sales of about $28 million during the 12-month period ended in March, according to IMS Health.


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Most patients misuse Rx drugs

BY Alaric DeArment

One of the fastest-growing drug trends in the United States isn’t teenagers smoking pot or young adults on ecstasy at dance clubs, but abuse and misuse of legal prescription drugs.


According to a study that Quest Diagnostics released last month, 63% of patients misused their prescription drugs. The study was based on nearly 76,000 laboratory tests for monitoring prescription drug use, and the company said the findings suggested many Americans take prescription drugs in ways that put their health at risk, including missing doses and combining medications without a doctor’s oversight. 


In terms of illegal abuse of prescription drugs, a government study also released last month found that more than 70% of people abusing prescription pain relievers got them from friends or relatives, and usually with the patient’s consent. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about three-quarters of all deaths from drug overdoses result from prescription drugs, mostly opioid painkillers.


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ScriptPro unveils compact, 
efficient robotic system

BY Alaric DeArment

ScriptPro has released a new pharmacy robot that it said would have the smallest footprint of its robotics lineup.


The Mission, Kan.-based pharmacy automation manufacturer announced the launch of the Compact Robotic System, which takes up 7 sq. ft. and is designed for tight spaces and pharmacies with lower volumes that want to improve patient safety and operational efficiency.


“It uses the same dispensing technology and has the same look, feel and user interface as our larger systems,” ScriptPro president and CEO Mike Coughlin said. “It brings the full robotic solution to the middle and lower end of the pharmacy volume bell curve.”


The CRS is designed to fill, label and deliver up to 150 prescriptions per hour and contains 75 universal dispensing cells, which the company said can be easily calibrated on-site by pharmacy staff. It also has two bulk load vial dispensers and supports a number of different vial and bottle types and sizes, filling directly from the dispensing cell into the vial to prevent drug cross-contamination and airborne pill dust. The system prints and applies labels, and delivers the vials uncapped so the pharmacist can inspect and verify them using an onscreen drug image.

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