PHARMACY

Manchester College EVP named pharmacy school dean

BY Allison Cerra

NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. — Manchester College has tapped Dave McFadden to serve as the dean of the university’s pharmacy school.

McFadden, who has served as interim dean for the past five months, has more than 20 years of higher education leadership experience and has led enrollment, strategic planning and marketing initiatives, as well as the name change to University scheduled for July 1 at Manchester College, the school said.

"Dave was at the forefront in our thinking and planning for the Pharmacy School and has immersed himself in learning about pharmacy for the past five years," Manchester College president Jo Young Switzer in announcing the appointment, effective May 4. "He worked with the core team that developed the successful $35 million grant proposal for the School of Pharmacy to Lilly Endowment."

Pharmacy classes begin Aug. 13 on the new Manchester campus in north Fort Wayne. Working from a national pool of 470 applicants, Manchester is within a week of filling its first class of 70 students for the four-year program.


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PHARMACY

Kmart sells prescription pet medications

BY Alaric DeArment

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Kmart is introducing prescription pet medications at its stores, the mass merchandise retail chain said Friday.

The company said the new program was designed to make it easier for customers to get branded and generic pet drugs and more convenient to shop for the whole family. More than 60% of American households own a pet, and families spent more than $50 billion on their pets in 2011, according to the American Pet Products Association.

"This new pet program is just another example of how we strive to make the shopping experience seamless for our customers," Kmart VP and general manager for pharmacy administration Ghassan Hourani said. "In addition to our wide variety of pet products — including the Kmart-exclusive Champion Breed food, toys and treats — we are thrilled that we can now offer our customers and their furry family members a one-stop shopping experience."

The company also said it would mark National Pet Month by giving free cat and dog treats made by Purina by buying a pet medication or $20 worth of Purina products.


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New drug shortages cut in half as industry notifications increase

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The number of new drug shortages has been halved as early notifications from manufacturers of potential shortages have increased sixfold, the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration wrote Thursday.

In a statement posted on the agency’s website to mark the six-month anniversary of an executive order by President Barack Obama designed to prevent shortages of critical drugs, FDA commissioner Margaret Hamburg wrote that the agency had prevented 128 shortages and saw 42 reports of new drug shortages, compared with 90 during the same period last year. Meanwhile, between the periods of January to October 2011 and November 2011 to April 2012, the average number of monthly notifications of potential shortages increased from 10 to 60.

"This data is a testament to how FDA exercises flexibility and discretion in much of our work on drug shortages and the importance of strong collaboration and constant communication with industry, health professionals and patients," Hamburg wrote.

Some highlights included the cancer drug methotrexate, supplies of which are currently meeting demand, with no further supply issues expected; and a response by the agency to a shortage of Johnson & Johnson’s cancer drug Doxil (liposomal doxorubicin) that allowed temporary importation of another brand of the drug, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries’ Lipodox, from India. When Hospira notified the FDA of a shortage of the surgical anesthesia drug propofol, the agency turned to another manufacturer and was able to increase supplies.

Still, some issues have remained, Hamburg wrote. These include the injectable cancer drug leucovorin, used to treat leukemia in children alongside methotrexate; the agency is working with Teva to produce additional shipments. Another drug, Lundbeck’s chemotherapy Mustargen (mechlorethamine hydrochloride) has experienced shortages as well, but the company is planning to make it available again in August.

"Drug shortages remain a serious, complex problem, and the agency remains extremely concerned about all current and potential drug shortages, not just those that I mentioned," Hamburg wrote. "Our efforts require a multifaceted approach involving industry, regulators, payers and others."


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