PHARMACY

Diabetes drug appears to improve survival in women with ovarian cancer

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Women with ovarian cancer and diabetes who took the generic diabetes drug metformin showed better survival rates than those who did not take the drug, according to a new study led by the Mayo Clinic.

The study, published in the journal Cancer, enrolled 61 patients who took metformin and 178 who didn’t. Of those who took the drug, 67% were surviving after five years, compared with 47% of those who didn’t take it. Further analysis indicated that patients taking metformin were almost four times likelier to survive than those not taking it.

"Our study demonstrated improved survival in women with ovarian cancer that were taking metformin," study co-author and Mayo Clinic gynecologic oncology fellow Sanjeev Kumar said. "The results are encouraging, but as with any retrospective study, many factors cannot be controlled for us to say if there is a direct cause and effect. Rather, this is further human evidence for a potential beneficial effect on a commonly used drug [that] is relatively safe in humans."

The researchers said the results could pave the way for using metformin in large-scale trials in women with ovarian cancer.


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PHARMACY

Gallup poll: Nurses, pharmacists most trusted professionals across all professions

BY Michael Johnsen

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Medical professionals continue to rank among the most-trusted officials, according to the latest annual Gallup survey around popular perception of professional honesty and ethics, particularly pharmacists.  

"Six medical professional categories were included in this year’s update," the poll taker posted Monday on its web site. "Nurses’ high rating this year is not unexpected; they have scored at the top of all professions every year since they were first included in the list in 1999 — apart from 2001, when Gallup asked about ‘firefighters’ on a one-time basis after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Nurses receive a 10-percentage-point higher rating than pharmacists, who in turn are five points above medical doctors."

The honesty ratings of all of these medical professions are at the highest levels in Gallup’s history, the research firm added. "Pharmacists are two points higher than their previous record. Pharmacists routinely topped the list before Gallup began including nurses."

"An impressive 75% of respondents categorized pharmacists very high/high by the honesty and ethics standard," noted National Community Pharmacists Association CEO Douglas Hoey. "Since the audience is the American people, this ranking is a testimony to the good will generated by the patient-friendly approach of pharmacists who are accessible, responsive and take tremendous pride helping patients achieve the best health outcomes at the lowest costs," he said. “In the Gallup’s more than three-decade-old survey the level of respect for pharmacists has been consistently high. … Our hope is that the decision makers in the private and public sector who make policy and choose prescription drug plans will tap further into the expertise and results pharmacists can bring to health care. For example, the trust that Americans place in their pharmacists makes these highly trained health care professionals a prime resource to help improve outcomes and reduce costs by boosting patient compliance with their prescribed medication regimen.”

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PHARMACY

Armada, Amerinet enter marketing agreement

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Specialty pharmacy purchasing and channel management group Armada Health Care and healthcare services company Amerinet will provide services to each other’s members under a co-marketing agreement, the two companies said Monday.

Amerinet members will receive access to Armada’s specialty pharmacy services, while Armada will also provide members technology services, network access, limited-distribution products and others. Meanwhile, Armada members will receive Amerinet’s contract portfolio of medical surgical and other non-pharmaceutical products.

"We consider the new partnership with Amerinet a landmark opportunity for the membership of both organizations," Armada CEO Larry Irene said. "It creates mutual value that will translate beyond savings for member organizations and directly benefit our pharmaceutical partners and, most importantly, the patients."


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