PHARMACY

Three-quarters of Americans never receive skin exams, perform mole self checks, survey finds

BY Alaric DeArment

IRVINGTON, N.Y. — Less than one-quarter of American adults have ever had a skin check by a dermatologist despite rising rates of skin cancer, according to a new survey.

The survey, conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of Mela Sciences, a company that makes a device for use by doctors to detect potentially dangerous skin lesions, polled 2,109 American adults between Jan. 29 and 31, finding that only 23% of Americans perform monthly mole self-checks, while 37% think they are not at risk from skin cancer, despite industry statistics indicating that 1-in-5 will develop skin cancer annually. At the same time, while 85% stated correctly that moles are often precursors to melanoma, 20% said they "are simply beauty marks."

"While many forms of cancer are on the decline, melanoma continues to rise and, in fact, is the leading cause of cancer death in women ages 25 to 30 years and second only to breast cancer in women ages 30 to 34 years," Mela Sciences president and CEO Joseph Gulfo said. "We have a tremendous opportunity to spread awareness and change the course of the disease by advocating for the detection of melanoma at its most curable stage, and with this survey, we’ll draw attention to the importance of annual skin checks in the fight against melanoma."

The company markets MelaFind, a diagnostic tool approved by the Food and Drug Administration for detecting melanoma at its most curable stage, when it is limited to the outermost layer of the skin.


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PHARMACY

Valeant buys rights to Eisai’s Targretin

BY Alaric DeArment

WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. — Valeant Pharmaceuticals has bought rights to a drug used to treat skin cancer from Eisai, the companies said Thursday.

Valeant has bought the rights to Targretin (bexarotene) capsules and gel from Eisai for $65 million upfront, plus additional payments based on certain milestones. Under the deal, Eisai has transferred its regulatory approval application to Valeant, which will assume responsibilities for all regulatory obligations associated with the product in the United States. Eisai will retain rights to the drug outside the United States.

The drug is used to treat skin problems arising from a disease called cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, or CTCL, when at least one systemic therapy has not worked.

 

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PHARMACY

FDA approves new vial size for Privigen

BY Alaric DeArment

KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new vial size for a drug made by CSL Behring to treat a bleeding disorder and an immune disorder, the company said Thursday.

The company announced the approval of a 40 g vial size for Privigen (immune globulin intravenous [human]), used to treat primary immunodeficiency and chronic immune thrombocytopenic purport. The company said the new vial size would simplify preparation and administration of the drug when high volumes are provided. In addition to the new vial size, scheduled for introduction in June, the drug will be available in 5 g, 10 g and 20 g sizes.

"CSL Behring strives to bring new innovations to the healthcare marketplace and deliver products that enhance the patient experience," CSL Behring SVP research and development Val Romberg said. "The 40-gram vial size for Privigen continues that commitment by reducing the complexity of administration and increasing time savings for healthcare providers."


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