PHARMACY

APCI, a voice for independents

BY DSN STAFF

BESSEMER, Ala. —Most independent drug store owners will tell you there is strength in numbers, and see the sense in combining their purchasing power and financial resources with other owner-operators. Some 1,300 of them do just that through their membership in American Pharmacy Cooperative Inc.

Based in Bessemer, Ala., APCI is a member-owned group purchasing organization. Its purpose: “to represent the economic and professional interests of independent pharmacy by providing leadership, vision and a collective voice for our members in the healthcare marketplace,” according to the company.

To that end, APCI wields a full arsenal of back-end support programs in such areas as vendor contracting and competitive pricing, bulk purchasing, rebates, circular advertising and front-end merchandising. Its professional staff, led by CEO Tim Hamrick, includes leaders in such areas as sales, professional affairs, third-party contracting, purchasing contracts, and front-end development and advertising, led by Paul Bruno, formerly of Alabama’s Big B drug chain and a scion of the storied Bruno retailing family.

The company’s resource team also includes Bill Eley, director of legislative affairs, who tracks federal and state policy and regulations on behalf of APCI’s retail members, and makes frequent visits to Capitol Hill to lobby directly for the interests of community pharmacy. Through Eley and other staff members, “APCI works closely with other organizations, such as the state associations in each APCI state as well as the National Community Pharmacy Association, to represent the professional interests of APCI members,” noted the group. APCI also maintains ties with more than 45 colleges of pharmacy to reach the next generation of pharmacists.

Through its third-party support program, American Pharmacy Network Solutions, APCI also resolves contract and claims adjudication issues with managed care groups.

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Late-stage clinical trial of Avastin fails to meet expectations, Genentech says

BY Alaric DeArment

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. A late-stage clinical trial of a Genentech drug for men with late-stage prostate cancer has failed, the biotech company announced Friday.

Genentech, part of Swiss drug maker Roche, announced that a phase 3 trial of Avastin (bevacizumab) combined with prednisone and the chemotherapy drug docetaxel did not extend the amount of time that patients survived, compared with chemotherapy and prednisone alone.

The drug already has approval from the Food and Drug Administration for treating tumors and cancers of the lungs, colon, rectum, breasts, kidneys and brain.

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Abbott’s submits supplemental approval application for Lupron Depot to FDA

BY Alaric DeArment

ABBOTT PARK, Ill. Abbott is hoping that the Food and Drug Administration will approve one of its drugs as a treatment for advanced prostate cancer.

The Chicago-based drug maker announced Thursday that the FDA accepted its supplemental approval application for Lupron Depot (leuprolide acetate) in the 45-mg strength. The drug, an injectable, works by suppressing production of testosterone for six months. It is currently available in 7.5-mg, 22.5-mg and 30-mg formulations that work for one, three and four months.

“For many patients with advanced prostate cancer, Lupron Depot is an important treatment option because it can help manage the symptoms of their disease,” Abbott VP global pharmaceutical development Eugene Sun said in a statement. “Abbott is seeking approval for a new six-month formulation to provide greater convenience and dosing flexibility to physicians and patients who could benefit form this medication.”

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