HEALTH

FDA advisory committee votes against Eisai-Arena obesity drug

BY Alaric DeArment

SAN DIEGO An advisory committee of the Food and Drug Administration has given a thumbs-down to a drug for treating obesity.

 

Eisai and Arena Pharmaceuticals said Thursday that the FDA’s Endocrinologic and Metabolic Drugs Advisory Committee voted 9-5 to recommend against approval of the drug lorcaserin, saying clinical trial data did not adequately show that its benefits would outweigh its risks.

 

 

While the FDA is not bound by advisory committee recommendations, it takes them into account when deciding whether or not to grant approval to a drug.

 

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White House continues health IT drive as CMS offers matching funds to states

BY Jim Frederick

WASHINGTON More money is flowing from the federal stimulus coffers to states as the White House continues its push to drive the healthcare system’s massive transformation to a digital and information technology-based platform.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is releasing another $6.9 million in federal matching funds for the effort, according to a report from the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society. The money is going to four states –– Hawaii, Massachusetts, North Dakota and Ohio –– to help pay for a conversion to electronic health records by Medicaid providers in those states, according to the society’s online newsletter, Government Health IT.

 

Similar matching grant programs already have gone to some other states –– including Delaware, Connecticut and West Virginia –– in line with the Obama administration’s plan to propel the nationwide adoption of health IT with some $20 billion in stimulus funds. According to the report, CMS is providing as much as 90% of the funds needed by state Medicaid administrators to provide incentive payments under the HITECH Act. States also can use some of the money to track the conversion to health IT, Government Health IT reported.

 

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Sanofi-Aventis’ WISE program gets recognition from HBA

BY Alaric DeArment

FAIRFIELD, N.J. The Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association has given the U.S. subsidiary of French drug maker Sanofi-Aventis its 2010 HBA ACE Award for building women’s leadership in the company, the HBA said Thursday.

 

Sanofi-Aventis US won the award for its Women Inspiring Sanofi-Aventis Excellence, or WISE, program. WISE is an internal women’s network with more than 1,000 members designed to foster the leadership development of women working for the company. It has borrowed heavily from the HBA’s "Empowerment, Diversity, Growth, Excellence Leadership" study, conducted in 2007.

 

 

“The WISE program clearly demonstrates Sanofi-Aventis’ commitment to fostering the personal and professional leadership development of Sanofi-Aventis US women, which will have a direct impact on leadership in the healthcare industry overall,” HBA president Susan Torroella said. “We are proud that the ACE Award is recognizing this effort.”

 

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