PHARMACY

Preservation of Pharmacy Hall addition fund main priority for Pharmacy students and faculty

BY Diana Alickaj

BALTIMORE Two-hundred University of Maryland students and faculty made their way to Baltimore on Valentine’s Day to rally for funding for their Pharmacy Hall addition to their school. The construction for another Hall was to be provided for the U of M School of Pharmacy.

The plan to build a seven-story addition to the north wall of Pharmacy Hall in the University of Maryland has resulted in a push by students and administrators for funding from government officials. In order to provide a proper space for pharmacy students to learn, and allow for more students interested in Pharmacy to study, a new addition is the perfect solution in response to the high demand for new pharmacists in Maryland. According to published reports, the funding for the addition has been a topic for state leaders for ten years.

The funding already has $62.2 million from Gov. Martin O’Mally’s capital budget, but the faculty and students are looking for assurance that the funding will be given by the General Assembly.  The main focus of the school was mainly to preserve funding for the addition and after students questioned Sen. George Edwards of the General Assembly, the final result was an almost absolute assurance that the General Assembly would, in fact, fund the project, and that the concerns of the school would be addressed and taken care of.

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PHARMACY

Costco program delivers deep discounts to uninsured

BY Doug Desjardins

ISSAQUAH, Wash. Costco is enrolling up to 5,000 new members per week to its Costco Member Prescription Program that gives uninsured members deep discounts on hundreds of different prescription drugs.

The program launched at pharmacies last July and is now available in every state in the U.S. where Costco does business. “It’s kind of a unique program for our members who don’t have insurance,” said Costco VP of pharmacy Vic Curtis. “We work with our manufacturers and are able to offer members a discount through savings passed on either from the manufacturer or, in Costco’s case, from within our own margins.”

To qualify for the program, people need to be current Costco members and fill out a registration form confirming they don’t insurance.  To deliver the extra savings, Costco works with manufacturers to create a Preferred Drug List of branded and generic drugs that can be provided with a discount.

When filling a prescription for a program member, pharmacists check the list to see if the prescription is on it or search for a similar drug that serves the same need for less expense. “Our pharmacists have members check with their physicians to make sure a drug on the preferred list will work for them,” said Curtis.

Typical monthly savings on a 30-day supply of drugs is $15 but the savings vary. Curtis said the best example is a 30-day supply of Prevacid, which is available to program members for $101.17 at a cost savings of $49.58. On the lower end, members can save $7 on a one-month supply of Lunesta.

Curtis said Costco currently has 61,000 members in the program and hopes to enroll many more in the coming months. “Our goal is to eventually have 250,000 to 300,000 members enrolled in the program,” said Curtis.

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PHARMACY

NextGen, Warburg look to partner on cancer drugs

BY Drew Buono

LONDON NextGen Bioscience and Warburg Glycomed are negotiating a deal to collaborate. Both are biotech companies focused on developing new drugs to fight various types of cancer.

Warburg Glycomed has a compound that is able to reprogram cancer cells by modulating their aerobic glucose metabolism, which affects their ability to grow. Warburg Glycomed has expressed keen interest in collaborating with NextGen in a recently signed letter of intent, and is confident that a deal can be arranged.

“These collaboration discussions with Warburg Glycomed represent progress on fulfilling our business goal to form international collaboration agreements with specialty research organizations,: Konstantinos Kardiasmenos, chief executive officer of NextGen, stated. “An alliance with Warburg Glycomed would strengthen both companies’ position to capture the phenomenal global market for therapeutic cancer agents, which is now reaching a volume of approximately $30 billion.”

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