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Study: High-dose influenza vaccine more effective across senior population

BY Michael Johnsen

CHARLOTTESILLE, Va. — High-dose influenza vaccine is 24% more effective than the standard-dose vaccine in protecting persons ages 65 and older against influenza illness and its complications, according to a Vanderbilt-led study published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.
 
“The study was done to see if using a high-dose vaccine protected older adults better than the usual vaccine. Until this trial came out, we didn’t know if it was going to be clinically better or not, and now we know it is better,” said lead author Keipp Talbot, assistant professor of medicine, who served as coordinating investigator for the more than 100 study sites. “Older adults are the most vulnerable to influenza; they become the sickest and have the most hospitalizations. This vaccine works better than the standard dose and hence, I would tell my patients to get the high-dose vaccine every year. In the meantime, we will continue to work to find newer and better vaccines for older adults.”
 
Researchers concluded that the high-dose vaccine is safe, induces significantly higher antibody responses, and provides superior protection against laboratory-confirmed influenza illness compared to standard dose among persons older than 65 years of age.
 
Study data also indicated that the high-dose vaccine may provide clinical benefit for the prevention of hospitalizations, pneumonia, cardio-respiratory conditions, non-routine medical visits and medication use.
 
Known as the Fluzone High-Dose vaccine made by Sanofi Pasteur, the inactivated influenza vaccine contains four times the amount of antigen that is contained in the standard-dose Fluzone vaccine. “Fluzone High-Dose vaccine is the only influenza vaccine in the United States that is designed specifically to address the age-related decline of the immune system in older adults,” said David Greenberg, VP scientific and medical affairs and chief medical officer of Sanofi Pasteur U.S.
 
Study authors said about 1-in-4 breakthrough cases of influenza could be prevented if the high-dose vaccine were used instead of the standard-dose vaccine.
 
The multi-center study enrolled 31,989 participants from 126 research centers in the United States and Canada during the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 influenza seasons in the Northern Hemisphere in order to compare the high-dose trivalent vaccine versus the standard-dose trivalent vaccine in adults older than 65 years of age.
 
 

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National Association of Specialty Pharmacy names COO

BY Michael Johnsen

TAMPA, Fla. — The National Association of Specialty Pharmacy on Thursday announced that Bob Fulcher has joined the organization as COO. 
 
“Bob is an experienced leader in the pharmacy and healthcare association field, and we are excited to work with him as NASP seeks new opportunities to serve in the best interest of the specialty pharmacy community,” said Gary Cohen, NASP CEO.
 
Fulcher has more than 35 years of experience in the healthcare and association management industries. During that time, he served senior leadership roles in the areas of publications, marketing, membership development, meeting execution and strategic planning. Fulcher most recently served as VP external affairs of the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy. He also has been VP marketing at the American Pharmacists Association. In 2002, Fulcher earned the Certified Association Executive credential, or CAE, a professional certification distinguishing individuals who demonstrate a high degree of knowledge of the practice of association management. 
 
He is an active member of the American Society of Association Executives and has served on two volunteer committees for that organization, the Healthcare Association Committee and the Communications Section Council.
 

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Loblaw appoints Pavi Binning to board

BY Antoinette Alexander

BRAMPTON, Ontario — Loblaw Cos. has announced the appointment of Pavi Binning as a director on its board.

Binning currently serves as the president of George Weston and has been a director of George Weston since 2012. He joined George Weston in 2010 as the CFO after spending a year as a director of Loblaw Cos. Prior to joining Weston, Binning was at Nortel Networks Corp., where he held the role of CFO and subsequently chief restructuring officer. Prior to that, Binning held CFO positions at both Hanson and Marconi Corp., as well as executive positions at Diageo.

"I am pleased to welcome Pavi back to the Loblaw board," stated Galen West, executive chairman and president of Loblaw Cos. "Pavi's experience and expertise developed over a career of executive management positions in large international companies, as well as his knowledge base in Canadian grocery retail, will complement and strengthen an extremely capable and robust board."
 

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