PHARMACY

Sabine Vollmer recieves NACDS’ ‘Great Communicator’ honor

BY Adam Kraemer

ALEXANDRIA, Va. Reporter Sabine Vollmer, biotechnology and pharmacy staff writer, with The News & Observer in Raleigh, North Carolina was recognized by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores as a “Community Pharmacy Great Communicator” Friday.

Her contribution to community pharmacy came in the form of a Dec. 21 article, “Personal service at your pharmacy; More stores stress the role druggists can play in helping customers get and stay healthy,” illustrating the comprehensive and evolving role that pharmacists play in assisting patients with their health care needs. Pharmacists, NACDS has stated, not only provide patients with medications, but also offer counseling to patients regarding drug interactions, generic equivalents and managing medication therapy.

The Community Pharmacy Great Communicator program was created to honor those who publicly highlight the value of community pharmacy. “The NACDS honorary ‘Great Communicator’ designation complements the association’s Rapid Response Program, through which it addresses inappropriate or inaccurate characterizations of community pharmacy,” stated NACDS president and chief executive officer Steve Anderson.

A recent poll by the AARP, published in the November issue of the AARP Bulletin—another “Great Communicator” winner—showed that pharmacists received outstanding “favorable” ratings among those surveyed. The poll revealed that 86 percent of respondents 50 and over, as well as 78 percent of respondents under 50, had a favorable opinion of pharmacists.

In a letter to Vollmer, Anderson wrote: “The article presents a comprehensive perspective of the role of pharmacists, highlighting that in addition to dispensing medications, pharmacists play a critical role in … managing medication therapy and providing services from wellness tests and flu shots to screenings for chronic diseases like diabetes and heart conditions. We applaud you and The News & Observer for your recognition of pharmacists and support of quality health care.”

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BioSante makes milestone payment of $875,000 to Antrares for Elestrin

BY Drew Buono

EWING, N.J. Antares Pharma has received an additional payment of $875,000 from BioSante Pharmaceuticals in relation to a marketing agreement with Bradley Pharmaceuticals for the drug Elestrin.

Elestrin is a low dose transdermal estradiol therapy that is used for the treatment of hot flashes in menopausal women. Antares allowed BioSante to use its advanced transdermal delivery gel system for the drug. Additional sales based milestone payments could bring the deals total value to more than $13 million, not including royalties based on third party sales.

“We look forward to continued marketing progress with Elestrin in 2008. The December 2006 FDA approval of this product has validated our ATD gel system and that has been a significant milestone for Antares and our potential pipeline products including Anturol—our proprietary ATD gel based overactive bladder product—currently in pivotal trials,” said Jack Stover, president and chief executive officer of Antares Pharma.

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GSK, Santaris ink deal worth a potential $700 million

BY Drew Buono

LONDON GlaxoSmithKline has signed a deal with the biotech company Santaris Pharma to develop new antiviral medicine, in a deal that could be worth more than $700 million, according to Reuters. The deal involves drug candidates discovered and developed under the agreement in up to four different viral disease programs.

As part of the deal, Santaris will receive an upfront payment of $3 million for the first antiviral program and an equity investment of $5 million. The deal could be worth more than $700 million based on upfront payments and development and regulatory milestone payments, depending on the success on early-stage research in RNA antagonist compounds.

Santaris will also get high single- to double-digit percentage royalties on worldwide sales of marketed products. GSK will have the option to develop drug candidates in up to four different viral disease programs. It also has an option to include as an additional program Santaris’ pre-clinical hepatitis C compound SPC3649.

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