PHARMACY

GNP broadens patient-care menu

BY DSN STAFF

VALLEY FORGE, Pa. —One of retail pharmacy’s most effective battles against diabetes is being waged by a group of independent drug stores.

Together, those stores comprise one of the industry’s largest drug store banners: the Good Neighbor Pharmacy network. As demonstrated by a new, national image ad campaign launching this month in 90 U.S. markets, GNP, owned and serviced by AmerisourceBergen Corp., has exploded in size and market reach in recent years.

GNP numbers more than 3,700 stores offering traditional, personalized care—a hallmark of the community pharmacist—alongside high-tech marketing capabilities and a growing menu of clinical and preventive-care services. Among the best-known: “Living Without Limits,” which provides diabetes counseling and services through GNP’s Diabetes Shoppe program.

The program has gained traction as an effective diabetes-treatment resource, drawing on trained GNP pharmacists and a multimedia approach that includes a Web site, award-winning newsletters and in-store programs. “Living Without Limits” was promoted through an effective spokesman: “Iron Andy” Holder, a triathlon competitor living with Type 1 diabetes, who was featured in advertisements with a GNP pharmacist helping him manage the disease.

GNP also is partnering with other disease-fighting efforts. Last October, for instance, members in south Florida joined with Baptist Health Breast Center and NBC 6 in a public service campaign to educate the community about breast cancer. GNP also continues to expand its Prescription Savings Club, aimed at giving GNP stores “the competitive power to go up against the many discount programs the chains are using,” according to ABC.

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Late-stage clinical trial of Avastin fails to meet expectations, Genentech says

BY Alaric DeArment

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. A late-stage clinical trial of a Genentech drug for men with late-stage prostate cancer has failed, the biotech company announced Friday.

Genentech, part of Swiss drug maker Roche, announced that a phase 3 trial of Avastin (bevacizumab) combined with prednisone and the chemotherapy drug docetaxel did not extend the amount of time that patients survived, compared with chemotherapy and prednisone alone.

The drug already has approval from the Food and Drug Administration for treating tumors and cancers of the lungs, colon, rectum, breasts, kidneys and brain.

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Abbott’s submits supplemental approval application for Lupron Depot to FDA

BY Alaric DeArment

ABBOTT PARK, Ill. Abbott is hoping that the Food and Drug Administration will approve one of its drugs as a treatment for advanced prostate cancer.

The Chicago-based drug maker announced Thursday that the FDA accepted its supplemental approval application for Lupron Depot (leuprolide acetate) in the 45-mg strength. The drug, an injectable, works by suppressing production of testosterone for six months. It is currently available in 7.5-mg, 22.5-mg and 30-mg formulations that work for one, three and four months.

“For many patients with advanced prostate cancer, Lupron Depot is an important treatment option because it can help manage the symptoms of their disease,” Abbott VP global pharmaceutical development Eugene Sun said in a statement. “Abbott is seeking approval for a new six-month formulation to provide greater convenience and dosing flexibility to physicians and patients who could benefit form this medication.”

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