PHARMACY

FDA approves combo vaccine for elderly patients

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a vaccine for preventing tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough in elderly patients.

The FDA announced the approval of GlaxoSmithKline’s Boostrix, a single-dose booster shot described as the first vaccine approved for preventing all three diseases in patients ages 65 years and older.

All three diseases can cause serious complications if not properly diagnosed and treated, and whooping cough, also known as pertussis, has been on the rise in the United States since 2007, with outbreaks in California, Michigan and Ohio occurring in 2010.

“Pertussis is a highly contagious diseases, and outbreaks have occurred among the elderly in nursing homes and hospitals,” FDA Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research director Karen Midthun stated. “With this approval, adults 65 [years] and older now have the opportunity to receive a vaccine that prevents pertussis, as well as tetanus and diphtheria.”

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PHARMACY

U.S. secretary of labor visits Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy headquarters

BY Alaric DeArment

FLINT, Mich. — The country’s largest privately owned specialty pharmacy provider recently got a visit from the U.S. secretary of labor.

Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy announced last week that labor secretary Hilda Solis toured the company’s new headquarters at a former General Motors building in Flint, Mich.

“This is testimony of what people can do when they pull together,” Solis said, referring to Diplomat’s use of the building. “Flint, Mich., is on the map again.”

She also congratulated Diplomat president and CEO Phil Hagerman.

“This facility has been a game changer for us and signifies Diplomat’s continued national growth,” Hagerman said. “Diplomat was picked for this important visit as a unique example of how entrepreneurial business can work together with federal, state and local government to accelerate their growth. We’ve hired 100 employees so far this year and are on track to hire another 150 before year end.”

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American Regent launches generic Xalatan

BY Alaric DeArment

SHIRLEY, N.Y. — American Regent has launched a generic drug for relieving pressure inside the eye, the company said.

American Regent announced the availability of latanoprost ophthalmic solution in the 0.005% strength.

The drug is a generic version of Pfizer’s Xalatan and is used to treat such conditions as glaucoma and ocular hypertension.

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