PHARMACY

WAG’s PBM officially belongs to Catalyst Health Solutions

BY Michael Johnsen

ROCKVILLE, Md. — Catalyst Health Solutions on Monday announced it has completed its acquisition of Walgreens’ pharmacy benefit management subsidiary, Walgreens Health Initiatives.

“We have been pleased with the integration planning and are highly confident that the company will rapidly realize the many strategic and financial benefits of this transaction,” stated David Blair, Catalyst CEO.

Catalyst will issue a separate press release and conduct a special investor conference call on July 7 to further discuss the WHI acquisition and provide updated 2011 financial guidance, the company stated. The financial guidance will incorporate estimated revenue and earnings contributions from WHI, as well as the expected timing and scope of upfront integration and transactional expenses.

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PHARMACY

NCPA seeks nominations for independent pharmacy, Rx drug safety awards

BY Michael Johnsen

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Community Pharmacists Association on Monday announced that nominations currently are being accepted for its Willard B. Simmons Independent Pharmacist of the Year Award and the NCPA Prescription Drug Safety Award.

The awards will be presented in Nashville, Tenn., at the NCPA Annual Convention and Trade Exposition, from Oct. 8 to 12. The NCPA Willard B. Simmons Independent Pharmacist of the Year Award recognizes an independent pharmacist for exceptional leadership and commitment to independent pharmacy and the community. The award bears the name of Willard B. Simmons of Chicago, a long-time NCPA Foundation board member and retired NCPA executive secretary who exemplified outstanding leadership and commitment to independent pharmacy.

The NCPA Prescription Drug Safety Award recognizes a pharmacist who has served as an outreach resource to his or her community in the provision of education about the benefits of the correct use of prescription drug products and the hazards of their improper use.

Candidates for these awards must be an owner, manager or staff pharmacist of an independent pharmacy and a current NCPA member. Self-nominations are acceptable. Nominations must be received at NCPA headquarters no later than July 15 and should be made on an official nomination form. Descriptions of the awards, nomination forms and instructions are available at NCPAnet.org/index.php/events/2011-convention.

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PHARMACY

GSK, Valeant receive FDA approval for Potiga

BY Alaric DeArment

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new drug for epilepsy made by GlaxoSmithKline and Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, the drug makers said Monday.

The FDA approved Potiga (ezogabine) tablets for the treatment of partial-onset seizures in patients ages 18 years and older.

“We are so pleased to reach such an important milestone with the U.S. approval of Potiga by the FDA,” Valeant head of research and development Susan Hall said. “We believe this product will play a needed role in the management of partial onset seizures in appropriate patients who are uncontrolled on their current medications.”

The FDA has recommended that the drug be scheduled as a controlled substance, and it won’t be available until the Drug Enforcement Administration makes a final decision on how to classify it, but the drug makers said they expected that to happen by the end of the year.

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