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Walgreens’ Pegus addresses Joslin Diabetes Roundtable

BY Michael Johnsen

BOSTON — Walgreens on Friday spoke of the breadth of programs the chain has developed, many in partnership with Joslin Diabetes Center, to assist people with diabetes in living more healthily, at the 2011 Joslin Diabetes Roundtable held here.

"Diabetes is one of the most serious health issues facing our country today, and the evidence is clear that new and innovative approaches are needed to successfully impact the spread of this epidemic," Walgreens chief medical officer Cheryl Pegus said. "With Walgreens unmatched footprint of over 8,500 points of care, we are uniquely positioned to provide patients access to programs that can help them both prevent and manage this disease. In Joslin, we have an ideal partner to help us build on the experience of our clinicians and drive measurable health outcomes for our patients."

"Diabetes is best managed using a multidisciplinary, team based approach to care, and keeping this disease under control requires patients to make decisions on everything from food to medication on a daily basis," Joslin SVP and chief medical officer Martin Abrahamson said. "Walgreens has the scope to address patient wellness and prevention and also provide interventions at multiple points of care. This, along with our clinical expertise, is a powerful combination, and we are excited by the difference we can make together."

In 2006, Walgreens and Joslin announced an alliance to improve health outcomes for people with diabetes and those at risk. At the 2011 Joslin Diabetes Roundtable, Pegus highlighted the key diabetes initiatives aimed at cost-effectively preventing and addressing the disease, including:

  • Collaborative efforts between Joslin and Walgreens, such as a diabetes training program aimed at thousands of pharmacists, online disease management training for Take Care nurse practitioners and MDs, and diabetes education classes in community settings;

  • Access to affordable ways to promote wellness and prevent the disease through Walgreens Take Care Clinics, Wellness Bus Tours and new Food Oasis programs in "food desert" markets without access to fresh foods; and

  • The success of pharmacist and health coach intervention efforts at the worksite through the Dimensions Program, and in the community through Walgreens Optimal Wellness.

The Joslin Diabetes Roundtable is an annual event that brings together leaders of the diabetes community to discuss and share thoughts on advancing care and education for patients and their families. In addition to hearing from Joslin experts and thought leaders from industry and academia, attendees take part in interactive breakout sessions aimed at spurring new thinking on addressing diabetes in America.

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Actavis gets green light for generic Keppra XR, launches product

BY Allison Cerra

MORRISTOWN, N.J. — Actavis has launched its version of an epilepsy drug made by UCB.

The generic drug maker said it received approval from the Food and Drug Administration for levetiracetam extended-release tablets and commenced shipping the product following approval. The drug is the generic equivalent of Keppra XR.

U.S. sales of Keppra XR were about $161 million for the 12 months ended June 30, according IMS Health data.

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Kevin Wingerter joins Fera

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK — Fera Pharmaceuticals has appointed a new director of national accounts.

The drug maker said that Kevin Wingerter, who most recently served as senior buyer of pharmaceutical merchandising at Walmart, has joined the company. Wingerter brings more than 20 years of experience in procurement of both branded and generic pharmaceuticals, Fera said.

“As Fera continues to expand its offering in generic pharmaceuticals, Kevin’s role and expertise are critical to our managing our business effectively and providing the customer service Fera insists upon” Fera VP sales Craig Salmon said.

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