PHARMACY

US WorldMeds introduces Alsuma

BY Alaric DeArment

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — US WorldMeds has announced a new treatment for migraines, the drug maker said Wednesday.

The company announced the launch of Alsuma auto-injector (sumatriptan), which injects the drug sumatriptan under the skin via a single-use, prefilled auto injector. The company is selling the drug under a licensing agreement from King Pharmaceuticals.

“Migraine headaches continue to be a significant problem for more than 30 million Americans, nearly half of whom are undiagnosed,” said Dennis O’Brien, president of King subsidiary Meridian Medical Technologies. “Alsuma is a natural extension of King’s existing portfolio of acute drug-delivery products.”

The U.S. market for sumatriptan was about $203 million during the 12-month period ended in March 2010, according to IMS Health.

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NACDS supports repeal of 1099 reporting mandate

BY Alaric DeArment

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — An amendment to remove certain reporting requirements from the 1099 business tax form is winning praise from the retail pharmacy chain lobby.

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores announced Wednesday its support for an amendment introduced by Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., that would repeal an expansion of reporting requirements that it said would burden businesses, including retail pharmacies, with thousands of additional tax forms.

“If this provision were implemented, the 1099 reporting mandate would impose substantial paperwork and reporting burdens on the backs of nonprofits and businesses,” NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson wrote in a letter to Stabenow. “In order to comply, these entities would have to institute new and complex record-keeping data collection and reporting requirements that track every purchase by vendor and payment method."

"Further," Anderson added, "these burdensome requirements would restrict a pharmacist’s access to his or her patients by imposing added paperwork, limiting the interaction that has proven so beneficial to assure patients take medications in the most effective way to reduce costs and improve health.”

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Drive4COPD achieves record

BY Alaric DeArment

RIDGEFIELD, Conn. — A coalition of companies, celebrities and health organizations has achieved its goal of screening 1 million Americans for risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Drive4COPD announced the milestone Wednesday, saying its aim was to change how COPD is addressed in the United States; Drive4COPD identified those at risk through its COPD Population Screener.

COPD, which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema, is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States.

“For many, taking the brief, five-question screener may be the first indication that they are at risk for COPD,” COPD Alliance chairman Brian Carlin said. “The results of the screener can prompt those at risk to have a conversation with a healthcare professional and, if needed, [to] take steps to prevent irreversible lung damage.”

The coalition also said that it had shared information on COPD with millions of other people, in addition to the 1 million it screened.

“We are thrilled that in just one year, we have already made a mark on reaching the millions of people who may be at risk for COPD,” Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals SVP Chris Barrett said. “With our campaign partners, we’ve been able to reach a far greater audience than we ever could have alone, and we welcome other partners to join our mission.”

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