NCPA seeks nominations for independent pharmacy, Rx drug safety awards
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Community Pharmacists Association on Monday announced that nominations currently are being accepted for its Willard B. Simmons Independent Pharmacist of the Year Award and the NCPA Prescription Drug Safety Award.
The awards will be presented in Nashville, Tenn., at the NCPA Annual Convention and Trade Exposition, from Oct. 8 to 12. The NCPA Willard B. Simmons Independent Pharmacist of the Year Award recognizes an independent pharmacist for exceptional leadership and commitment to independent pharmacy and the community. The award bears the name of Willard B. Simmons of Chicago, a long-time NCPA Foundation board member and retired NCPA executive secretary who exemplified outstanding leadership and commitment to independent pharmacy.
The NCPA Prescription Drug Safety Award recognizes a pharmacist who has served as an outreach resource to his or her community in the provision of education about the benefits of the correct use of prescription drug products and the hazards of their improper use.
Candidates for these awards must be an owner, manager or staff pharmacist of an independent pharmacy and a current NCPA member. Self-nominations are acceptable. Nominations must be received at NCPA headquarters no later than July 15 and should be made on an official nomination form. Descriptions of the awards, nomination forms and instructions are available at NCPAnet.org/index.php/events/2011-convention.
GSK, Valeant receive FDA approval for Potiga
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new drug for epilepsy made by GlaxoSmithKline and Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, the drug makers said Monday.
The FDA approved Potiga (ezogabine) tablets for the treatment of partial-onset seizures in patients ages 18 years and older.
“We are so pleased to reach such an important milestone with the U.S. approval of Potiga by the FDA,” Valeant head of research and development Susan Hall said. “We believe this product will play a needed role in the management of partial onset seizures in appropriate patients who are uncontrolled on their current medications.”
The FDA has recommended that the drug be scheduled as a controlled substance, and it won’t be available until the Drug Enforcement Administration makes a final decision on how to classify it, but the drug makers said they expected that to happen by the end of the year.
Merck, Hanwha to develop Enbrel biosimilar
WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. — Merck will collaborate with a Korean manufacturer to develop a biosimilar version of a drug used for autoimmune diseases.
Merck, which operates outside the United States and Canada as MSD to avoid confusion with Germany-based Merck KGaA, announced Monday a collaboration with Seoul, South Korea-based Hanwha Chemical to develop and commercialize HD203, a biosimilar version of Enbrel (etanercept), made by Amgen and Pfizer. The drug is used to treat such disorders as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis.
Under the agreement, Hanwha’s Bio Business Unit and a Merck subsidiary will work on the biosimilar, developed by Hanwha. Merck will be responsible for clinical development and manufacturing and will commercialize the drug in markets around the world, except Korea and Turkey, where Hanwha has marketing rights. Financial terms were not disclosed, but the companies said they will involve upfront commercial payments and potential milestones and royalties for Hanwha.
“This collaboration to develop and commercialize our lead biosimilar candidate with a leading global healthcare company such as Merck represents a significant event both strategically and financially for Hanwha, and underscores the success of our biopharmaceutical strategy,” Hanwha CEO K.J. Hong said. “We are excited and proud that Hanwha’s biobusiness is now well-positioned to make a major contribution toward providing access to a biosimilar form of one of the world’s leading biologic therapies.”