PHARMACY

Horizon Pharma unveils Lodotra trial

BY Alaric DeArment

NORTHBROOK, Ill. An investigational drug for rheumatoid arthritis reduced the duration of symptoms in patients over the course of a year, according to results of a late-stage clinical trial presented in Europe recently.

Horizon Pharma announced Friday the presentation of results of the phase 3 “CAPRA-1” study of the drug Lodotra (prednisone) at the European League Against Rheumatism’s annual congress. Results also appeared in the July issue of the journal Annals of Rheumatic Disease. Lodotra is a programmed-release formulation of low-dose prednisone.

According to the study, conducted on 288 patients, the drug produced reduced duration of morning stiffness in RA patients. Symptoms of the disease are connected to circadian rhythms and show the highest severity in the early morning, lead study author Frank Buttgereit, of Berlin’s Charite Hospital, said.

“The results of the open-label portion of the CAPRA-1 study showed that the efficacy of glucocorticoid therapy can be sustained by synchronizing the drug release with the circadian rhythm of the underlying inflammation and resulting symptoms,” Buttgereit said.

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PHARMACY

Independent pharmacies tap into long-term care market with new center

BY Alaric DeArment

DENVER Healthcare services company Cardinal Health will work with the American Society of Consultant Pharmacies to help independent retail pharmacies tap into the long-term care market, Cardinal said Thursday.

According to statistics from 2008, the number of adults in the United States needing nursing home or assisted living care is expected to be 20 million by 2050. Officially launched at Cardinal’s Retail Business Conference in Denver this week, the Long Term Care Specialized Care Center will give independents access to long-term care field specialists, discounts on the ASCP’s policy and procedure manuals and continuing education courses and market analyses.

“Many independent pharmacists want to start serving the high-growth long-term care market, but doing so requires a specialized knowledge base and skill set,” Cardinal VP market management and product development Jay Williams said. “That’s why we’ve partnered with ASCP – the recognized expert in geriatric pharmacotherapy – to provide our customers with the education and building blocks they need to immediately start serving the medication needs of the long-term care facilities in their communities.”

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PHARMACY

GSK joins the National Pharmaceutical Council

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline is the latest company to join health policy research organization the National Pharmaceutical Council, the NPC announced Thursday.

Established in 1953, the NPC sponsors and conducts scientific analyses of the use of drugs with support from drug companies. GlaxoSmithKline SVP private, public and institutional customers Jack Bailey will serve as the company’s representative on the NPC’s board of directors.

“As the nation moves forward with the implementation of healthcare reform, NPC’s research provides policy makers and implementers with keen insight on comparative effectiveness research and health-and-wellness issues,” Bailey said. “I welcome the opportunity to work with NPC and its staff as they move forward with these and other research areas impacting the pharmaceutical industry.”

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