PHARMACY

Watson’s generic Concerta enters market

BY Alaric DeArment

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Watson Pharmaceuticals has launched an authorized generic version of a Johnson & Johnson drug for treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder through a subsidiary, Watson said Monday.

Watson announced the launch by Watson Labs of methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release tablets under an agreement with J&J subsidiary Ortho-McNeil-Janssen.

The drug is an authorized generic version of Concerta, used to treat ADHD in patients ages 6 to 65 years. Concerta had sales of $1.5 billion during the 12-month period ended in February, according to IMS Health.

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FDA approves Abbott’s AndroGel

BY Alaric DeArment

ABBOTT PARK, Ill. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a treatment made by Abbott for low testosterone in men, the drug maker said Friday.

Abbott announced the approval of AndroGel (testosterone gel) in the 1.62% strength, a clear, odorless topical gel for men with hypogonadism. The company already markets AndroGel in the 1% strength.

The new gel contains 40.5 mg of testosterone in two pump presses, while AndroGel 1% contains 50 mg in four pump presses, but the company said the two were not interchangeable.

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Walgreens to offer daily testing for cholesterol, blood glucose and A1C

BY Allison Cerra

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens is expanding its scope of preventive healthcare services by offering daily testing for total cholesterol, blood glucose and A1C levels at more than 1,400 pharmacies across 33 states and Washington, D.C.

The drug store chain, which began offering scheduled testing days at select stores last December, said that the tests are available at select stores during pharmacy hours, with no appointment necessary, to customers ages 18 years and older. Each test also includes a free blood-pressure reading and personal consultation with a Walgreens pharmacist.

Walgreens pharmacists administer tests by fingerstick. Cost for testing is:

  • Total cholesterol and HDL: $30;

  • Blood glucose: $20;

  • A1C (for self-identified diabetics only): $35; and

  • Blood pressure: Free with every health test.

Test results are not for diagnostic or treatment purposes and are not conclusive as to the absence or presence of any health condition. Recipients are encouraged to share test results with their primary care physicians, Walgreens said.

Locations offering these testing services can be found online by visiting Walgreens.com/FindAStore and checking the “health tests” box, or by calling (877) W-and-YOU (877-926-3968).

“Providing convenient, affordable access to health-testing services is an important part of our commitment to disease prevention and chronic care management,” said Kermit Crawford, Walgreens president of pharmacy, health and wellness. “As the most accessible healthcare professionals, our pharmacists are spending more time with patients through consultations, immunizations, medication questions or concerns, health testing and other important services.”

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