Christine Blank
Contributing Editor Christine Blank is a freelance writer based in Florida.
Pharmacy owner to pay feds $4.25 million fine
Mark Gilmore, partial owner of compounding and specialty pharmacy QMedRx in Maitland, Fla., is one of several compounders who have been accused by the government of filing improper claims to the TRICARE program.
Would shorter pharmacist shifts reduce Rx errors?
One state's pharmacy board is debating that issue.
First olmesartan generics approved for hypertension
In a big move for patients who take blood pressure medication on a regular basis, FDA last week approved the first generic versions of 4 drugs that contain the blood pressure-lowering medication olmesartan medoxomil (Benicar, Daiichi Sankyo).
Clear skin within reach for psoriasis patients
New data presented at the 25th European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV) Congress in Vienna, Austria, this week shows that secukinumab (Cosentyx, Novartis) has long-lasting skin clearance in patients with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis.
Lung cancer drug approved
Soon after FDA granted accelerated approval for atezolizumab (Tecentriq, Genentech) to treat bladder cancer, the agency okayed the drug to treat metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
New antibiotic for MRSA on the horizon
New antibiotic for MRSA on the horizon
As the healthcare profession continues to face challenges with antibiotic resistance, drugmakers are developing novel antibiotics that will be effective against some of the worst infections. One drugmaker submitted New Drug Applications (NDAs) for approval of IV and oral delafloxacin (Baxdela) to FDA.
Omnicare to pay $28 million for kickback scheme
Omnicare agreed to settle claims that it conspired with Abbott Laboratories “to engage in a number of disguised kickback arrangements to increase overall use of Depakote,”
Big savings expected with new generic antipsychotic
FDA tentatively approved the abbreviated new drug application (ANDA) for generic quetiapine fumarate extended-release tablets (brand Seroquel XR, AstraZeneca) to treat schizophrenia and manic/mixed episodes associated with bipolar disorder.
Sharp price increases for cancer drugs
Sharp price increases for cancer drugs
A majority of oncology drugs—particularly older cancer drugs—had price hikes in 2015, according to a study. Plus, Ariad Pharmaceuticals raised the price of its chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) drug ponatinib (Iclusig) for the fourth time this year to around $199,000 a year, according to The Street.
Impossible Task
Managing the costs of specialty pharmaceuticals is a perpetual task for specialty pharmacists.

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