PHARMACY

NHVR: Increased funding needed for viral hepatitis screening, intervention

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON “Systemic underfunding” at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Viral Hepatitis puts the health of millions of Americans with viral hepatitis at risk, a group of organizations focused on the disease said this week.

The National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable, a group of more than 150 public, private and voluntary groups, asked the Obama administration to increase funding for the CDC’s hepatitis division to provide for screening, surveillance and early intervention. The organization said that the administration’s 2011 budget proposal would reduce funding for the division, compared with a decade ago, during the Clinton administration.

About 5 million Americans are infected with hepatitis B or C, which can be transmitted via sexual contact or from mother to child.

 

NHVR chairwoman Lorren Sandt appeared Tuesday at a press briefing on Capitol Hill with NHVR steering committee member Andrew Muir of the Duke University School of Medicine, Reps. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., who recently completed treatment for hepatitis C, Mike Cassidy, R-La., a practicing hepatologist, Anh Cao, R-La., and Mike Honda, D-Calif. Cassidy, Cao and Honda are co-sponsors of H.R. 3974, which would give the CDC a $90 million boost in funding for hepatitis programs.

 

 

“NVHR applauds congressmen Johnson, Honda, [David] Wu, [D-Ore.], Cao and Cassidy for their steadfast, bipartisan commitment to providing adequate funding for viral hepatitis screening, surveillance and early intervention programs benefiting 5 million Americans,” Sandt said.

 

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PHARMACY

Walgreens to acquire pharmacy business, other assets from Memphis USA Drug stores

BY Allison Cerra

DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreens reached an agreement with USA Drug to acquire the prescription files and other assets of 17 Ike’s and Super D drug stores in the Memphis area.

Walgreens will purchase the prescription files at each of the 17 locations and transfer them to nearby Walgreens pharmacies. Patients whose prescriptions are being transferred will be notified by letter once the transaction has been completed later this month.

In related news, Walgreens currently is in negotiations with USA Drug to acquire two Ike’s drug stores. Walgreens said it would most likely staff most of the store positions with the existing employees.

The acquisition is subject to certain customary terms and conditions. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“We have a long history of providing high quality pharmacy services in the Memphis area with our first store in the city opening in 1927,” said Walgreens market VP Connie Latta. “Our staffs are ready to make the transition as seamless as possible for our new customers. We look forward to introducing them to the unique offerings that have made Walgreens one of the country’s most trusted providers of health and wellness services and basic needs.”

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PhRMA names new chairman

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America elected Pfizer president and CEO Jeffrey Kindler as its board chairman Thursday at the trade organization’s annual meeting in Washington.

PhRMA also elected Sanofi-Aventis CEO Christopher Viehbacher as chairmen-elect of the board of directors and Eli Lilly & Co. president, CEO and chairman John Lechleiter as board treasurer. Kindler succeeds AstraZeneca executive director and CEO David Brennan as chairman.

“Great leadership requires patients, decisiveness, intelligence, execution and compassion,” PhRMA president and CEO Billy Tauzin said. “David encompasses all of these qualities and much more.”

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