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AmerisourceBergen Technology Group launches FastPak Elite packaging solution

BY Michael Johnsen

BUFFALO GROVE, Ill. – AmerisourceBergen Technology Group on Thursday launched FastPak Elite, a tool that "reinvents the pouch packager to meet the demands of high volume pharmacy operations, by putting medications in convenient multi-dose packaging," the company stated. 
 
"FastPak Elite is a next generation packaging solution that offers unparalleled versatility and modular configuration," said Tony Guarino, AmerisourceBergen Technology Group general manager. "FastPak Elite provides virtually limitless formulary capabilities and is the fastest packaging equipment we have delivered yet."
 
The FastPak Elite automates up to 100% of oral solid prescription medications. Factory-calibrated smart canisters can accurately accommodate, count and dispense nearly all sizes and shapes of oral solid medications. Each smart canister is lockable and equipped with an RFID chip and barcode identification capabilities to ensure that the correct medication is contained in the right canister. 
 
The FastPak Elite RFID technology identifies the canister and records its contents regardless of where it is placed in the machine.
 
Software maximizes efficiency with a specially designed user interface that simplifies the production process, AmerisourceBergen Technology Group added. Pharmacy technicians can queue batches of medications that are selected, counted and dispensed into unit-dose and multidose pouches at the rate of up to 60 pouches per minute.
 
The FastPak Elite also features a pill cutter and a detachable table adjuster tray that has a capacity of 63 cells and allows dispensing of irregularly shaped or slow-moving medications that are not in canisters. Another feature — the software selects the most efficient pouch size to use, which saves up to 20% in paper usage versus devices that only offer static pouch sizing.
 
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FDA approves Anacor’s antifungal solution

BY Ryan Chavis

PALO ALTO, Calif. — Anacor Pharmaceuticals announced that the Food and Drug Administration has approved the company's new drug application for Kerydin (tavaborole) topical solution, 5% — an antifungal approved for the topical treatment of onychomycosis of the toenails.

"We are pleased to announce the FDA approval of Kerydin, which provides an important new topical treatment option for the millions of people in the United States who are infected with onychomycosis of the toenails," said Paul Berns, CEO Anacor Pharmaceuticals. "We expect to launch Kerydin in the United States, either alone or with a partner, as early as the end of this quarter."

Kerydin is clear and colorless. The alcohol-based solution is applied with a dropper to the infected toenail once daily for 48 weeks. Because of its topical application, the company said that the drug has not demonstrated any systemic side effects.

"Onychomycosis is one of the most common diseases diagnosed and treated by podiatrists. Historically, a large number of patients with onychomycosis would choose not to treat their infection," said Warren Joseph, D.P.M., lower extremity infectious diseases consultant at Roxborough Memorial Hospital in Philadelphia. "With the approval of KERYDIN, physicians can now offer patients a safe, effective and easy-to-use topical treatment for their onychomycosis of the toenail, which I think will be well-received by patients."

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Schnuck Markets names new chief people officer

BY Michael Johnsen

ST. LOUIS – Debra Ogston has been appointed as the new chief people officer at Schnuck Markets, reporting to Anthony Hucker, chief operating officer, the company announced. Ogston also will serve on the senior management team that sets the direction for the company.
 
Ogston will transition into the roll formerly held by Rick Frede, who announced plans to retire in the fall of 2015. Formerly a VP human resources at Johnson Controls of Milwaukee, Wis., Ogston brings 23 years of experience into her duties of overseeing HR functions. Her responsibilities will include all aspects of HR, including talent and leadership development within the organization of 15,000 teammates in stores, offices, warehouses and facilities across the Midwest.
 
“We are excited to have Debra on board, as she brings a wealth of talent and experience that will help us leverage the talents of our greatest resources, our teammates, as we deliver on our mission to nourish people’s lives,” Hucker said. “Debra has the world-class expertise we need to help set direction and bring a new perspective to how Schnucks identifies, recruits, trains and promotes world-class talent in service of our customers.”
 
Ogston holds a Bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Minnesota-Duluth and an MBA in industrial and labor relations from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Throughout her career she has drawn upon her business background to transform HR and drive results through people. 
 
While at Johnson Controls, Ogston was one of a cadre of VPs assigned to address HR needs across the organization of 170,000 people. Ogston’s responsibilities then included managing teams engaged in streamlining processes and integrating HR systems in locations around the world. Prior to that, she worked for food and beverage leaders, including E. & J. Gallo Winery of California, Pepsi Bottling Group and Kraft Foods/Nabisco. 
 
Ogston and her husband, Joseph Saker, have one daughter and are new residents of St. Charles, Mo.
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