PHARMACY

Pfizer, Medivation commence late-stage clinical trial for Huntington disease treatment

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Two drug makers have started a late-stage clinical trial of a drug developed by Soviet Union scientists in the 1980s to evaluate it as a treatment for Huntington disease.

Pfizer and Medivation announced Thursday the start of a phase 3 trial of dimebon (latrepirdine), saying that the Food and Drug Administration had granted the drug orphan drug designation. The FDA grants the designation to investigational drugs for conditions that affect fewer than 200,000 people in the United States each year.

The drug was originally developed as an antihistamine, but has attracted the attention of researchers as a possible treatment for Huntington disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

“Based on the promising results of our phase 2 trial of dimebon in Huntington disease, we are pleased to advance dimebon into late-stage clinical development,” Medivation chief medical officer Lynn Seely said in a statement. “Huntington disease is a fatal genetic disease for which no medications are currently approved by the FDA to treat the cognitive impairment associated with the condition.”

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Cardinal Health names new CIO

BY Allison Cerra

DUBLIN, Ohio Cardinal Health announced the appointment of Patricia Morrison as chief information officer, effective Aug. 3.

Morrison, 50, will be responsible for the company’s enterprise-wide information technology infrastructure and will work to enhance the infrastructure to support Cardinal Health’s strategic business needs. She will report to George Barrett, who will become chairman and CEO of Cardinal Health following the planned spinoff of its clinical and medical products businesses.

Morrison has served as CIO at Motorola, Inc., where she oversaw all strategic, operational and functional aspects of the company’s information technology in 140 countries. Her previous experience also includes CIO of Office Depot, Inc.; and senior-level information technology positions at General Electric, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble and The Quaker Oats Co.

Morrison is replacing Jody Davids, who decided to step away from the CIO role to take time off to pursue personal interests.

“We’re very pleased to have someone of Patricia’s caliber joining the Cardinal Health leadership team,” Barrett said. “Her significant experience with systems in large, complex organizations positions her perfectly to execute the long-term IT strategy Jody and her team have developed in support of our company.”

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Jewel-Osco to launch retail clinic with help of Physicians Prompt Care Centers

BY Michael Johnsen

FRANKLIN PARK, Ill. Jewel-Osco, a Midwest food and drug retailer, has partnered with Tinley Park-based Physicians Prompt Care Centers to launch Physicians Prompt Care Express, the Supervalu chain announced Wednesday.

Board-certified Prompt Care Express physicians will offer high-quality, convenient and affordable medical services from a newly-constructed health clinic inside of the Jewel-Osco, marking Jewel-Osco’s first point of entry into Chicago’s retail medical clinic business. It establishes the second ambulatory care site operated by Prompt Care Physician Centers LLC. 

“Jewel-Osco is proud to partner with Physicians Prompt Care Centers to bring a unique health care experience to Orland Park and the surrounding communities,” stated Chris Dimos, president, Jewel-Osco Pharmacies.  “Access to quality and affordable health care is one of the top issues facing our communities today.  In integrating the new medical clinic into our store, we aim to eliminate some of the barriers – like cost, work and school schedules, and even proximity – that can block our customers’ ability to receive needed medial attention.“ Physicians Prompt Care Express will accept most major insurance plans including Medicare.  Cash paying customers can expect to pay less than the total cost of a typical hospital emergency room visit.

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