PHARMACY

FDA approves combination of two GSK drugs for skin cancer

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved two drugs made by GlaxoSmithKline for use together in patients with advanced melanoma that can’t be removed by surgery or has spread to other parts of the body, the agency said Friday.

The FDA announced the new approval for Mekinist (trametinib) and Tafinlar (dabrafenib). The agency originally approved the two drugs for use as single agents for the same indication in May 2013.

According to the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, an estimated 76,690 Americans were diagnosed last year with melanoma, the most aggressive type of skin cancer, and 9,480 died.

 

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PHARMACY

PDX executive Cheryl Jorgenson receives Certified Specialty Pharmacist endorsement

BY Alaric DeArment

FORT WORTH, Texas — The clinical development director of Rx.com Pharmacy Benefit Coalition is among the first few dozen pharmacists to receive a specialty pharmacy certification, the company said.

Rx.com PBC, an affiliate of pharmacy technology company PDX, said Cheryl Jorgenson received her certified specialty pharmacist endorsement from the Specialty Pharmacy Certification Board, which is designed to indicate to employers, manufacturers, payers, providers and others that a pharmacist is an expert in specialty drugs. The SPCB administered the first exam in October, and Jorgenson is one of only 50 pharmacists in the country to receive the CSP certification.

The certification allows Jorgenson to advise Rx.com Pharmacy Benefit Coalition patients as to plan design and coverage issues regarding the entire range of drug treatments.

"Earning this recognition will assure our patients, customers, colleagues and clients that Cheryl is an expert not only in clinical specialty therapies, but also in all aspects of handling and delivery of specialty pharmaceuticals," Rx.com VP strategic planning Jerry Ray said. "By achieving the skills and recognition of Certified Speciatly Pharmacist, Cheryl demonstrates both a commitment to the profession and a level of knowledge for all aspects of specialty pharmacy including the dispensing, clinical management and patient outcomes."

 

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PHARMACY

Teva appoints new president, CEO

BY Alaric DeArment

JERUSALEM — Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has appointed Erez Vigodman as president and CEO, the Israeli drug maker said Thursday.

Vigodman will replace acting president and CEO Eyal Desheh, who will return to his previous position as group EVP and CFO. Desheh took the interim position after the departure of former president and CEO Jeremy Levin in October 2013.

"I would like to welcome Erez to his new position as the CEO of Teva," Teva chairman Phillip Frost said. "As a member of the Teva board since 2009, Erez has a deep understanding of the company and the industry in which it operates, putting him in a strong position to hit the ground running and deliver value for shareholders."

Vigodman plans to leave his current position as president and CEO of agrochemical company Makhteshim Agan Industries on Feb. 6.

 

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