PHARMACY

FDA’s Janet Woodcock not to retire

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. – One of the Food and Drug Administration’s top regulators is not retiring, contrary to rumors reported in news media Thursday.

In a memo sent out to staff, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research director Janet Woodcock wrote that she would not retire, but was becoming "more deeply involved" in such activities as proposed reorganizations of the Office of Pharmaceutical Quality and the Office of Generic Drugs.

"The inaccuracy of the media has unnecessarily raised concerns among Center staff, and even among my own family," Woodcock wrote. "My daughter emailed me this morning to ask if I’m retiring! I continue to be fully committed to the important work CDER does and to its staff who work so diligently to protect the health of the American public."

Woodcock was responding to a story run by Reuters early Thursday morning that reported that Woodcock, 65, who has worked at the FDA for 20 years, would be retiring in "at least a year" and that the drug industry was "already bracing for her departure."

 

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Giant-Landover donates $100,000 for children’s cancer research

BY Alaric DeArment

LANDOVER, Md. — Giant Food of Landover, Md., presented its first-ever Giant Food NextGen Award for Children’s Cancer Research this week, created for young investigators committed to pursuing a long-term career in pediatric oncology research.

The supermarket chain, owned by Ahold USA, announced the award of a $100,000 grant to Leslie Doros of the Children’s National Medical Center. Doros, an assistant professor of oncology, was recognized for her research on the cancer predisposition syndrome associated with a rare children’s lung cancer called pleuropulmonary balstoma. She is also oncologist to 5-year-old Jasmine Brewster of Charlottesville, Va., who is undergoing radiation treatment for a recent relapse of lung cancer.

The program included opening remarks by Children’s Cancer Foundation president Jerrold Chadwick, Giant-Landover director of quality assurance and food safety Terry McGowan and others, including Jasmine Brewster’s father, David Brewster.

 

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Merz launches new athlete’s foot gel strength

BY Alaric DeArment

GREENSBORO, N.C. — A new strength of a drug for athlete’s foot made by Merz Pharma Group has become available, the company said Thursday.

Merz, the U.S. affiliate of Germany-based Merz Pharma Group, announced the nationwide availability of Naftin (naftifine hydrochloride) gel in the 2% strength, a topical treatment for the foot fungus infection known medically as tinea pedis. The company called the new drug an improvement on the original 1% Naftin.

"We are pleased to be able to provide physicians and their patients with a new option for the safe and effective treatment of interdigital-type tinea pedis," Merz VP and head of U.S. dermatology Greg Besase said. "Merz remains committed to advancing the quality of care in the medical dermatology space, and we believe the launch of Naftin Gel 2% is evidence of our ongoing leadership in the topical antifungal category."

 

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