Hot off the press for October 17, 2005

October 17, 2005

Nevada mandates Rx transfer Wal-Mart tops with Medicare crowd Longs Drug Stores raises funds for hurricane victims Survey: Women at risk of taking pregnancy test too early Wyeth's smallpox vaccine to carry black box warning MedVantx forms alliance with Aetna Specialty pharmacies change hands Pharmacy board executives leaving Second expert resigns over FDA delay on Plan B FDA removes sinusitis indication from OTCs Bristol-Myers Squibb reports BiCNU outage Berlex donates Rx medication to hurricane victims Keltsch Pharmacy changes name

October 17, 2005

Nevada mandates Rx transfer
A Nevada pharmacist's refusal to transfer a prescription has led to a state law making the transfer of a script mandatory. If a patient asks for a transfer, the pharmacist must transfer the script to another pharmacist. The bill does not require or authorize the pharmacist to transfer a script in violation of any state or federal law or regulation or any contract for payment if the patient is a party to that contract. Back to top

Wal-Mart tops with Medicare crowd
Wal-Mart was the top choice for filling Rxs among Medicare beneficiaries during the previous month, according to a Scarborough Research survey of beneficiaries drawn from a sample of 200,000 adults. While Wal-Mart was the pharmacy of choice for 15% of respondents, 12% went to Walgreens, 11% shopped CVS, 7% went to Eckerd Drug, and 6% got their scripts filled at a Rite Aid during the previous month. The survey also found 52% of Medicare respondents bought a hypertension drug during the previous year, making it the most prevalent condition. Back to top

Longs Drug Stores raises funds for hurricane victims
Longs Drug Stores has raised $375,141 for the American Red Cross to be used for relief efforts for victims of Hurricane Katrina. Longs offered $1, $5, $10, and $25 relief certificates at all of its stores for customers who wanted to donate money for the relief efforts. All of the proceeds from the certificates, along with $100,000 contributed by Longs, were presented to the American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter. Back to top

Survey: Women at risk of taking pregnancy test too early
For many women, taking a home pregnancy test too early to detect the presence of the pregnancy hormone puts them at risk of a "false negative." This finding comes from a new survey of sexually active women of childbearing age (18-44). The survey revealed that nearly four in five (79%) women would want to take a home pregnancy test as soon as possible if they thought they might be pregnant. If they discovered they were pregnant, many women would stop smoking and drinking alcohol or caffeinated beverages, and they would visit their doctor. The survey was conducted for the marketers of e.p.t. and e.p.t. Certainty by StrategyOne. The firm conducted two separate surveys—a quantitative on-line survey among 400 women between the ages of 18 and 44 and an on-line survey among 100 OB-GYNs. Back to top

Wyeth's smallpox vaccine to carry black box warning
The FDA has approved Wyeth's labeling supplement to the Biologics License Application for the Dryvax smallpox vaccine. The vaccine will now carry a black box warning pertaining to cardiac events and other safety information. Back to top

MedVantx forms alliance with Aetna
MedVantx, which offers vending machines that deliver generic drug samples to physicians, has formed an alliance with Aetna. Aetna will become the first national sponsor of MedVantx' Generic Delivery Network. Philadelphia will serve as a pilot test market to evaluate the program. Back to top

Specialty pharmacies change hands
Medco subsidiary, Accredo Health, has paid about $72 million in cash to acquire some assets of Pediatric Services of America's specialty pharmacy business. Meanwhile, Minneapolis-based BioScrip has paid $12 million in cash to acquire Northland Medical Pharmacy, a community-based specialty pharmacy in Columbus, Ohio. The acquisition brings BioScrip's community specialty pharmacy count to 31. Back to top

Pharmacy board executives leaving
The executive directors of the Montana and North Carolina boards of pharmacy are leaving their posts. Rebecca Deschamps, R.Ph., is leaving the Montana job this month to return to pharmacy practice. North Carolina pharmacy board chief David Work, R.Ph., J.D., plans to retire early next year. Back to top

Second expert resigns over FDA delay on Plan B
Frank Davidoff, M.D., an internal medicine specialist has reportedly resigned as a consultant to the FDA's Nonprescription Drugs Advisory Committee over the agency's delay in approving Barr Pharmaceutical's Plan B emergency contraception. In his resignation letter, Davidoff wrote, "I can no longer associate myself with an organization that is capable of making such an important decision so flagrantly on the basis of political influence, rather than the scientific and clinical evidence." His resignation follows the departure of Susan Wood, M.D., reportedly for similar reasons. Meanwhile, reportedly an unpublished GAO report, blasting the FDA for basing its decision on politics, rather than science, is making the rounds. Back to top

FDA removes sinusitis indication from OTCs
The FDA is amending the final monograph for OTC nasal decongestant drugs to remove language indicating the products can be used to treat sinusitis. The final rule, published in the Oct. 10 Federal Register, removes the indication "for the temporary relief of nasal congestion associated with sinusitis" from the final monograph and prohibits the use of the terms sinusitis and associated with sinusitis elsewhere on the labeling for nasal decongestant drugs. The agency said the indication is potentially misleading because recent research suggests OTC nasal decongestants are not effective treatments for sinusitis, a condition in which the sinuses become inflamed. The new rule takes effect in 18 months for products with annual sales of more than $25,000 and in 24 months for products with less than $25,000 in annual sales. For more information visit