FDA issues warning over safety of Tysabri use
ROCKVILLE, Md. Patients using a drug for treating multiple sclerosis may be at increased risk of developing a deadly brain infection, the Food and Drug Administration said Friday in a warning to healthcare professionals and patients.
The FDA said that 31 patients using the drug Tysabri (natalizumab), marketed by Elan Corp. and Biogen Idec, had developed progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, or PML, as of Jan. 21. The drug’s safety labeling has been updated to reflect the risk. Still, the agency said the benefits of the drug outweigh the potential risks.
PML is caused by the JC virus, a virus that occurs naturally in most adults but is kept in check by the body’s immune system. When the immune system becomes compromised due to diseases such as AIDS or the use of immune-suppressing drugs, the risk that the virus will multiply and cause irreversible and fatal damage to the brain increases.
NACDS names Roger Merrill ‘Pharmacy Great Communicator’
ALEXANDRIA, Va. An executive from Perdue Farms received the National Association of Chain Drug Stores’ “Pharmacy Great Communicator” designation, NACDS announced Thursday.
Roger Merrill, a medical doctor and Perdue’s chief medical officer, received the designation on account of comments he made during a lecture last month at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, quoted in trade publications.
“Pharmacists could be hugely helpful in our patient-care continuum,” Merrill said in one of his comments. “Pharmacists know more than I do about drugs and drug treatment.”
The NACDS gives the award to people who “raise the public’s awareness of pharmacy’s ability to help patients improve their health-and-wellness, while reducing long-term healthcare costs, through strategies such as boosting medication adherence.”
Fruth Pharmacy raises funds for Cabell Huntington Hospital Foundation
POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. Fruth Pharmacy has started a fundraising drive for a local hospital, the regional retail pharmacy chain announced this week.
Fruth said that for every gallon of Fruth milk sold in its stores, 5 cents will go to the Cabell Huntington Hospital Foundation to help with the building of a new children’s hospital designed to serve southern West Virginia, eastern Kentucky and southeastern Ohio, with the goal of raising $25,000 in 2010. Broughton Food Co., which produces milk for Fruth, will add a new label to milk containers featuring the Children’s Hospital logo.
“Fruth Pharmacy is proud and honored to make a strong commitment to the Children’s Hospital project,” Fruth president Bob Messick stated. “The children of West Virginia deserve to have a modern, state-of-the-art facility to meet their healthcare needs.”