NewsBytes on WAG’s community Rx conference, ABC CEO’s retirement, CHPA’s new chair and more
DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens in March expanded Joseph Magnacca’s role. As president of daily living products and solutions, Magnacca — the former Shoppers Drug Mart vet who as chief merchant of Duane Reade proved instrumental in the reinvention of the New York drug store chain — will oversee Walgreens’ marketing and merchandising operations, led by chief marketing officer Kim Feil and chief merchandising officer Bryan Pugh, but will report directly to president and CEO Greg Wasson.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Arkansas House of Representatives in March passed a bill that would require that pseudoephedrine-based products be sold by pharmacists only, and would restrict sales to state residents and military personnel only. The bill also would allow the state board of pharmacy to require similar restrictions on other nonprescription medicines, such as dextromethorphan.
CHICAGO — Walgreens has taken the message of the expanding role of community pharmacy to the streets. During the 11th annual Population Health and Care Coordination Colloquium on March 15 in Philadelphia, Walgreens chief medical officer Cheryl Pegus highlighted the broad range of services that can be offered by the pharmacist beyond simply dispensing medication. Later that week, Richard Ashworth, Walgreens VP pharmacy services, talked about the consumer medical care model and how Walgreens’ pharmacists and nurse practitioners fit in, in a live online “Health Chat” hosted by Chicago Tribune reporter Bruce Jaspen.
VALLEY FORGE, Pa. — After 37 years with the company, AmerisourceBergen CEO David Yost will retire, effective July 1. Yost will be succeeded by Steven Collis, currently president and COO, responsible for all AmerisourceBergen business units.
WASHINGTON — Members of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association in March elected Paul Sturman, president and general manager of Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, to chair the association’s board. Sturman is CHPA’s 54th chair and succeeds Christopher DeWolf of Lil’ Drug Store Products.
WASHINGTON — The Council for Responsible Nutrition announced a partnership with Drug Store News to provide content about the dietary supplement industry to thousands of pharmacists through DSN’s Pharmacist Society — an online community that enables its users easy access to information most relevant to pharmacists.
TRABUCO CANYON, Calif. — Retired Leiner Health SVP marketing Bob LaFerriere, 62, passed away Feb. 4. LaFerriere, a 40-year drug industry veteran, began his career at Thrifty Drug and Discount Stores scooping ice cream. In 1992, LaFerrierre left Thrifty as SVP purchasing to become president and CEO at Slim Fast Foods.
DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens last month announced the sale of its pharmacy benefit management business, Walgreens Health Initiatives, to Catalyst Health Solutions for $525 million. Walgreens will retain and look to continue growing its specialty pharmacy and mail-service businesses. The transaction is expected to close in June.
ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Robert Ingle, 77, the founder and CEO of regional supermarket chain Ingles Markets, died March 6. Ingle will be succeeded by his son, Robert Ingle II, who has been Ingles’ chairman of the board since 2004.
FDA extends NDA review for Novartis’ COPD treatment
BASEL, Switzerland — The Food and Drug Administration has extended its regulatory review period for Novartis’ new drug application for its once-daily, long-term maintenance bronchodilator treatment of airflow obstruction in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, as well as chronic bronchitis and/or emphysema, the drug maker said.
The FDA asked for a three-month extension in order to complete its review of the new drug application for QAB149 (indacaterol) by July, stating the agency needed more time to review the submitted data. The FDA did not request additional data from the drug maker, Novartis noted.
The drug, which will be available in 75-mcg and 150-mcg strengths, was endorsed by the FDA’s Pulmonary-Allergy Drugs Advisory Committee for its safety.
"This three-month extension reflects discussion at the advisory committee based on the comprehensive clinical program, resulting in a large amount of data to be reviewed," said Trevor Mundel, global head of development at Novartis. "COPD is a life-threatening lung disease. We remain committed to bringing new therapies to patients who suffer from this condition."
Bristol: Ipilimumab boosts survival rates among patients in phase-3 trial
PRINCETON, N.J. — Bristol-Myers Squibb said its late-stage clinical trial for a cancer treatment, which currently is under review by the Food and Drug Administration, achieved its primary endpoint.
The company said its phase-3 trial for investigational compound ipilimumab, designed for previously untreated patients that were diagnosed with metastatic melanoma, improved overall survival. The study compared the combination of ipilimumab 10 mg/kg and chemotherapy (dacarbazine) with chemotherapy alone.
The Prescription Drug User Fee Act date for the U.S. filing is March 26, Bristol said.