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Stiefel acquires eczema remedy currently in phase-3 trials in the U.S.

BY Michael Johnsen

LONDON — Stiefel, a GlaxoSmithKline company, on Monday acquired the eczema remedy Toctino (alitretinoin) from Basilea Pharmaceutica.

“Toctino is an important and growing product that complements the Stiefel portfolio and offers a proven therapy for patients with a significant unmet medical need," stated Simon Jose, Stiefel president. "This acquisition gives us an immediate opportunity to develop and expand the availability of this new and innovative product of value, and reinforces Stiefel and GSK’s commitment to dermatology.”

Toctino is a once-daily oral retinoid and the only prescription medicine specifically approved for the treatment of severe chronic hand eczema unresponsive to potent topical steroids in adults. It is commercially available in 14 countries, approved in an additional 15 countries, and is in a phase-3 trial in the United States. In 2011, worldwide sales of Toctino were $34.2 million.

Under the terms of the agreement, Stiefel will acquire all Toctino patent rights, trademarks and product registrations owned by Basilea, and will license certain clinical information and product know-how from Basilea. Stiefel will be responsible for the product’s further development, manufacture and commercialization worldwide.

Basilea will receive an initial payment of $226.8 million in cash from Stiefel, and is eligible to receive further payments of up to $77.7 million upon FDA approval of the product in the United States, and double-digit success payments on U.S. net sales beginning three years after launch of the product in the United States.

The transaction is subject to competition approval in Germany.

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Walgreens: Educating patients with diabetes on insulin injection improves adherence

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — A new Walgreens study released Thursday found that a pharmacist-led training and counseling program for patients receiving an injectable diabetes medication improved medication adherence by 24%.

“Walgreens has nearly 26,000 pharmacists who are clinically trained and uniquely positioned to help patients with diabetes overcome any concerns and fears around self-injection, which can be obstacles to effectively self-managing their condition,” stated Jeff Kang, Walgreens SVP health-and-wellness services and solutions. “To date, more than 23,000 patients have participated in the diabetes injection training; demonstrating the widespread patient interest in this type of additional care pharmacists can provide.”

The study evaluated Walgreens’ first nationwide self-injection training program for diabetes patients prescribed to a self-injectable diabetes medication. For the study, Walgreens pharmacists trained more than 4,500 patients starting the medication for the first time on appropriate injection technique, side effect management and the importance of adherence to therapy. Pharmacists also provided a follow-up assessment at the patients’ next refill.

Initial results showed that patients who received two counseling sessions with a pharmacist had an additional eight days of therapy compared with a usual care control group in addition to the improved medication adherence.

The study, titled "Initial Impact of Medication Adherence of Diabetes Injectable Medication Through Pharmacist-Led Injection Training and Counseling," was presented at the American Diabetes Association’s 72nd Scientific Sessions, June 8 to 12 in Philadelphia.

 


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A.SCHAFER says:
Jun-20-2012 07:42 am

To gain more insights as to what US Pharmacists would recommend to improve adherence please see this primary market research report: http://www.isrreports.com/industry-reports/adherence-and-compliance

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Kroger: Customer First strategy contributes to 34 consecutive quarters of positive IDs

BY Michael Johnsen

CINCINNATI — Kroger on Thursday posted its 34th consecutive quarter of positive identical-supermarket sales, vetting the company’s approach to competing in the food industry not as a traditional food retailer, but as a retailer that happens to sell its customers a lot of food.

"Identical-store sales are the most visible indicator of a retailer’s relevancy to its customers," David Dillon, Kroger chairman and CEO, told analysts Thursday morning. "Customers [are] coming from a much broader base than just food retailers," he said. When Kroger analyzes its top competitors market by market, the top two or three competitors are not grocers, Dillon said.

"Despite a difficult competitive and consumer environment for conventional grocers, Kroger continues to perform well, as [its] Customer First strategy continues to resonate," noted Deutsche Bank research analyst Charles Grom in a research note published Wednesday. Kroger’s 34th consecutive quarter of same-store sales growth reflects Kroger’s key advantages, Grom added, including lower prices, a loyalty card program that uses learnings from consumer research firm dunnhumbyUSA, an extensive store-brand portfolio and a strong financial management structure.

"By focusing on customers, we’re defining the business that we’re in by how the customers think about it," Dillon said, and it’s that perspective that’s helping to drive sustainable growth through a tough economy. "It’s almost a classic business school case study that shows how you define your market and how you think of yourselves will define who you become."

For example, one of the businesses Kroger has emphasized is its retail pharmacy, which has been realizing identical-sales growth in the double-digits. Mike Schlotman, CFO and SVP of Kroger, credited half of that sales growth to captured Express Script prescriptions from Walgreens, and the other half to improved pharmacy performance. "Even without Express Scripts, pharmacy had a very strong identical-sales growth," Dillon said.

Pharmacy same-store sales will decrease going forward due to the large generic wave going through 2012, but that won’t impact overall same-store sales, Schlotman noted. Kroger continues to expect identical-supermarket sales growth, excluding fuel, of 3% to 3.5%. In accordance with Kroger’s original guidance, this includes the expected negative effect on sales from prescription drugs coming off patent.

Kroger sales were up 5.8% to $29.1 billion for the first quarter ended May 19, the grocer reported Thursday. Total sales, excluding fuel, increased 4.3% over the same period last year. Identical-supermarket sales, without fuel, increased 4.2% in the first quarter over the same period last year.

Based on the strong results in the first quarter, the company increased its earnings per share guidance to $2.33 to $2.40 per diluted share for fiscal 2012. The original guidance was $2.28 to $2.38 per diluted share. “Kroger’s solid first-quarter performance demonstrates that our Customer First strategy continues to resonate with customers,” Dillon said.

Separately, the company today announced that the board authorized a new $1 billion share repurchase program that replaces the prior authorization, which was exhausted on June 12.

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