PHARMACY

Reports: Court temporarily lifts Cardinal Health distribution ban

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Cardinal Health can continue distributing controlled medications from a distribution center in Florida, according to published reports.

On Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit put a stay on the Drug Enforcement Administration’s order that had blocked Cardinal from shipping controlled substances from the Lakeland, Fla., center. The stay will last until the middle of the month, when Cardinal has to file its emergency motion, and the DEA has to file its response, according to the reports.

The order issued Friday follows a decision by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia last Wednesday that turned down Cardinal’s request for an injunction against the DEA’s Feb. 3 suspension of the Lakeland facility’s registration to distribute controlled substances.

The DEA alleges that four of the 2,500 retail pharmacies the distribution center serves had illegally dispensed prescriptions for controlled substances and that Cardinal had failed to ensure that the drugs were not diverted, though Cardinal has said the allegations are wrong.


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Rite Aid Foundation donates $15,000 to Red Cross tornado relief efforts

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMP HILL, Pa. — In the wake of tornadoes that hit communities in Kentucky on Friday, retail pharmacy chain Rite Aid has donated to a local Red Cross chapter to assist victims.

The company said Sunday that the Rite Aid Foundation, its philanthropic arm, had donated $15,000 to the Bluegrass chapter of the American Red Cross. The foundation also will provide supplies and items to assist with disaster relief efforts. Eli Lilly Foundation also pledged to donate $100,000 to the Red Cross.

"We are extremely grateful for the immediate support of the Rite Aid Foundation," American Red Cross Bluegrass Chapter director of development Winn Stephens said. "Thanks to their generosity, the Red Cross will be able to provide much-needed help and hope to those who need it most."

According to media reports, at least 38 people died Friday and Saturday as an outbreak of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes swept across a area that included Kentucky, Indiana, Alabama and Georgia.

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Mark Stejbach joins Alkermes

BY Allison Cerra

DUBLIN — Alkermes has appointed a new chief commercial officer.

Mark Stejbach, who brings 25 years of experience in biotech and pharmaceutical marketing, sales, managed care and finance to his new role, will be responsible for Alkermes’ commercial activities, including marketing and sales of Vivitrol and developing and executing commercial strategies for Alkermes’ late-stage pipeline assets, namely ALKS 9070 (for schizophrenia), ALKS 37 (for opioid-induced constipation) and ALKS 5461 (for treatment-resistant depression).

Prior to joining the company, Stejbach served as chief commercial officer for Tengion, a leader in regenerative medicine.

“We are very pleased to welcome Mark to Alkermes, as we continue to build our commercial capabilities in preparation for the expansion of our commercial product portfolio,” Alkermes CEO Richard Pops said. “We look forward to having Mark accelerate and expand our commercial activities for Vivitrol, as well as provide forward-looking insight into our late-stage pipeline development activities. Our goal is to build Alkermes plc into one of the next great biotechnology companies, and a strong commercial capability is a key strategic asset.”


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