PHARMACY

Annual NACDS Foundation dinner raises $1.76 million

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK — The charitable arm of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores held its 12th annual dinner in New York on Tuesday, which generated $1.76 million for research, charitable efforts and scholarships.

The NACDS Foundation said some of the funds were granted to those that sought to improve medication adherence — understanding medication therapy and appropriately taking medications — among patients. The foundation awarded a $1 million grant to National Consumer League’s public awareness campaign, which promotes medication adherence.

The NACDS Foundation also recognized representatives of Convoy of Hope and AmeriCares for their relief efforts following the earthquake in Haiti last January. The foundation donated $50,000 to each organization to assist with providing food, water, medicines and other resources and supplies to those impacted in Haiti. The foundation also contributed $50,000 to Doctors Without Borders for its healthcare delivery efforts during the aftermath of the earthquake.

In the scholarships sector, the NACDS Foundation recognized six NACDS Foundation pharmacy student scholarship recipients. Annually, the organization contributes more than $500,000 to support pharmacy student education through two scholarship programs.

Walgreens and Duane Reade were premier sponsors of the event, the NACDS Foundation said.

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Watson’s Ella enters market

BY Alaric DeArment

MORRISTOWN, N.J. — Drug maker Watson Pharmaceuticals has made an emergency oral contraceptive available by prescription in the United States, the company said Wednesday.

Watson announced the launch of Ella (ulipristal acetate) in the 30-mg dose, designed to prevent pregnancy up to five days after unprotected sex or failure of other contraceptives. The drug is designed to delay ovulation for five days, the amount of time that sperm can survive in the female genital tract.

“Ella is the first truly new emergency contraceptive option for U.S. women since 1999,” Watson Global Brands EVP Fred Wilkinson said. “It has a unique, sustained efficacy profile and offers women an additional therapeutic option for preventing unintended pregnancy.”

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PhRMA: 100 HIV/AIDS drugs, vaccines are in development

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON — One hundred new drugs and vaccines are in development to treat HIV/AIDS and related conditions, according to a new report by a pharmaceutical industry trade group.

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America said the drugs include novel ones designed to stay ahead of the disease. For example, drugs under development include one that attacks infected cells while leaving healthy cells alone, while a new class of drugs is designed to prevent the virus from breaking through cell membranes. On the vaccine front, one uses a weakened version of the virus that causes the common cold to boost the immune system, while another is administered via a skin patch.

“We have progressed in just a few decades from having no medicines available for HIV/AIDS patients to having highly effective treatments — even against multidrug-resistant forms of the virus,” PhRMA president and CEO John Castellani said. “We have moved from complicated drug cocktails that needed to be taken around the clock to simple, once-a-day treatments. However, we have not defeated HIV/AIDS, and we cannot afford to become complacent.”

More than 1 million Americans are living with HIV infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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