Senate committee approves $2 billion budget for FDA
WASHINGTON The Senate Appropriations Committee unanimously passed an appropriations markup measure Thursday, providing the Food and Drug Administration with a $2.04 billion fiscal 2009 budget. This amount is $324.6 million more than the agency initially received for fiscal 2008.
“The increase in the Food and Drug Administration budget means the agency has, for the first time, a budget of more than $2 billion,” Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah, a committee member, said. “The FDA is in the front line. It is also in the front line of research.”
No action is scheduled on the House measure for the agency’s 2009 budget, which passed the Agriculture Subcommittee June 19. It includes a total of about $2.1 billion for the FDA.
FDA updates prescribing info for GSK’s Avandia
BRENTFORD, U.K. GlaxoSmithKline announced that the Food and Drug Administration has updated the prescribing information for its diabetes medication Avandia to include findings from the A Diabetes Outcome Progression Trial, according to published reports.
ADOPT is an international study on Avandia that demonstrated that patients treated with Avandia achieved greater sustained glycemic control compared to metformin and sulfonylurea, the ingredient in Aventis Pharmaceuticals’ Amaryl and Pfizer’s Glipizide. Better glycemic control has been proven to reduce risks of serious complications associated with Type 2 diabetes including blindness, loss of limbs and kidney failure, the company added.
This is key for the drug, which was given the black-box warning indication from the FDA last August after it was discovered that the drug might cause or worsen heart failure in some patients.
Walgreens program shows students the pharmaceutical ropes
ST. LOUIS Walgreens is letting high school students spend four weeks working as pharmacists.
It’s not for real, so customers at the stores shouldn’t expect kids too young to drive to fill their prescriptions, but the chain is working with the St. Louis College of Pharmacy to let the students learn about the profession as part of the Career Explorers Program.
Their job is to fill prescriptions for imaginary customers, such as Mickey Mouse, but it’s not all just for fun.
As the population ages, pharmacists are in high demand. The Pharmacy Manpower Project has created the aggregate demand index, which lists demand for pharmacists at 4.07, indicating moderate demand and difficulty filling some positions.
According to the American Pharmaceutical Association, there are 112,000 pharmacists working in community pharmacies, 40,000 in hospital pharmacies and 21,000 in other areas.