PHARMACY

FDA approves Eylea

BY Allison Cerra

SILVER SPRING, Md. — After being unanimously recommended for approval by a Food and Drug Administration panel, the FDA has approved an eye disorder treatment created by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.

The FDA on Friday approved Eylea (aflibercept) to treat patients with wet age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of vision loss and blindness. The wet form of AMD includes the growth of abnormal blood vessels, which can leak fluid into the central part of the retina, also known as the macula. When fluid leaks into the macula, the macula thickens and vision loss occurs. An early symptom of wet AMD occurs when straight lines appear to be wavy, the FDA noted.

The drug was recommended for approval back in June by the Dermatologic and Ophthalmic Drugs Advisory Committee.

"Eylea is an important new treatment option for adults with wet AMD," said Edward Cox, director of the Office of Antimicrobial Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. "It is a potentially blinding disease and the availability of new treatment options is important."


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CVS/pharmacy kicks off annual campaign to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS/pharmacy once again is supporting the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Thanks and Giving campaign, and will offer CVS/pharmacy shoppers more options to support the research.

This year marks the eighth year for the annual in-store fundraiser. St. Jude is one of the world’s leading centers for the research and treatment of pediatric cancer and other deadly childhood diseases, and since partnering in 2004, CVS/pharmacy and its customers have raised more than $25 million for the hospital.

From now through Dec. 11, CVS/pharmacy store colleagues will encourage customers to add $1 or $3 to their purchase at the register. Customers shopping online at CVS.com also can support the campaign by donating the amount of their choice at checkout.

Funds raised by CVS/pharmacy for Thanks and Giving will support the CVS Caremark Rehabilitation Services Center at St. Jude. Children with deadly diseases, such as cancer, may experience developmental, cognitive or physical impairments as a result of their illnesses, as well as the treatments used to save their lives. The facility in Memphis, Tenn., which opened in 2009, doubled the space dedicated to providing audiology, occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech-language pathology services to St. Jude patients to help them overcome the barriers they face in recovery.

"CVS/pharmacy’s participation in the Thanks and Giving campaign reflects our commitment and dedication to supporting the work St. Jude is doing to treat children with cancer and the life-saving research they share with experts across the country," said Eileen Howard Boone, SVP corporate communications and community relations for CVS Caremark. "We want to thank our colleagues and customers who, for the past eight years, have joined us in supporting this great cause."

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Walgreens open on Thanksgiving with special deals for smartphone users

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Monday announced that all stores will be open on Thanksgiving Day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., in addition to its more than 1,600 24-hour locations, including pharmacies.

In addition to featuring a number of front-end promotions in store, Walgreens has teamed with Redbox to give away 1 million free movie rentals. On Thanksgiving, the first 130 customers to make a purchase at each Walgreens location will get a free one-day Redbox DVD rental valid thru Dec. 24.

And for smartphone customers, Walgreens is adding scannable coupons to its mobile applications, offering exclusive discounts beginning Black Friday.

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