PHARMACY

Clinical study: Pfizer-Bristol anticoagulant more effective than competitior

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK A pill-based anticoagulant drug under development by Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb worked better in reducing the risk of internal blood clots in patients undergoing knee-replacement surgery than a competing drug by Sanofi-Aventis, according to a results of a late-stage clinical study published last week in The Lancet.

The phase 3 ADVANCE-2 study found that apixaban administered at 2.5-mg twice a day was more effective in reducing venous thromboembolism than Sanofi’s Lovenox (enoxaparin) administered once daily at 40 mg. Venous thromboembolism includes deep-vein thrombosis, a blood clot in a vein, and pulmonary embolism, a clot blocking a vessel in the lungs, and occurs in 40% to 60% of patients undergoing orthopedic surgery.

The study also had a smaller number of patients in the apixaban arm who had bleeding episodes, though the results were not statistically significant, Pfizer and Bristol said.

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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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