PHARMACY

Retailers, suppliers make Fortune top-100 workplace list

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Fortune magazine has released its list of the 100 best companies to work for this year, and a number of retailers and suppliers made the cut.

Among retailers, Wegman’s Food Markets came in at fifth place, with 8.3% job growth. Nugget Market, a supermarket chain based in Sacramento, Calif., ranked 37th; Whole Foods ranked 71st; and Publix Super Markets ranked 77th.

Among suppliers, Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company, ranked 20th; Genentech ranked 36th; and Novo Nordisk ranked 48th. Confectionary manufacturer Mars ranked 95th.

Fortune’s annual list, compiled by the Great Place to Work Institute is based on surveys of companies’ employees, which account for two-thirds of a company’s score. Employees are asked about management’s credibility, job satisfaction and camaraderie. The other third is based on the institute’s Culture Audit, which includes questions about pay and benefit programs, hiring practices, methods of internal communication, training, recognition programs, social responsibility and diversity efforts.


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PHARMACY

Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals starts phase-3 trial of HCV drug

BY Alaric DeArment

RIDGEFIELD, Conn. — Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals has enrolled the first patients in its late-stage trial of a treatment for hepatitis C, the drug maker said Thursday.

BI Pharmaceuticals is conducting the "HCVerso" trial of an HCV drug that combines faldaprevir, the experimental compound BI 207127 and ribavirin. The company has established trial sites in more than 25 states.

"We are proud to announce that the first patients are now enrolled in our phase-3 HCVerso program, including at U.S. trial sites," BI Pharmaceuticals VP clinical development and medical affairs Peter Piliero said. "Patients infected with HCV may benefit most from an individualized treatment approach since a person’s genetics, type of virus and stage of liver disease vary from patient to patient."

Previous trials of the drug have found that patients have been essentially cured of the virus a few months after starting treatment with the drug.


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FDA approves sterile blood-plasma product

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administraiton has approved a treatment for replacing clotting proteins in the blood for conditions in which patients have too little of them.

The FDA announced the approval of Octapharma’s Octaplas, a sterile, frozen solution of pooled human plasma from multiple donors that has been treated with a solvent detergent process.

"For patients suffering with clotting disorders, this product provides a viable alternative to single-donor fresh-frozen plasma and provides a reduced risk of certain viral transmissions," FDA Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research director Karen Midthun said.


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