PHARMACY

Walgreens caters to customers’ specific healthcare needs with ‘Find Your Pharmacist’

BY Allison Cerra

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens is enhancing community pharmacy by allowing customers to select a pharmacist based on their healthcare needs through a new online tool.

The drug store chain’s latest online tool, "Find Your Pharmacist," allows customers to find a Walgreens pharmacist with specific areas of expertise, specialties, languages and clinical backgrounds. Customers can visit Walgreens.com/findyourpharmacist or the Walgreens.com store locator to find a pharmacist or learn more about pharmacists at each of Walgreens’ more than 7,800 pharmacies.

The "Find Your Pharmacist" tool — which also can be accessed through Web-enable mobile devices — builds on the company’s mission to "help people live well, stay well and get well." Additional services include the health-and-wellness database on Facebook, along with such mobile pharmacy tools as Pill Reminder, Transfer by Scan and Refill by Scan.

"This is another way we are advancing community pharmacy by helping people connect on a more meaningful level with Walgreens pharmacists in their neighborhood, whether that is speaking their native language or providing clinical information specific to their health condition," said Kermit Crawford, Walgreens president of pharmacy, health and wellness. "The pharmacist-patient relationship can be very instrumental in helping to improve health outcomes because patients often are talking with their pharmacist more often than their primary care physician. Establishing a personal relationship with your pharmacist can help improve health outcomes by helping customers feel comfortable and confident in working with their pharmacist for information, advice and support.

"We are focused on strengthening the relationship between our pharmacists and patients to provide the care and expert advice they deserve," Crawford said. "By going above and beyond, we can help people live well, stay well and get well with the expanded products and services we offer."


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PHARMACY

Par buys rights to generic drug for GERD

BY Alaric DeArment

WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. — Par Pharmaceutical has bought rights to a generic drug for gastroesophageal reflux disease from Handa Pharmaceuticals, Par said.

Handa, based in Fremont, Calif., sold rights to the regulatory approval application it filed with the Food and Drug Administration for dexlansoprazole capsules, a generic version of Takeda’s Dexilant, in the 60-mg strength.

Par purchased rights to the application for an undisclosed amount and will receive a percentage of profits from sales. Handa is apparently the first company to file for approval of the generic, which would qualify Par for 180 days of market exclusivity once the FDA approves it; Handa is currently involved in a lawsuit concerning the drug in the U.S. District Court for the District of Northern California, and Par will assume control of litigation.

Dexilant has annual sales of about $517 million, according to IMS Health.


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PHARMACY

Watson launches authorized generic diabetes drug

BY Alaric DeArment

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Watson Pharmaceuticals announced the launch of an authorized generic version of a drug used to lower blood glucose in patients with Type 2 diabetes.

The generic drug maker launched metformin hydrochloride extended-release tablets, an authorized generic version of Fortamet, made by Shionogi. An authorized generic is a branded drug marketed under its generic name at a reduced price, usually through a third-party company acting under a collaborative agreement with the original branded manufacturer.

The launch of Watson’s product was timed to coincide with the relaunch of a generic version of Fortamet by Lupin. Lupin had received Food and Drug Administration approval for a generic version of the drug in April 2011 and launched it in September of the same year, but in December, Shionogi obtained an injunction that prevented further sales of Lupin’s product.

Fortamet had sales of $82 million during the 12-month period ended in February, according to IMS Health.


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