PHARMACY

Amylin, Takeda suspend obesity drug trial

BY Alaric DeArment

SAN DIEGO — Amylin Pharmaceuticals and Takeda Pharmaceutical have suspended a mid-stage trial of an obesity drug over safety concerns, the two said Wednesday.

The drug makers stopped the phase-2 trial of a combination of pramlintide and metreleptin due to problems that arose in two patients related to metreleptin. Amylin said the decision to suspend the trial did not affect its investigations of metreleptin as a treatment of diabetes and hypertriglyceridemia in patients with lipodystrophy.

“The safety of patients in our clinical programs is of paramount concern to the companies,” Amylin SVP and chief medical officer Orville Kolterman said. “We have taken this precaution so that we can thoroughly investigate this finding.”

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Fleming responds to nuclear crisis by boosting production of ThyroShield

BY Alaric DeArment

ST. LOUIS — Drug maker Fleming Pharmaceuticals is increasing production of a drug for preventing thyroid cancer in response to the nuclear crisis in Japan.

The drug, ThyroShield (potassium iodide), is designed for use in nuclear emergencies and works by saturating the thyroid gland so that it can’t absorb radioactive iodine.

“ThyroShield is not routinely stocked in large quantities, but we are putting a plan in place that expedites production and delivery,” Fleming Pharmaceuticals president Phill Dritsas said. “However, in the case of Japan, we simply don’t have enough inventory to even begin to fill a need that great and immediate.”

State and local governments are required to provide potassium iodide medicine to citizens living within 20 miles of the country’s 104 nuclear power plants, and the federal government has stockpiled millions of doses for governments to distribute.

“Some of the nation’s stockpile of ThyroShield has already expired, and the remaining inventory will expire over the next year and a half,” Dritsas said. “If federal officials were to decide to donate the existing medicine, while it is still viable, for humanitarian efforts in Japan, that could address the immediate need there and give us time to accelerate production here and work with the federal government to replenish what was donated.”

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NACDS announces guest speakers for annual meeting

BY Antoinette Alexander

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — This year’s National Association of Chain Drug Stores Annual Meeting will feature a lineup of speakers ranging from political leaders and policy experts to best-selling authors and culinary connoisseurs. This year’s meeting will run from April 30 to May 3 in Scottsdale, Ariz.

"NACDS is pleased to have such well-rounded and accomplished speakers at this year’s NACDS Annual Meeting," stated NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson. "From Capitol Hill and the White House to the London Business School and the Food Network, our presenters will share a multitude of government, management and consumer-related issues and topics truly derived from real-world experience."

Among others, the NACDS will host former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, J. Dennis Hastert; senior advisor and deputy chief of staff to former President George W. Bush, Karl Rove; author, blogger and management professor Gary Hamel; and TV host and do-it-yourself expert Sandra Lee.

Hastert is the longest-serving Republican speaker in U.S. history. He served as speaker from January 1999 to January 2007, and worked to lower taxes, improve education, increase defense spending and strengthen social security and Medicare.

Former deputy chief of staff and senior adviser to President George W. Bush, and current Fox News Contributor, Wall Street Journal columnist and Newsweek columnist, Rove has been given the moniker "The Architect" for his handling of Bush’s 2000 and 2004 campaigns. He operates his own public relations firm and is a widely read author and columnist.

Hamel is a visiting professor of strategic and international management at the London Business School, and has been an active leader and contributor to the Harvard Business Review.  As the author of multiple best-selling books on management, and a Wall Street Journal blogger, Hamel has worked with multinational companies on reinventing management.

Lee is the editor-in-chief of Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade magazine, host of two TV programs, a best-selling author and a philanthropist. Lee, who was forced to live on welfare and food stamps as a child, has become an influencer for retailers and consumers who are looking to turn budget-friendly into beautiful and fabulous.

"Our lineup of influential and informative speakers at the NACDS Annual Meeting speaks to the importance of our industry and the composition of NACDS," Anderson said. "It is a true honor to host these distinguished political and business leaders as this year’s speakers."

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