PHARMACY

Herpes drug may help control HIV

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON A study published in the journal Cell Host & Microbe has found that a herpes drug may also be able to control HIV.

It turns out that the genital herpes virus alters the drug so that it combats HIV through a chemical process called phosphorylation, though this also means that the drug only fights HIV in patients who already have herpes.

The researchers found that people with HIV and herpes who took acyclovir had lower viral loads than those who didn’t.

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UI sues Amgen over patent infringement

BY Alaric DeArment

IOWA CITY, Iowa A major biotech company has trouble with the University of Iowa.

The university is suing Amgen, alleging that it has knowingly infringed on its patents for several years, specifically in its manufacture of drugs such as the rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis treatment Enbrel (etanercept).

The university is demanding unspecified damages from the Thousand Oaks, Calif., company.

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Take Care adds four new vaccines to its program

BY Antoinette Alexander

CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. Take Care Health Systems, which is owned by Walgreens, has expanded its vaccine program with four new vaccines.

The new vaccination suite includes varicella (chickenpox); measles, mumps and rubella (MMR); pneumococcal (PPV); and human pappilomavirus (HPV).

These vaccinations—in addition to hepatitis B, menactra (meningitis), shingles, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (Tdap) and tetanus booster (Td)—are now available at all 223 Take Care clinics within Walgreens.

Flu shots will also be available from Oct. 1 through early 2009.

“Vaccinations are the cornerstone of disease prevention and health promotion,” stated Sandy Ryan, chief nurse practitioner officer at Take Care Health Systems. “Routine immunizations are critical for both children and adults. Adults should ensure they are up to date on recommended vaccines to prevent against common, yet serious, diseases.”

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