PHARMACY

FDA approves new use for Genentech arthritis drug

BY Alaric DeArment

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new use for a drug made by Roche division Genentech.

The drug maker said Friday that the FDA had approved Actemra (tocilizumab) for adults with moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis who have not responded adequately to one or more disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs. The drug was already approved for systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis.

"People with moderately to severely active RA can suffer irreversible joint damage that may be prevented by earlier treatment with a biologic medicine such as Actemra," Genentech chief medical officer and head of global product development Hal Barron said. "We’re pleased that these patients will now have Actemra as an additional option."


 

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PHARMACY

Survey: Two-in-three pharmacy students interested in becoming an independent

BY Michael Johnsen

 SAN DIEGO — Nearly two-thirds of pharmacy students are interested in owning a community pharmacy after graduation, according to a recent survey conducted on behalf of the National Community Pharmacists Association. 

The national survey of some 120 NCPA student members was conducted to gauge interest in becoming a future pharmacy owner. “Today’s pharmacy students are some of the best and brightest I’ve ever seen,” stated Lonny Wilson, NCPA president. “The feedback we received from this survey furthers my belief that these students will be the hardworking, dedicated pharmacy owners our profession needs to thrive. We are proud to partner with McKesson to help [pharmacy students] attend the NCPA Annual Convention to help them become those successful owners of the future.”

McKesson sponsors the RxOwnership program, which is dedicated to providing independent pharmacy owners, prospective owners and pharmacy students with tools to help them map out their future. In the past year, RxOwnership has been involved in more than 450 pharmacy buy, sell or transfer deals and supported nearly 300 startups. 

“McKesson RxOwnership is proud to partner with NCPA to support the future of pharmacy ownership by giving students the knowledge and tools to map out their future,” commented Bob Graul, national VP, McKesson RxOwnership. “Many recent pharmacy graduates are interested in independent pharmacy ownership because they want the ability to decide how they would like to run a pharmacy and tailor its services to meet the needs of their customers and community. Ultimately, this gives them the ability to do what community pharmacists do best – focus on patient care.”

 

 

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PHARMACY

BD introduces disposable injection pen

BY Alaric DeArment

FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J. — Medical supply company BD has introduced a disposable injection pen that it said was designed for drugs requiring frequent, low-volume injections or variable dosing.

The company’s BD Medical division announced the introduction of the Vystra, which it will showcase at the 2012 Parenteral Drug Association meeting in Las Vegas.

The company said the pen is designed for ease of use, comfort and reliability, including design features like multi-dosing, simple dose dialing and correction with audible clicks and large and clear dose markings.

"As more patient care shifts to the outpatient setting, self-injection devices must be able to accommodate the requirements of an ever broader range of drugs and patient profiles," BD Medical VP and global leader for pharmaceutical systems and the self-administration injection systems platform. "With the BD Vystra disposable pen, BD has incorporated several customization options to meet these needs, such as variable or fixed dosing and multiple look-and-feel designs. This ability to customize the device introduces a new level of flexibility for drug manufacturers."


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