Lilly names Harvard School of Public Health professor to board of directors
INDIANAPOLIS — Drug maker Eli Lilly has appointed Katherine Baicker to its board of directors, effective Dec. 12.
As a member of the board, Baicker — who is a professor of health economics in the department of health policy and management at the Harvard School of Public Health — will serve under interim election and will stand for election by Lilly shareholders at the company’s annual meeting in April 2012. As a member of the board, she also will serve on the public policy and compliance committee.
From 2005 to 2007, Baicker served as a Senate-confirmed member of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, where she played a leading role in the development of health policy.
John Thievon named Dey Pharma president
PITTSBURGH — Mylan’s fully integrated specialty pharmaceutical business has a new leader.
The company said it appointed John Thievon as president of Dey Pharma. Prior to joining Dey Pharma, Thievon most recently served as MiddleBrook Pharmaceuticals president and CEO, where he built the company into a 450-person organization before its assets were acquired by Victory Pharma. Additionally, Thievon also worked as EVP commercial operations for Adams Respiratory Therapeutics, where he built the company’s marketing platform and led the launch of Mucinex, growing it to a $450 million brand before the company was sold to Reckitt Benckiser.
"I am extremely pleased to welcome John as our new leader of Mylan’s specialty business," Mylan president Heather Bresch said. "John’s extensive experience growing a branded pharmaceutical business from the ground up and proven track record launching highly successful pharmaceutical brands, like Mucinex, is invaluable as we continue to build on our specialty business. Dey has been and continues to be a very valuable asset and important growth driver for Mylan, evidenced by the strong performance of this business. John’s appointment demonstrates our continued commitment to invest in Dey and strengthen what we have in place in order to support the continued success of this business into the future."
CDC releases new TB treatment protocol
ATLANTA — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday released new recommendations to treat latent tuberculosis infection.
The new recommendations, published in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, provide guidance on how to administer a new 12-dose regimen for TB preventive therapy that will significantly shorten and simplify the course of treatment from about nine months to 12 weeks. The recommendations are based on the results of three clinical trials, as well as expert opinion.
“This regimen has the potential to be a game-changer in the United States when it comes to fighting TB,” CDC director Thomas Frieden said. “It gives us a new, effective option that will reduce by two-thirds — from nine months to three months — the length of time someone needs to take medicine to prevent latent TB infection from progressing to active TB disease.”
Latent TB infection occurs when a person has TB bacteria but does not have symptoms and cannot transmit the bacteria to others. In the United States, the number of persons with TB disease is at an all-time low (11,182 total cases were reported in 2010); however, approximately 4% of the U.S. population, or 11 million people, are infected with the TB bacterium. TB continues to disproportionately affect people of color and foreign-born persons in this country.
“If we are going to achieve our goal of TB elimination in the United States, we must ensure that those with latent TB infection receive appropriate evaluation and treatment to prevent their infection from progressing to TB disease and possibly spreading to others,” said Kevin Fenton, M.D., director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention. “It is critical that we accelerate progress against TB in the United States in order to avoid a resurgence of the disease.”
The new 12-dose regimen adds another effective treatment option to the prevention toolkit for TB, and is not meant to replace other preventative treatment regimens for all patients where the new regimen is not the best option. The regimen includes 12 once-weekly doses of rifapentine and isoniazid. Doses should be taken under the supervision of a health care worker to ensure completion of doses and to allow for monitoring of safety among patients.