Sandoz ships first medicine in collaboration with Civica Rx to supply US hospitals

PRINCETON, N.J., Nov. 2, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Sandoz Inc. today announced that it has shipped pantoprazole sodium for injection, 40 mg to Civica Rx to supply the hospitals it serves as part of a multiyear collaboration to help reduce supply shortages, with several other medicines on the way before the end of the year.

Pantoprazole is the first Sandoz medicine to ship to Civica since entering into the agreement in July. It is a proton pump inhibitor indicated in adults for the short-term treatment (7 to 10 days) of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), associated with a history of erosive esophagitis1

Sandoz previously announced it will supply six injectable medicines under the Civica private label to its 1,200 US hospitals. The agreement is being expanded to include an additional medicine to regulate blood pressure, which is frequently used to treat COVID-19 patients in hospitals.

“Our collaboration with Civica is providing certainty for hospitals, doctors and patients who are too often frustrated by shortages of medicines. This is especially important as healthcare providers continue to manage the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Carol Lynch, President, Sandoz Inc. “We are committed to ensuring our medicines are there for the patients who need them when they need them.”

Civica, a non-profit, was founded in 2018 by leading US hospital systems concerned about generic drug shortages and philanthropic organizations passionate about improving healthcare. To date, more than 50 health systems are Civica members, representing more than 1,200 US hospitals and approximately 30 percent of all licensed US hospital beds including acute care. 

“Within a year since our first medication was administered in a hospital ICU, we’ve been able to help millions of patients,” said Martin VanTrieste, president and CEO of Civica. “With Sandoz, we look forward to helping millions more by providing critical medicines that have often been in short supply.”

INDICATIONS AND USAGE

Pantoprazole sodium is a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) indicated in adults for the following:

  • Short-term treatment (7 to 10 days) of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) associated with a history of Erosive Esophagitis (EE).
  • Pathological hypersecretion conditions including Zollinger-Ellison (ZE) Syndrome.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

CONTRAINDICATIONS

  • Patients with a known hypersensitivity to any component of the formulation or to substituted benzimidazoles.
  • Patients receiving rilpivirine-containing products.

WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

  • Gastric Malignancy: In adults, symptomatic response to therapy with pantoprazole sodium for injection does not preclude the presence of gastric malignancy. Consider additional follow-up and diagnostic testing.
  • Hypersensitivity and Severe Skin Reactions: Anaphylaxis and other serious reactions such as erythema multiforme, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) have been reported.
  • Injection Site Reactions: Thrombophlebitis is associated with the administration of intravenous pantoprazole.
  • Potential Exacerbation of Zinc Deficiency: Consider zinc supplementation in patients who are prone to zinc deficiency. Caution should be used when other EDTA containing products are also co-administered intravenously.
  • Acute Interstitial Nephritis: Observed in patients taking PPIs.
  • Clostridium difficile-Associated Diarrhea: PPI therapy may be associated with increased risk.
  • Bone Fracture: Long-term and multiple daily dose PPI therapy may
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UnitedHealth Ships Flu Kits to Medicare Recipients

With Covid-19 hospitalizations spiking again in many parts of the country, public health officials have expressed concerns about a perennial source of strain on the health care system: seasonal flu. As threats of a “twindemic” loom, health care workers have stressed the need for vaccination and other preventive measures to slow the spread of flu.

One insurance company is going further to try to mitigate the effects of flu season: UnitedHealthCare, the country’s largest health insurance company, plans to provide at-risk patients with 200,000 kits that include Tamiflu, the prescription antiviral treatment; a digital thermometer; and a coronavirus P.C.R. diagnostic test. People can take the test at home and then mail it in for laboratory analysis, helping patients and doctors determine the cause of their symptoms, which is particularly important because the coronavirus and flu have similar symptoms but differ in treatment.

“These viruses have proven themselves highly capable of putting strain on our health care system alone,” said Dr. Kelly Moore, an associate director of the Immunization Action Coalition. “Their combined impact is really worrisome.”

In late September, UnitedHealthcare began inviting its Medicare Advantage members to sign up for the kits either online or by phone, starting with a focus on those at highest risk of complications from Covid-19 and the flu based on their age and health status. Since then, 120,000 people have enrolled, and the company has begun shipping the kits. The company has more than 5 million Medicare Advantage members.

The company said supplying people with Tamiflu in advance could help to mitigate the severity of flu infections because the antiviral medication gets less effective with every hour that passes from onset of symptoms and is virtually ineffective after 48 hours. Tamiflu on average shortens the duration of illness by one to two days if taken rapidly, according to Dr. Moore. It can also help prevent illness in someone at high risk of complications who has been exposed to the flu, but is not routinely recommended for preventive use in most populations.

All members signing up for the flu kits had to confirm the state where they live so that the Tamiflu prescription could be dispensed by a physician in their state. They had to attest, either over the phone or through an online form, that they would wait to take the prescription drug or the coronavirus test until after receiving direction from a physician through a telemedicine appointment, though there is no additional system for verifying this process once they receive their kits. Members also had to agree not to give the medication to others.

“We thought, ‘Imagine if you start getting sick and already had a mini pharmacy at home,’” said Dr. Deneen Vojta, executive vice president for research and development at UnitedHealthcare. The goal, she added, is to decrease the number of emergency room visits, hospitalizations and deaths resulting from seasonal flu.

There is no charge for the Tamiflu or the coronavirus test, as long as people receive advice from a doctor via

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