PHARMACY

Report: Oregon State Board of Pharmacy declares marijuana as drug with medical use

BY Alaric DeArment

SALEM, Ore. The makers of the 1930s documentary “Reefer Madness” would be furious at the news, but it likely will come as a relief to people with certain diseases and marijuana law-reform advocates.

The Oregon State Board of Pharmacy voted Wednesday to have marijuana classified as a drug with medical use, according to reports from a local TV station. The decision makes the state to reclassify it as such.

Under the decision, marijuana will be known as a Schedule II controlled substance, meaning that it has high potential for abuse but still has medical benefits. Previously — and still in all other states — marijuana was a Schedule I drug, meaning it had no medical benefits.

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Stater Bros. continues fundraising efforts for blood cancers

BY Allison Cerra

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. Stater Bros. is partnering with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society for three weeks in June to raise funds for leukemia, lymphoma and Hodgkin’s disease, the California-based grocer said Wednesday.

All 167 Stater Bros. locations will be participating in the fundraising campaign, which will offer customers the opportunity to purchase $1 paper balloons. The proceeds will benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Last year, Stater Bros. raised more than $300,000 for the organization — 2010 marks the third year for the partnership.

“The Stater Bros. supermarket family is very happy to be able to give back because there are so many people who have been affected by blood cancers and it is imperative that we join in the fight to find a cure,” stated Jack Brown, chairman and CEO of Stater Bros. “We do not just do business in a community, we are part of each and every community we serve.”

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Abbott, Neurocrine Biosciences to commercialize elagolix

BY Alaric DeArment

ABBOTT PARK, Ill. Two drug makers will work together to develop a drug for the treatment of endometriosis, a condition estimated to affect 100 million women around the world.

Abbott and Neurocrine Biosciences said they would develop and commercialize the drug elagolix, which recently finished a mid-stage study as a treatment for endometriosis and also is under development as a treatment for uterine fibroids. Endometriosis causes chronic pelvic pain throughout the menstrual cycle and dysmenorrhea, pain associated with mestruation. Uterine fibroids are benign tumors that form on the wall of the uterus.

“Extensive preclinical and clinical experience with elagolix suggests this drug could be an important advance for women with endometriosis and uterine fibroids, highly prevalent conditions where there is a need for new treatments,” Abbott SVP pharmaceutical research and development John Leonard stated. “This agreement enhances Abbott’s late-stage pipeline, with the potential for additional compounds in earlier-stage development.”

Abbott will pay $75 million upfront to Neurocrine while funding ongoing development activities. Neurocrine also will be eligible to receive milestone payments of around $500 million and potential royalties.

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