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PHARMACY

Walgreens’ Senior Day to focus on fall prevention

BY David Salazar

Walgreens stores will be sharing prevention tips for seniors at risk of tripping and falling as part of its Senior Day on Aug. 7, the company announced Thursday. Customers will be encouraged to talk to pharmacy staff about fall injury prevention, and stores will feature informational materials, including such resources as a checklist for assessing their fall risk by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“With Walgreens’ presence in communities nationwide, and our trusted relationship with customers, we have a great opportunity to help older adults and caregivers make homes and other environments safer and avoid injuries from slips and falls,” said Rina Shah, Walgreens vice president of pharmacy operations. These injuries are often highly preventable and education can be the key to prevention.”

Walgreens also said that Balance Rewards members will receive 1,000 bonus points if they ask a pharmacy staff member about fall injury prevention, and as part of Senior Day, shoppers ages 55 years old and older, as well as those with an AARP card, can receive 20% off certain merchandise.

The company’s efforts — which it said started in 2016 with the promotion of fall prevention education — come as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1-in-4 people ages 65 years and older fall annually, with 3 million older Americans treated in emergency departments for fall-related injuries.

“We know falling is not a natural part of aging and falls can be prevented. Having medications reviewed by a pharmacist for possible fall risks are a key preventive measure,” said Becky Turpin, director of home and community safety for the National Safety Council. “We commend Walgreens for offering this service to its customers on Senior Day and throughout the year.”

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FDA approves Shionogi’s Mulpleta

BY Sandra Levy

The Food and Drug Administration has given the green light for Shionogi’s Mulpleta (lusutrombopag). The product is indicated for thrombocytopenia in adults with chronic liver disease who are scheduled to undergo a medical or dental procedure.

“We are very pleased the FDA has approved Mulpleta as a new, safe and effective treatment,” said Takayuki Yoshioka, Shionogi’s president and CEO. “This new therapy offers physicians and patients another choice beyond platelet transfusions as adult patients with CLD often undergo procedures that could put them at increased risk for bleeding.

The product’s approval was based on two randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials (L-PLUS 1 and L-PLUS 2, NCT02389621) involving 312 patients with chronic liver disease and severe thrombocytopenia who were undergoing an invasive procedure and had a platelet count less than 50 x 109/L. Patients were randomized 1:1 to receive 3 mg of lusutrombopag or placebo once daily for up to seven days.

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Assembly Biosciences gets FDA fast track for hepatitis B treatment

BY Sandra Levy

Assembly Biosciences has been granted Food and Drug Administration fast-track designation for ABI-H0731 for the treatment of patients with chronic hepatitis B infection.

ABI-H0731 is Assembly’s lead oral HBV core inhibitor, which is being evaluated in two global Phase 2a proof of concept studies that are currently enrolling patients, the company said.

“More than one million individuals in the United States suffer from chronic hepatitis B infection, which can progress to cirrhosis and liver cancer, eventually leading to death. Despite existing antiviral therapies, cures are rare, so the need for more effective and potentially curative treatments is tremendous,” Assembly Biosciences chief medical officer Uri Lopatin said. “We are encouraged that ABI-H0731 was granted Fast Track Designation. This will allow us to work closely with the FDA in our efforts to bring this new therapy to HBV patients as quickly as possible.”

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