PHARMACY

J&J buys experimental hepatitis C drug from GSK

BY Alaric DeArment

TITUSVILLE, N.J. — A subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson has acquired rights to an experimental drug for hepatitis C from GlaxoSmithKline.

Janssen Pharmaceuticals announced that it had bought, for an undisclosed among, the drug GSK2336805 from GSK. The drug, which belongs to a class known as NS5a replication complex inhibitors, is currently in mid-stage development.

As part of the deal, Janssen acquires all rights to develop and commercialize the drug, including in combination with other drugs. The drug maker will start phase-2 studies to study its use in combinations with its own experimental drugs, TMC435 (simeprevir) and TMC647055. The company said it would test the GSK drug in combinations that did not include interferons, biotech drugs commonly used to treat hepatitis C.

Janssen recently said that data from a phase-2a study in which simeprevir was combined with another drug, sifosbuvir, was accepted as a late-breaking presentation at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, which will take place Nov. 1-5 in Washington.

 

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PHARMACY

QS/1, RxTran partner on pharmacy translation

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — QS/1 will offer its pharmacy clients prescription-translation software under a new partnership with pharmacy language service firm RxTran, the two companies said Thursday.

RxTran is delivered as a software-as-a-service application, allowing pharmacies to quickly and accurately provide written prescription translations to customers with limited English proficiency, thus providing them with a fuller understanding of medication directions and usage. According to the U.S. Census Bereau, the population of people with limited English proficiency grew by 80% between 1990 and 2010.

"QS/1 is committed to providing its pharmacy customers with the tools they need to offer the best patient care possible," QS/1 senior manager for marketing and analyst Michael Ziegler said. "Using RxTran allows pharmacies to translate prescription information into a patient’s native language."

RxTran provides translation services in Arabic, Bengali, French, German, Greek, Haitian Creole, Hindi, Italian, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, simplified and traditional Chinese character sets, Spanish, Tagalog and Vietnamese.

"We are excited and proud to partner with QS/1," RxTran CEO Brian Kratt said. "The integration of these technologies provides pharmacies with an affordable language solution that enables them to improve patient safety and provide better patient care to limited-English-proficiency customers."

 

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Physician, talk show co-host Travis Stork appointed to telehealth provider’s advisory board

BY Alaric DeArment

SUNRISE, Fla. — Telehealth services and software provider MDLive has appointed a nationally known physician and talk show co-host as chairman of its medical advisory board.

MDLive announced Wednesday the appointment of Travis Stork, who is co-host of the Emmy award-winning daytime talk show "The Doctors."

The company said Stork’s role would be one of a "true hands-on partnership" that would include taking calls from MDLive patients and helping the company design processes that ensure the highest standards of care and customer experience. He will work with MDLive’s nationwide network of physicians to help them offer the highest-quality care, the company said.

"MDLive is for everyone, and I’m delighted to be joining a company that is dedicated to offering immediate access to quality health care," Stork said. "With waiting times to see a doctor increasing, MDLive provides quick, convenient access to experienced, board-certified physicians."

The company’s physicians can diagnose, treat and write prescriptions for many drugs, with exception to controlled substances, for routine medical conditions all day and any day of the year.

"Our close partnership with Dr. Stork will capitalize on our joint vision for delivering an incredible customer experience never seen before in health care, providing superb, affordable care anytime, anywhere in a confidential and trustworthy manner," MDLive CEO Randy Parker said. "MDLive offers care on the patients’ terms, and our network of doctors can diagnose, treat and even prescribe medication when appropriate to help people avoid unnecessary hassles of traveling to the ER and dealing with the frustration of crowding waiting rooms. We look forward to working with Dr. Stork in bringing back the house call to create a new unprecedented standard of patient care."

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