PHARMACY

Schnucks introduces medication disposal program

BY Drew Buono

ST. LOUIS Schnucks Pharmacies is introducing RxMEds Take Back, a new program to help its customers dispose of unwanted medications including liquid, capsules and powder drugs.

The program is funded by a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency and according to Schnucks director of pharmacy Bob Mueller, it is a pilot program which is the first of its kind in the nation.

“Literally tons of unwanted pharmaceuticals and personal care products enter the environment through sewage each year,” said Mueller. “RxMeds gives our communities the opportunity to take corrective action and help reverse some of the ill effects unwanted medications are having on our water supply and on our environment.” Schnucks will track the product which will enable the EPA to more closely study the amount of medication that is disposed of on a regular basis.

The stores cannot accept any controlled substances, medical equipment or household hazardous waste under law. Customers should bring back the medications in their original container, and for security purposes, customers will be asked to wait as the medication is identified.

On the second and fourth Thursday of each month, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., pharmacists in 20 metro area Schnucks stores will accept the medications.

A complete list of stores offering the program is available at Schnuck’s website, www.schnucks.com/pharmacy/rxreturns.asp.

Price Chopper, too, is offering a medication disposal program for its customers in 66 stores with pharmacies. The program will run until Saturday, Feb. 2, 2008, and if it succeeds, it may extend beyond, according to Price Chopper’s vice president of pharmacy, Vincent Mainella.

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Ranbaxy, GSK settle over Imitrex litigation

BY Drew Buono

HARYANA, India Ranbaxy Laboratories has settled litigation with GlaxoSmithKline related to sumatriptan succinate tablets, the generic of GlaxoSmithKline’s drug Imitrex, according to published reports.

The settlement will allow Ranbaxy to exclusively sell the generic for 180 days starting December this year. Under the terms of the settlement, Ranbaxy can distribute a generic version of sumatriptan in 25 mg, 50 mg and 100 mg doses.

Analysts expect the company to make around $100 million in sumatriptan sales in the U.S. during the exclusivity period. Sumatriptan sales in the U.S. are worth $985 million, according to IMS data.

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FDA delays Kynapid decision pending final review

BY Drew Buono

VANCOUVER, Canada The Food and Drug Administration has delayed its decision on an application for the heart treatment drug Kynapid, according to published reports. The drug manufacturer Cardiome Pharma and its co-development partner Astellas Pharma US said yesterday that the FDA did not provide an action letter by the expected date of Jan. 19.

The application for Kynapid (vernakalant hydrochloride), based on a five-year clinical development program, was submitted in December 2006. In December 2007, the FDA’s cardiovascular and renal drugs advisory committee voted 6-2 in favor of recommending to the FDA that Kynapid be approved for the rapid conversion of acute atrial fibrillation to sinus rhythm.

“While we look forward to the FDA reaching a decision, we respect their need for additional time to review the Kynapid’s application,” said William Fitzsimmons, senior vice-president for research and development at Astellas.

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