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FDA postpones decision on Pfizer RA drug, citing time needed to review new data

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — The Food and Drug Administration has postponed its decision whether or not to approve an experimental arthritis drug made by Pfizer, the drug maker said.

Pfizer said the FDA had extended its action date for the drug tofacitinib by three months, to Nov. 21, because additional analyses of data that the company submitted constituted a "major amendment" to Pfizer’s regulatory application and will require additional time to review.

If approved, the drug, designed to treat moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis, will be the first of a new class known as Janus kinase, or JAK inhibitors. Tofacitinib would also be the first new oral disease-modifying antirheumatic drug for RA in more than 10 years, the company said.


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CVS/pharmacy adds new photo feature to its CVS Mobile app

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS/pharmacy announced on Wednesday that it has unveiled a new photo feature to its existing CVS Mobile app, enabling consumers to easily print photos directly from their smartphone camera or from their CVSphoto.com account for same day pick up, with no additional cost, at any CVS/pharmacy location.

Now through Aug. 31, users can also pick up 50 photos for $5, or 10 cents per print.

With nearly 30% of photos now being taken on smartphones, CVS/pharmacy has introduced this new photo printing to meet the increasing demand from consumers who want to preserve and share images they have stored on their smartphone devices. The new feature is one of many recent digital enhancements offered by CVS/pharmacy.

"In recent months we’ve significantly expanded our mobile capabilities through our new, enhanced apps and upgraded technologies, as well as the re-launched CVS.com web site which adds a new level of personalization for each of our customers," stated Rob Price, SVP of marketing and chief marketing officer for CVS/pharmacy. "We believe our commitment to innovation within the mobile space and this latest offering will inspire customers to capture more memories and help people preserve them from wherever they are and at any time."

In addition to printing photos from smartphones, shoppers using the CVS mobile app also have access to a number of other tools, such as the ability to digitally store ExtraCare card information in their smartphones, managing and refilling prescriptions and viewing prescription history and full mCommerce shopping.

 

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NACDS Foundation announces recipients of ‘Million Hearts Team Up, Pressure Down’ grants

BY Antoinette Alexander

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation announced on Tuesday the recipients of the Million Hearts Team Up, Pressure Down public education grants. The NACDS Foundation’s support will provide $35,000 in funding for community health fairs during the month of September, hosted by 15 schools and colleges of pharmacy nationwide.

Team Up, Pressure Down is a pharmacy-based program starting in September within the Million Hearts initiative, which was launched by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Million Hearts initiative, with key stakeholders including the NACDS Foundation, aims to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes over the next five years by raising public awareness about blood pressure control, cholesterol management and smoking cessation.
 
In September, through the combined outreach of student pharmacists and faculty members, the selected schools and colleges of pharmacy will host community health fairs. The health fairs will feature student pharmacist-led blood pressure screenings, cholesterol screenings, and medication reviews. In the United States alone, cardiovascular disease costs $444 billion every year in medical expenses and lost worker productivity.
 
“Student pharmacists will have the opportunity to make a meaningful difference in their communities through preventive care services,” stated NACDS Foundation president Kathleen Jaeger. “The NACDS Foundation is thrilled to work with these schools to improve the health and wellness of patients from across the country, and we are excited to continue to support the great work of HHS as they work toward the goal of preventing one million heart attacks and strokes over the next five years.”
 
The recipients — selected from nearly 70 applicant schools and colleges of pharmacy — are:
 

  1. Chicago State University
  2. Duquesne University
  3. Harding University
  4. Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences-Boston
  5. Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences-Worcester
  6. Roosevelt University
  7. Texas A&M University
  8. University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
  9. University of Minnesota
  10. University of Mississippi
  11. University of New Mexico
  12. University of North Carolina
  13. University of Oklahoma
  14. University of South Florida
  15. Western New England University
     

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