HEALTH

Walgreens awards $14,000 in ‘Expressions Challenge’ for Chicago-area high schools

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO — Six students in Chicago Public Schools’ high schools last week were awarded more than $14,000 for their participation in a peer-to-peer learning program, sponsored by Walgreens, called the Expressions Challenge.

Student participants submitted art, video/photography or essay/poetry entries on educational disciplines, including art, English and health.
   
Out of nearly 600 entries, three $2,000 grand prize winners were awarded, along with $500 for their teachers and $500 for their school, and three $1,500 second place winners were recognized, along with $250 for their teachers.
   
The Walgreens Expressions Challenge is a student engagement initiative to help CPS high schools address sexual health issues through the power of creative expression. According to a 2011 report issued by the CPS Office of Special Education and Supports, Chicago ranks first and second for the highest rates nationwide of gonorrhea and chlamydia, respectively, for youth ages 15 to 19 years. This age group realized a 52% increase in the number of HIV diagnosis from 2000 to 2009.
    
"Our goal is to elevate the conversation," Walgreens director of community relations John Gremer said. "One of the biggest contributors to these teen health epidemics is communication. Studies continually show that teens have challenges discussing sexual health with parents, teachers and other adults. Through this initiative, we’re giving them a safe and engaging place to talk about the challenges they face when making healthy sexual decisions."


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Valeant completes iNova acquisition

BY Allison Cerra

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario — Canadian drug maker Valeant Pharmaceuticals officially owns an Australian drug maker.

The company announced that it completed its acquisition of iNova, which sells and distributes prescription and over-the-counter drugs in Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia and South Africa, on Dec. 21 from iNova’s current shareholders, Archer Capital, Ironbridge and others.

The deal, which was announced back in November, was valued at up to A$700 million.


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Webinar: CRN, VIRGO to bridge GMP gap between industry action and FDA expectations

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — The Council for Responsible Nutrition and VIRGO on Tuesday announced details for an industrywide webinar to examine key elements of good manufacturing practices for dietary supplements and offer advice as to what the industry can do to improve its record of inspections. 

Moderated by Duffy MacKay, CRN VP scientific and regulatory affairs, the webinar will help companies better understand the intricacies of GMPs and will offer tips and best practices for passing Food and Drug Administration inspections.

In addition to MacKay, the panel will include as-yet-not-announced Food and Drug Administration representatives and other regulatory experts, such as Joy Joseph, president of Joys Quality Management Systems, and Nicki Jacobs, president of Jacobs Compliance Services.  These experts will review several key GMP requirements where inspections have demonstrated patterns of deficiency, such as the requirements to establish specifications for raw ingredients, test incoming ingredients, verify contents of finished products and follow master manufacturing. In addition, speakers will touch upon other often overlooked GMP provisions, such as the “umbrella” clauses that are requirements that apply to all the points on the supply chain, including manufacturers, suppliers, transporters and distributors.

“In the three-and-a-half years since the current GMP final rule first went into effect, there has been a disconnect between what companies are doing and what the FDA expects," MacKay said. "The problems are not limited to one size or type of company but have been seen across the board and are, quite frankly, disturbing. Ultimately, unless the industry improves its track record, our industry’s credibility will suffer.”

The webinar will be held Jan. 18. 


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