PHARMACY

Watson launches generic Seasonique

BY Alaric DeArment

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Generic drug maker Watson Pharmaceuticals has launched a generic version of a contraceptive made by Duramed Pharmaceuticals, Watson said Thursday.

Watson announced the launch of Amethia (levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol [0.15 mg/0.03 mg] and ethinyl estradiol [0.01 mg]) after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit denied Duramed’s request for a temporary injunction; a patent infringement lawsuit that Duramed filed against Watson remains pending.

The drug is a generic version of Duramed’s Seasonique, which had sales of about $110 million during the 12-month period ended in April, according to IMS Health.

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PHARMACY

Bydureon reply submitted to FDA

BY Alaric DeArment

INDIANAPOLIS — Drug makers Eli Lilly, Amylin Pharmaceuticals and Alkermes are giving their long-acting form of an injected drug for Type 2 diabetes another try at the Food and Drug Administration.

The three companies announced Thursday that they had submitted an official reply to the FDA, concerning the agency’s decision to not approve Bydureon (exenatide), an extended-release version of the drug Byetta. In October, the FDA delivered a complete response letter to the companies, meaning that it had completed review of the original regulatory application, but questions remained that precluded final approval.

The companies expect to receive a response from the FDA in the next two weeks, while review could take up to six months.

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MinuteClinic enters clinical affiliation with Henry Ford Health System

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I., and DETROIT — Henry Ford Health System is working to increase its capacity to serve patients in metropolitan Detroit through a new collaborative effort with CVS Caremark’s MinuteClinic.

MinuteClinic has 10 walk-in clinics inside select CVS/pharmacy stores in Southeast Michigan and is exploring additional locations in the Detroit metropolitan area.

The new affiliation will connect Henry Ford physicians, as on-call medical directors, to the 10 Southeast Michigan locations of MinuteClinic. In addition, MinuteClinic and Henry Ford will collaborate on educating patients and helping them to manage chronic diseases. Henry Ford physicians will accept patients who need a level of care that is not provided at MinuteClinic.

"Henry Ford Health System has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to improving the health and well-being of a diverse community of patients, and shares MinuteClinic’s mission to make access to high-quality healthcare services more accessible for area citizens," said Andrew Sussman, president of MinuteClinic and SVP and associate chief medical officer for CVS Caremark. "Our team of nurse practitioners looks forward to collaborating with Henry Ford’s physicians to develop a clinical care network that meets the growing healthcare needs in the Detroit metro area."

MinuteClinic and Henry Ford will be developing a plan to provide clinical data integration to streamline communication for each person’s care. With patient permission, MinuteClinic will share medical histories and visit summaries with other Henry Ford locations in Southeast Michigan. And MinuteClinic will continue its standard practice of sending visit summaries to the patient’s primary care doctor, usually within 24 hours.

This affiliation will not create a financial relationship between MinuteClinic and HFHS. Medical directors will be paid for their services directly by MinuteClinic.

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