PHARMACY

CVS Caremark Charitable Trust donates $50K to Boston Medical Center

BY Antoinette Alexander

BOSTON — Boston Medical Center announced that it has received a $50,000 grant for the Autism Clinic from CVS Caremark Charitable Trust, the private foundation created by CVS Caremark.

BMC is one of 72 organizations selected from a pool of 660 applicants to receive an individual or multiyear grant for 2010. The grant will allow the Autism Clinic to develop a written behavioral curriculum for hands-on training for parents with low income and/or limited-English proficiency.

The grant also will provide resources for additional intensive skill-building services for individuals who participate in seminars and require continued support and guidance. An additional education specialist also will be hired, thereby doubling the clinic’s capacity to meet the demand for educational advocacy services.

"In today’s challenging economy, it’s more important than ever to support organizations that truly make a difference in the lives of children and families," stated Eileen Howard Boone, VP CVS Caremark Charitable Trust. "The CVS Caremark Charitable Trust is pleased to recognize BMC’s Autism Clinic for truly making an impact in the communities we serve, and we look forward to working with them in the year ahead."

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Sandoz gets OK for authorized generic of Famvir

BY Alaric DeArment

PRINCETON — Sandoz has introduced an authorized generic version of a herpes treatment made by parent company Novartis, the company said Thursday.

Sandoz announced the launch of famciclovir tablets, an authorized generic of Famvir, used to treat genital herpes and cold sores in patients with healthy immune systems, and to treat shingles and herpes simplex infections of the skin and mucosa in patients with HIV.

Authorized generics are branded drugs sold under their generic chemical names at a reduced price, often through third-party companies.

Famciclovir had sales of about $198 million during the 12-month period ended in January, according to IMS Health. The last of the patents covering Famvir expire in 2016, according to Food and Drug Administration data.

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Give me cigarettes or give me health: 82% of menthol smokers would quit if FDA banned menthol cigarettes, GSK survey finds

BY Alaric DeArment

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Four-in-5 menthol smokers would quit if the Food and Drug Administration banned mentholated cigarettes, according to a survey conducted this month with sponsorship from GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare.

The survey found that smokers of menthol cigarettes — who are disproportionately African-American — feel “twice-addicted” to the menthol and the tobacco, while 74% of them said the menthol made inhalation easier, and 40% said menthol flavoring was the only reason they smoked.

“Almost all menthol smokers in the survey reported they want to quit, but were less likely to have tried quitting than regular smokers,” National Medical Association president-elect and Duke University medical professor Cedric Bright said. “With the high interest in quitting among these smokers, more needs to be done to educate smokers about accessible resources, such as counseling and nicotine-replacement therapy, which are proven methods for improving success rates.”

The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which president Barack Obama signed into law in 2009, banned most cigarette flavorings, such as cloves, but left menthol cigarettes legal while requiring a study on them. Still, a panel of the Food and Drug Administration, which was given authority to regulate tobacco products under the new law, recommended Friday that the agency consider banning menthol cigarettes.

Cigarette smoking accounts for at least 30% of cancer-related deaths, according to the American Cancer Society.

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