PHARMACY

Benign prostatic hyperplasia treatment did not meet trial goals, company says

BY Alaric DeArment

QUEBEC CITY An investigational drug didn’t work much better than placebo in treating patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia, the drug’s developer announced Monday.

Drug maker ?terna Zentaris announced results of phase 3 efficacy and safety trials of the drug centrorelix pamoate, which the company had agreed to develop, register and market with Sanofi-Aventis U.S. in March.

In the 52-week efficacy trial, conducted at 61 sites in the United States, Canada and Europe, the drug showed “no clear differences in overall efficacy” between patients in the study and placebo groups. Results were measured based on the International Prostate Symptom Score. Nevertheless, there was a slight improvement up to the 46th week among the group that received the drug only, without the placebo, though improvements largely disappeared by the 52nd week.

In the 26-week safety trial, conducted at 68 sites in the United States and Canada, the drug was well-tolerated, with negative side effects mostly mild and transient; serious side effects were recorded in 12 patients, but there was no evidence they were related to use of the drug.

BPH, one of the most common diseases among aging men, affects more than 20 million men in the United States.

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PHARMACY

Report: PhRMA backs healthcare reform

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Most of the groups supporting President Obama’s healthcare reform plan have been patient advocates such as AARP, but the effort recently got some help from a different and traditionally conservative source: the drug industry.

Advertising Age reported Thursday that the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the largest trade group for the brand drug industry, will set aside $150 million for an advertising campaign in support of healthcare reform, including TV ads in 12 key states, as well as radio and print ads. An executive from PhRMA told the advertising industry trade magazine that the ads would focus on ensuring that everyone has access to health insurance, including affordable co-payments and no denials based on pre-existing conditions.

The healthcare reform debate has turned contentious in recent weeks, with townhall meetings across the country disrupted by loud protests from opponents of reform who think it will harm healthcare more than it helps and will damage the economy.

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QuikTrip opens second clinic for employees

BY Antoinette Alexander

KANSAS CITY, Mo. Convenience store operator QuikTrip Corp. has opened its second worksite health clinic for its employees in the Kansas City area, according to a local news report.

QuikTrip, which operates more than 500 convenience stores, opened its first worksite clinic two years ago at its headquarters in Tulsa, Okla.

The new 1,400-sq.-ft. Belton clinic is administered by Care ATC, a national provider of on-site medical clinics, and provides free services to the nearly 800 QuikTrip employees and their dependents in that area, the report stated.

The facility provides the same services as a primary care physician’s office and is staffed by a board-certified physician and others who are employees of Care ATC.

As previously reported by Drug Store News, worksite clinics are on the rise as employers increasingly look for ways to lower healthcare costs and bolster employee productivity.

It is estimated by Fuld & Company that there are some 1,200 firms currently operating on-site clinics, which, taking into account their multiple campuses and multiple clinics, results in an estimated 2,200 on-site clinics. That number could reach 7,000 by 2015.

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