Patients with MS show reduction in symptoms during drug trial
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — An experimental drug for multiple sclerosis produced a noticeable reduction in symptoms of the disease in a late-stage clinical trial, the drug’s developer said Friday.
Genzyme, a unit of French drug maker Sanofi, announced results from a phase-3 study of Aubagio (teriflunomide) in patients with relapsing forms of MS. According to the study, patients taking the drug in the 14-mg strength experienced a 36.3% reduction in annualized relapse rates and 31.5% reduction in the risk of sustained accumulation of disability over a 12-week period.
The study enrolled 1,169 patients who received once-daily doses of Aubagio in the 7-mg or 14-mg strength or placebo. After completing the approximately 18-month trial, patients were followed for 48 to 173 weeks.
In the treatment group that received the 7-mg strength of the drug, there was a 22.3% reduction in annualized relapse rate, but no statistically significant difference between the lower dose and placebo for the risk of 12-week sustained accumulation of disability.
Doritos, The Lonely Island donate $250K to Berkeley Unified School District
PLANO, Texas — Doritos and The Lonely Island announced a donation of $250,000 to the Berkeley Unified School District, located in Berkeley, Calif., as a part of their collaboration on the annual Doritos Crash the Super Bowl contest.
The donation is a result of The Lonely Island’s participation in Doritos’ Crash the Super Bowl contest, a competition in which consumers are invited to create homemade ads for Doritos, one of the flagship brands from PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay division. BUSD and The Lonely Island have designated the funds for improvements to the Berkeley Community Theater, which is located on the Berkeley High School campus and used by district students for music and theater performances.
"Working with The Lonely Island has been a real pleasure, and they have truly embraced everything about this program," Frito-Lay North America VP marketing Ram Krishnan said. "Their involvement in Crash the Super Bowl has served as an inspiration to Doritos fans with dreams of pursuing an entertainment career, and we felt it was only fitting to show our gratitude by helping them give back to where their success got its start."
CVS Caremark research: Many consumers confused about potential changes to U.S. healthcare system
WOONSOCKET, R.I. — The majority of consumers who would be eligible for new healthcare coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act have never heard of the state-based healthcare exchanges — where they will have to shop for coverage beginning in 2014 — while more than half said they believe they will need help in understanding healthcare insurance terms and descriptions, and navigating the healthcare system, according to new research from CVS Caremark.
"Despite all the news coverage about healthcare reform, these survey results clearly show that consumers are confused about the potential changes to our healthcare system," said Helena Foulkes, CVS Caremark EVP and chief healthcare strategy and marketing officer. "While awareness of the new law may grow over the next year as new services are put in place, consumers need help understanding the coming changes and support on how to sign up and participate in the exchanges."
The survey found that 78% of consumers who would be eligible for new healthcare coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act have never heard of the state-based healthcare exchanges, where they will have to shop for coverage beginning in 2014. In addition, 60% of respondents said they believe they will need help in understanding healthcare insurance terms and descriptions and navigating the complex healthcare system.
In addition, the respondents listed doctors as the most credible source for talking about exchanges, followed by pharmacists, nurse practitioners and independent insurance consultants.
"CVS Caremark’s tremendous geographic reach across the U.S., our integrated approach to health care and the accessibility of our pharmacists and nurse practitioners — among the most trusted of advisers according to this survey — give us a variety of effective touch points with healthcare consumers," Foulkes said. "Given our focus on helping people on the path to better health, we expect to play an active role in meeting consumers’ needs in an expanding healthcare system and will be talking with government, healthcare advocates and other organizations to see how we can be an active participant in providing information and services to these consumers."
The survey was conducted online and respondents included more than 1,000 consumers; 70% of those surveyed currently have no healthcare coverage and 30% are covered by individual insurance policies. The survey did not include people with employer-sponsored insurance, or people currently covered by Medicare or Medicaid.