PHARMACY

Pharmacists held in high regard

BY Brian Berk

NEW YORK — Pharmacists rank second when it comes to honesty and ethical values, behind only nurses, according to an annual Gallup poll.

Of those surveyed, two-thirds rated pharmacists with a very high or high grade, while only 8% gave pharmacists a low or very low score.

“The rating that pharmacists earned in this annual Gallup survey is built on established pharmacist-patient relationships in neighborhoods throughout the nation. The takeaway for policymakers is that the pharmacist-patient relationship has tremendous potential to do even more to improve patient health and well-being, along with the overall quality and affordability of healthcare,” said NACDS President and CEO Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE. 

Nurses received a very high or high grade from 84% percent of those surveyed, with only 3 percent giving them a negative rating. Nurses have ranked No. 1 on the list every year but once since 1999.

Medical doctors ranked third on the survey, followed by engineers and dentists.

“We commend community pharmacists across the country on their impressive showing in the latest Gallup survey of Americans’ views of honesty and ethical standards. People continue to hold pharmacists in very high regard. In this survey covering 22 professions, pharmacists are the second most trusted,” said B. Douglas Hoey, CEO of the National Community Pharmacists Association. “It is time for payers and policymakers to better utilize the accessibility, expertise and public trust in pharmacists. NCPA will carry that message into 2017 as health care reform efforts accelerate and the shift toward a value-based care system continues.”

On the flip side, members of Congress ranked last on the list, with only 8% giving them a high grade. Car salespeople ranked second from the bottom on the survey.

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B.Little says:
Dec-21-2016 02:46 pm

We/DMD work with thousands of retail, specialty, and hospital pharmacists each year. Our research aligns well with these findings - a very professional and trustworthy group of people.

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Biogen expected to name Michel Vounatsos as new CEO

BY Brian Berk

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Biogen will name Michel Vounatsos its CEO, according to a Reuters report.

Vounatsos will succeed CEO George Scangos as early as this week, people close to the situation told the news outlet, asking not to be identified because the matter is not yet public. Biogen offered no immediate comment when contacted by Reuters.

Vounatsos serves as executive vice president and chief commercial officer at Biogen. He joined Biogen in 2016 after a 20-year career at Merck, where he most recently served as president, Primary Care Business Line and Merck Customer Centricity. In this role, he led Merck’s global primary care business unit.

Scangos has served as CEO of Biogen since July 2010. From 1996 to July 2010, he served as president and CEO of drug discovery and development company Exelixis.

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FDA approves Clovis Oncology’s Rubraca

BY Brian Berk

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Clovis Oncology’s Rubraca (rucaparib) for women with advanced ovarian cancer who have been treated with two or more chemotherapies and whose tumors have a specific gene mutation (deleterious BRCA) as identified by an FDA-approved companion diagnostic test.

“Today’s approval is another example of the trend we are seeing in developing targeted agents to treat cancers caused by specific mutations in a patient’s genes,” said Richard Pazdur, M.D., director of the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research and acting director of the FDA’s Oncology Center of Excellence. “Women with these gene abnormalities who have tried at least two chemotherapy treatments for their ovarian cancer now have an additional treatment option.”

The National Cancer Institute estimates more than 22,000 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2016 and an estimated 14,240 will die of this disease. Approximately 15 to 20 percent of patients with ovarian cancer have a BRCA gene mutation.

BRCA genes are involved with repairing damaged DNA and normally work to prevent tumor development. However, mutations of these genes may lead to certain cancers, including ovarian cancers. Rubraca is a poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitor that blocks an enzyme involved in repairing damaged DNA. By blocking this enzyme, DNA inside the cancerous cells with damaged BRCA genes may be less likely to be repaired, leading to cell death and possibly a slow-down or stoppage of tumor growth, according to the FDA.

The safety and efficacy of Rubraca were studied in two, single-arm clinical trials involving 106 participants with BRCA-mutated advanced ovarian cancer who had been treated with two or more chemotherapy regimens.

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