PHARMACY

CARE builds customer loyalty

BY DSN STAFF

ALEXANDRIA, Va. —In keeping with its dual nature as both a franchise chain and a group of independent pharmacies, CARE Pharmacies is a member of both the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association.

The company has used its inside-the-Beltway presence—including roughly a dozen franchised pharmacies in Washington, D.C., and its headquarters in Alexandria, Va.—to good advantage, hosting lawmakers and press conferences at area pharmacies to press its case for greater pharmacy representation at the nation’s healthcare table. CARE also serves as a source for prescriptions for many congressional lawmakers.

CARE now operates more than 50 traditional and specialty pharmacies. Its heaviest concentration of outlets is in Washington, Virginia and Maryland, but its store presence ranges as far as New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Vermont.

CARE is a unique business. Its franchised independent store owners also are shareholders, with individual stakes in the CARE enterprise itself. In return for their investment, they get membership in a purchasing and marketing organization with a strong reputation for clinical care, counseling, personal attention to patients and even specialty drug therapy.

“All pharmacies in the CARE franchise are branded consistently with the CARE Pharmacies Inc. logo, tagline and visual theme,” the company noted. “CARE corporate provides shareholder pharmacies with marketing support and opportunities both at the individual pharmacy level and as a franchised group.”

Franchisees are expected to maintain high standards of care for their patients. “Counseling is an important component of health care. All CARE pharmacies provide consultative services free of charge,” asserted Gerry Crocker, CARE CEO. “This is a critical part of aiding patients with adherence and compliance.”

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PHARMACY

Late-stage clinical trial of Avastin fails to meet expectations, Genentech says

BY Alaric DeArment

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. A late-stage clinical trial of a Genentech drug for men with late-stage prostate cancer has failed, the biotech company announced Friday.

Genentech, part of Swiss drug maker Roche, announced that a phase 3 trial of Avastin (bevacizumab) combined with prednisone and the chemotherapy drug docetaxel did not extend the amount of time that patients survived, compared with chemotherapy and prednisone alone.

The drug already has approval from the Food and Drug Administration for treating tumors and cancers of the lungs, colon, rectum, breasts, kidneys and brain.

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Abbott’s submits supplemental approval application for Lupron Depot to FDA

BY Alaric DeArment

ABBOTT PARK, Ill. Abbott is hoping that the Food and Drug Administration will approve one of its drugs as a treatment for advanced prostate cancer.

The Chicago-based drug maker announced Thursday that the FDA accepted its supplemental approval application for Lupron Depot (leuprolide acetate) in the 45-mg strength. The drug, an injectable, works by suppressing production of testosterone for six months. It is currently available in 7.5-mg, 22.5-mg and 30-mg formulations that work for one, three and four months.

“For many patients with advanced prostate cancer, Lupron Depot is an important treatment option because it can help manage the symptoms of their disease,” Abbott VP global pharmaceutical development Eugene Sun said in a statement. “Abbott is seeking approval for a new six-month formulation to provide greater convenience and dosing flexibility to physicians and patients who could benefit form this medication.”

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