PHARMACY

Decision Resources acquires BioTrends

BY Allison Cerra

WALTHAM, Mass. One of the world’s leading research and advisory firms focusing on healthcare insights and analysis acquired a provider of specialized, syndicated market research in clinically complex, small to mid-size pharmaceutical markets.

The acquisition of Exton, Pa.-based BioTrends by Waltham, Mass.-based Decision Resources will result in a significant expansion of Decision Resources’ portfolio planning segment of the biopharma business unit.

Jason LaBonte, Ph.D., newly appointed COO, Decision Resources’ biopharma portfolio planning and optimization said, “This important acquisition expands the breadth of our disease coverage. BioTrends’ deep clinical intimacy with specialized pharmaceutical markets and primary research-focused model enhances our high-value offerings to the biopharma industry.”

BioTrends is particularly well-known in the nephrology market, offering unique insights on drugs in that market. They also cover dermatology, gastroenterology, immunology/infectious disease and rheumatology markets and, as the newest company in the Decision Resources, Inc. portfolio, plan to expand their coverage of diseases.

“We are excited to begin our next wave of growth as a Decision Resources, Inc. company,” said Jennifer Robinson, president of BioTrends. “We bring to the table an emphasis on quality and a level of detail in our syndicated research that is second-to-none.”

BioTrends will remain headquartered in Exton, Pa.

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Schnucks Pharmacies offering free prenatal vitamins to expectant mothers

BY Alaric DeArment

ST. LOUIS January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month, and a Midwestern supermarket pharmacy chain is giving expectant mothers free prenatal vitamins to mark the occasion.

Schnucks Pharmacies, part of the Schnuck Markets company, will begin offering free prescription prenatal vitamins to pregnant women at its 103 stores under its Health and Wellness Program beginning Monday, Schnucks announced.

“It’s a major investment for our company, but we feel a responsibility to help where we can,” Schnucks VP pharmacy Michael Juergensmeyer said in a statement. “Due to economic considerations, many patients don’t refill prescriptions for chronic conditions, let alone take prescription prenatal vitamins for wellness care. We share doctors’ concerns and recognize the need to make good prenatal care more affordable for all.”

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FDA commissioner Hamburg salutes healthcare professionals for H1N1 efforts

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. Healthcare professionals got a big “thank you” from the head of the Food and Drug Administration.

FDA commissioner Margaret Hamburg sent a letter to healthcare professionals thanking them for their efforts during the 2009 H1N1 influenza outbreak.

“In November, I wrote to thank you for your efforts during the 2009 H1N1 influenza outbreak and to provide information about the development and FDA approval of the H1N1 vaccines,” Hamburg wrote. “I mentioned our continuing robust efforts to monitor the safety of these vaccines and now would like to reassure you that, to date, the safety assessment is very encouraging.”

As of Dec. 30, nearly 100 million vaccines have been distributed, with 94% of adverse side effects described as “non-serious,” such as soreness, according to a Jan. 8 statement by the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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