PHARMACY

Walgreens, Johns Hopkins Medicine announce chronic disease research collaboration

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO — Johns Hopkins Medicine and Walgreens on Wednesday announced an agreement between the two companies that will promote collaboration on population-based research.

Also part of the agreement, Johns Hopkins and Walgreens will jointly review and develop protocols to improve outcomes of patients with chronic diseases and explore the development of new models for improving care for individuals.

“By collaborating with Johns Hopkins Medicine, we will access some of the best expertise in health care to develop research, protocols and training programs designed to improve patient outcomes through our nationwide network of accessible community pharmacists, nurse practitioners, physicians and other clinicians,” stated Kermit Crawford, Walgreens president of pharmacy, health and wellness.

“Combining our clinical expertise and research know-how with their nationwide resources — including pharmacies, clinics, worksite health centers, information systems and 70,000 healthcare service providers — will generate new approaches to improve population health,” added Fred Brancati, professor of medicine and director of the Division of General Internal Medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Out of this agreement, new educational and training programs will be developed for Walgreens’ 70,000 healthcare service providers.

“The agreement provides JHM with the opportunity to develop innovative population-based research ideas with a nationwide industry leader who is committed to improving healthcare outcomes and [who] possesses advanced data systems and a large patient base,” the companies stated. As part of a commitment to patient privacy, all patient information used for these studies will be anonymous.

Specifically, the agreement sets up opportunities for:

  • Research programs: In conjunction with the current Walgreens research team, JHM experts will develop new ideas for research in disease management, screening and prevention that they will spin off into proposals for funding;

  • Clinical protocol development/review: Johns Hopkins faculty are international leaders in developing healthcare protocols, medical guidelines and algorithms in the areas of chronic disease management. They will work closely with Walgreens experts to review and improve care;

  • Professional training: By leveraging the capabilities within JHM in the area of on-site and distance education for physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, technicians, pharmacists and others, JHM hopes to develop a comprehensive program to expand and enhance the ongoing professional education of the professionals within the Walgreens network; and

  • Clinical program development and health plan services: JHM and Walgreens will explore the possibility of jointly developing lifestyle, chronic care and disease-specific programs.

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Mylan launches generic Roxicodone through deal with Coastal Pharmaceuticals

BY Alaric DeArment

PITTSBURGH — Mylan has launched a generic version of an opioid painkiller, the company said Wednesday.

Mylan announced the launch of oxycodone hydrochloride tablets in the 5-mg, 15-mg and 30-mg strengths. Mylan is launching the drug under a development and supply agreement with Coastal Pharmaceuticals.

The drug is a generic version of Xanodyne’s Roxicodone, a treatment for moderate to severe pain. Oxycodone hydrochloride tablets had sales of about $325 million during the 12-month period ended in March, according to IMS Health.

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Gluten may not influence babies’ risk of developing Type 1 diabetes

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK — Introducing a gluten-free diet to an infant may not reduce its risk of developing Type 1 diabetes, according to a new study published in Diabetes Care.

German researchers analyzed data pooled from 150 infants with a first-degree family history of Type 1 diabetes and randomly exposed them to gluten at the age of 6 months (control group) or 12 months (late-exposure group). The infants then were followed until 3 years of age (and annually thereafter for safety purposes).

The researchers found that 70% of families followed the dietary-intervention protocol, and that only seven children developed diabetes: three from the early-exposure group and four in the late-exposure group.

The study authors concluded that while delaying gluten exposure until a child reaches 12 months of age is safe, doing so will not substantially reduce the risk of diabetes.

The study was submitted to the journal in late December 2010 and was published April 22.

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