PHARMACY

FDA approves new drug for potentially deadly ammonia conditions

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new drug for treating some disorders that harm the body’s ability to remove ammonia from the blood, the agency said Friday.

The FDA announced the approval of Hyperion Therapeutics’ Ravicti (glycerol phenylbutyrate) for the chronic management of certain urea cycle disorders in patients ages 2 years and older. Normally, when protein is absorbed and broken down by the body, it produces nitrogen as a waste product, which the urea cycle removes through the urine. But in people with UCDs, the nitrogen accumulates in the body as ammonia, which can travel to the brain and cause brain damage, coma or death.

"Ravicti provides another treatment for chronic management of urea cycle disorders, a group of life-threatening conditions," FDA Division of Gastrointestinal and Inborn Errors Products director Donna Griebel said. "The approval of this new therapeutic option demonstrates FDA’s commitment to providing treatments for patients suffering from rare diseases."

The drug is a liquid taken three times a day with meals and is intended for patients whose UCD can’t be managed with a protein-restricted diet or amino acid supplements alone.


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PHARMACY

Rite Aid appoints Yong Choe as VP government affairs and public policy

BY Alaric DeArment

Rite Aid on Thursday announced the appointment of Yong Choe as VP federal affairs and public policy. Choe previously served as director of business outreach and member services for the Republican Study Committee, chaired by Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, and worked in various roles in the government affairs division of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores between 2003 and 2010. In his new position, he will report to EVP pharmacy Robert Thompson.

"Yong’s experience in public policy, coupled with his knowledge of the retail pharmacy industry, makes him a true asset to Rite Aid’s government affairs team," Thompson said. "We are excited to have him on board, especially given the ever-changing healthcare landscape and the many new healthcare laws set to take place this year. We look forward to his many contributions as we continue in our mission to deliver a superior experience to our pharmacy customers."

 

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PHARMACY

MTM improves outcomes in diabetes patients, study finds

BY Alaric DeArment

ARLINGTON, Va. — Face-to-face medication therapy management services can improve health outcomes for patients with diabetes, according to a new study.

The 224-patient study, conducted by researchers at the University of Minnesota and healthcare institutions in the area and published in the journal Population Health Management, found that diabetes patients experienced better outcomes when pharmacist-provided MTM was part of their overall disease therapy. While patients receiving MTM services showed improvement, those who discontinued soon returned to measurement levels similar to the ones they had before they started.

"This study really showcases the positive impact of pharmacist-provided MTM services for patients suffering from chronic diseases," National Association of Chain Drug Stores president and CEO Steven Anderson said. "The face-to-face medical intervention by a pharmacist is irreplaceable and — as evidenced in this study — an important component of chronic disease patient management."


 

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