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Genentech adds BioPlus to limited-distribution network for Tarceva

BY Alaric DeArment

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. — BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy has been added to the limited-distribution network for a Genentech drug used to treat lung and pancreatic cancers.

BioPlus announced that it had become a distributor for the drug Tarceva (erlotinib) starting Monday, when the drug, made by Genentech and Astellas, ceased to be available in retail pharmacies.

"BioPlus has worked for many years with patients taking Tarceva, and we look forward to continuing to service oncology patients as one of the small number of specialty pharmacies with ongoing access to this limited drug," BioPlus director of pharmaceutical contract management Sharon Ferrer said.

 

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Reports: FDA approves gel version of Merz’s Naftin

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a gel formulation of a foot fungus drug made by Merz Pharmaceuticals, according to published reports.

According to reports, the FDA approved a gel formulation of Merz’s Naftin (naftifine), used to treat athlete’s foot, known medically as tinea pedis.

A cream version of the drug is already approved, and the latest approval was based on two clinical trials of more than 1,700 patients, according to reports.

 

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Campaign seeks to raise children’s arthritis awareness

BY Alaric DeArment

ATLANTA — Arthritis is one of the most common chronic illnesses in children, but it often goes unnoticed and undiagnosed, according to two arthritis-focused organizations seeking to spread awareness about the disease.

The Arthritis Foundation has designated July as Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month, highlighting the approximately 300,000 children affected by the condition. Children suffering from achy joints are often diagnosed as having "growing pains," but pain, stiffness and swelling in and around the joints may be signs of more serious rheumatic disease.

"When joint pain, swelling or stiffness occurs in one or more of your of children’s joints for at least six weeks, it’s important not to assume these symptoms are temporary and to get a proper diagnosis from a pediatric arthritis specialist," Arthritis Foundation VP public health policy and advocacy Patience White said. "Early medical treatment of juvenile arthritis can prevent serious, permanent damage to your child’s joints and enable her to live an active, full childhood."

 

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