PHARMACY

MMR vaccine, autism link was fabricated, medical journal says

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — A study published in 1998 that led to a controversy over the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine was an “elaborate fraud,” according to a British medical journal.

Writing in the journal, BMJ, journalist Brian Deer reported that British physician Andrew Wakefield altered “numerous facts” about patients’ medical histories in a study he published in The Lancet that linked the MMR vaccine to a supposedly new syndrome of autism and bowel disease in children. The Lancet eventually retracted Wakefield’s study, after numerous subsequent studies found no evidence to corroborate it.

“Who perpetrated this fraud? There is no doubt that it was Wakefield,” BMJ’s editors wrote in an editorial. “Is it possible that he was wrong, but not dishonest? That he was so incompetent that he was unable to fairly describe the project, or to report even one of the 12 children’s cases accurately? No.”

The implications of Wakefield’s study and its refutation are enormous. The BMJ editors wrote that, thanks to the hysteria generated by the study, MMR vaccination rates in the United Kingdom dipped to 80% in 2003 and 2004, while the World Health Organization recommends rates of 95%. In 2008, health authorities declared a measles endemic in England and Wales. In Essen, Germany, 71 children at one school contracted mumps; 68 had not been vaccinated due to opposition by parents.

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Merck’s hepatitis C drug granted priority review by FDA

BY Alaric DeArment

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. — The Food and Drug Administration granted priority review to an approval application for a hepatitis C drug made by Merck, the drug maker said Thursday.

Merck said the FDA would seek to complete its review of the application for the drug boceprevir within six months. Authorities in the European Union have granted expedited review as well.

“We are pleased that the FDA and [European Medicines Agency] have accepted boceprevir for expedited review,” Merck Research Labs president Peter Kim said. “Our goal is to be able to bring forward a new treatment option for patients living with hepatitis C, and we are now closer to that goal.”

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C.MICHEL says:
May-27-2011 07:54 pm

if and when approved what strand is it for i have geno type 3a

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PHARMACY

Opening of Intel’s on-site medical center officially announced by Take Care

BY Antoinette Alexander

CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. — Take Care Health Systems, which is owned by Walgreens and currently operates more than 370 worksite clinics nationwide, has officially announced the opening of a new on-site medical center at Intel’s Jones Farm Campus in Hillsboro, Ore.

Intel’s new on-site health center is indicative of a shift that many companies are making by moving from workplace occupational health programs into providing more comprehensive healthcare service offerings for employees. Take Care Health Systems, which has been working with Intel since May 2006, operates Intel’s wellness and occupational programs in Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, New Mexico and Massachusetts, while also providing primary care services in Arizona.

"Intel is on the forefront of an employer trend to provide innovative pharmacy, health-and-wellness benefits at the workplace by moving from an occupational health program to a more comprehensive array of health services for employees. We’re excited to expand our relationship to continue providing employees high-quality and convenient health care," stated Peter Hotz, group VP for Walgreens’ health-and-wellness division. "When innovative companies like Intel invest in worksite health care, ongoing communication and education between patients and health providers is typically established, improving patient results, generating savings and increasing employee productivity and satisfaction — creating advantageous outcomes for all parties."

The full-service medical center, designed to provide greater convenience and cost savings for employees and the company, will serve roughly 5,700 people.

Take Care Health Systems confirmed that plans are under way to open an additional on-site medical center at Intel’s Ronler Acres Campus, also in Hillsboro.

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