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Alabama takes statewide initiative on PSE-tracking

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON —Alabama in March became the latest state to sign on for collective e-tracking of pseudoephedrine sales, making the Heart of Dixie state No. 10 to employ the system statewide.

The makers of PSE-containing medicines have created an industry-funded system that allows law enforcement to identify “smurfers,” or those who try to illegally violate limits in state and federal law on the amount of PSE-containing medicines individuals can purchase in a given period of time. E-tracking is favorable to cough-cold and allergy manufacturers fielding PSE as an ingredient because it poses no additional purchase barriers to consumers. State legislatures, such as that of California, had been considering the feasibility behind classifying PSE as a prescription-only medicine.

The e-tracking system also allows law enforcement officials to track would-be violators of PSE regulations in real time, enabling them to find meth labs that otherwise would have gone undetected.

According to a recent poll conducted by David Binder Research, more than three-fourths of Alabama voters supported the new e-tracking system. The poll also found that as many as 78% of those surveyed agreed that e-tracking will be “a huge help to law enforcement.”

The nine states that already have passed legislation and/or implemented e-tracking capabilities include Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Missouri and Washington.

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Schnucks’ O’Brien to serve on Department of Agriculture advisory committee

BY Alaric DeArment

ST. LOUIS An executive from Schnuck Markets will serve on an advisory committee of the Department of Agriculture, Schnucks said this week.

Agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack announced that Schnucks VP produce and floral Mike O’Brien would be one of 25 people appointed to a two-year term on the USDA’s Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee. O’Brien is also vice chairman of the Produce Marketing Association.

 

“I am honred to represent Schnuck Markets and the retail produce industry as a member of this committee,” O’Brien said. “I am looking forward to the opportunity to contribute and to make a difference for families across the nation.”

The committee, originally chartered in 2001, advises the secretary of agriculture on industry issues related to fruits and vegetables.

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Gilead commences phase 3 trial for single-tablet HIV treatment

BY Alaric DeArment

FOSTER CITY, Calif. Gilead Sciences has started a late-stage clinical trial of an investigational 4-in-1 treatment for HIV, the drug maker said.

Gilead announced the initiation of a phase 3 trial of its “Quad” HIV drug, a single-tablet treatment that combines elvitegravir, cobicistat, emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate. The study will compare the Quad regimen with the standard of care among adults with HIV-1 who have not taken antiretroviral treatments. The company is also investigating cobicistat as a standalone boosting agent for antiretroviral drugs.

“We are pleased to announce that the Quad phase 3 clinical program is underway,” Gilead EVP research and development and chief scientific officer Norbert Bischofberger said. “Efficacy and safety results from the phase 2 study suggest that the Quad may represent an important new option for patients with HIV.”

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