PHARMACY

Drug makers ramp up treatments for chronic conditions in the elderly, PhRMA report finds

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON — More than 400 drugs are under development for the 10 most common chronic health conditions affecting elderly people, according to a new report by a drug industry trade group.

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America listed 465 drugs under various stages of development, adding that the aging of the population made chronic diseases a principal threat to the health and productivity of older Americans, as well as contribution to growing healthcare costs.

"Our ability to prevent, manage and treat chronic diseases has progressed dramatically in recent years, due in large part to the discovery and availability of new innovative medicines," PhRMA president and CEO John Castellani said. "But we can’t rest on our laurels. The more than 400 medicines in the pipeline for diseases prevalent among older Americans have tremendous potential to improve and extend the lives of seniors, and reduce costly emergency room visits, hospitalizations and surgical procedures."

The drugs include 142 for diabetes; 92 for rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis; 82 for Alzheimer’s disease; 48 for heart failure; and 40 for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. All of these conditions affect millions of elderly people in the United States, and Alzheimer’s could affect nearly 8 million people by 2030 unless a treatment or preventative measure is found.

 

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PHARMACY

Lilly, BI apply for diabetes drug approval

BY Alaric DeArment

RIDGEFIELD, Conn. — Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lilly are seeking regulatory approval for an experimental drug to treat Type 2 diabetes, the companies said Monday.

BI and Lilly announced the submission of a regulatory application to the Food and Drug Administration for empagliflozin. The drug belongs to a new drug class known as SGLT2 inhibitors, which work by removing excess glucose through the urine by blocking its reabsorption in the kidneys. The companies are testing the drug in a late-stage clinical trial for which they plan to enroll 14,500 patients.

"We are excited to have submitted an application for a potential new treatment option that may help patients better manage their Type 2 diabetes mellitus," BI VP metabolic-clinical development and medical affairs Christophe Arbet-Engels said. "Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a critical health issue facing the world today, and through Boehringer Ingelheim and Lilly Diabetes Alliance, we are committed to developing new treatments to address patients with this disease."

The submission is part of a partnership between the two companies announced in January 2011.


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PHARMACY

Walgreens Empire State Building store opens

BY Alaric DeArment

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens is opening its latest New York flagship store in the Empire State Building, the retail pharmacy chain said Friday.

The store, scheduled to open Saturday at 10 a.m., will include an enhanced pharmacy designed to encourage greater interaction between pharmacists and patients, a health guide to help customers find health-and-wellness products and healthcare services ranging from immunizations to health tests. An "Ask Your Pharmacist" desk, private consultation rooms and Express Rx kiosks are included as well.

"We are extremely pleased to provide another revolutionary store that demonstrates how Walgreens is transforming daily living, pharmacy and healthcare experiences nationwide," Walgreens president of operations and community management Mark Wagner said. "Walgreens innovative products and services support our commitment to help our customers get, stay and live well."

The LOOK Boutique beauty department will feature an Eyebrow Bar with shaping and grooming services, as well as dozens of brands across cosmetics, skin care and hair care, including some not typically found in drug stores, as well as beauty advisers.

For consumables, an Upmarket Cafe will have fresh coffee, pastries, doughnuts and bagels, and the store will include self-serve frozen yogurt with a toppings bar, a Coca-Cola Freestye machine that dispenses 130 varieties of Coca-Cola fountain drinks, a variety of beers — including locally brewed brands — and fresh foods such as wraps, sandwiches and salads.

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