PHARMACY

Bristol-Myers Squibb, Isis announce partnership for cholesterol drug

BY Alaric DeArment

CARLSBAD, Calif. Bristol-Myers Squibb has paid Isis Pharmaceuticals a $6 million milestone payment for regulatory approval to begin an early-stage clinical trial of a cholesterol-lowering drug, Isis announced Monday.

Bristol and Isis are developing the drug BMS-PCSK9Rx, a so-called “antisense” drug that targets the enzyme PCSK9 to lower low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, cholesterol, also known as “bad” cholesterol.

“We are pleased with the success of our partnership with Bristol-Myers Squibb, and our ability to deliver a drug candidate within the first year of the collaboration,” Isis chairman and CEO Stanley Crooke said. “We are looking forward to Bristol-Myers Squibb initiating a phase 1 clinical trial shortly.”

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McKesson named ‘World’s Most Admired’ by Fortune

BY Allison Cerra

SAN FRANCISCO A healthcare services and information technology company was ranked among the “World’s Most Admired” in an annual survey conducted by Fortune magazine and the Hay Group.

Fortune’s “World’s Most Admired” award measures corporate reputation and performance against nine key attributes: innovation, people management, use of corporate assets, social responsibility, quality of management, financial soundness, long-term investment, quality of products and services and global competitiveness. McKesson ranked No. 1 in all nine categories for the wholesale healthcare sector.

“At McKesson, corporate social responsibility principles are embedded within our mission to help our customers improve patients’ lives,” said John Hammergren, McKesson chairman and CEO. “As we continue to focus on making healthcare safer, more efficient, and less expensive we’re proud to be recognized as a leader among U.S. corporations.”

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Coalition wants pharmacists to play role in drug safety programs

BY Alaric DeArment

ALEXANDRIA, Va. Seventeen organizations and pharmacy chains hope the Food and Drug Administration will let pharmacists have a role in ensuring that patients use medication safely and effectively as it evaluates risk evaluation and mitigation strategies, also known as REMS.

The National Community Pharmacists Association, the American Pharmacists Association, Bartell Drugs, Shopko and 13 others sent a letter to the FDA about pharmacists’ ability to prevent adverse events and evaluate patients’ levels of understand via consultation.

“Studies have shown that community pharmacists providing face-to-face patient interactions may have a greater impact on patient behavior compared to other methods of service delivery,” the letter read. “Clearly, these services could be utilized to meet the goals of a REMS program.”

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