PHARMACY

APhA enlists comedian Brad Sherwood to promote pharmacy education

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON A professional organization for pharmacists has enlisted comedian Brad Sherwood to create an educational campaign to shed light on what happens behind the pharmacy counter.

In recognition of American Pharmacist Month, the American Pharmacists Association has launched its Behind-the-Counter Encounters campaign, supported by McNeil Consumer Healthcare. In a series of video vignettes featuring Sherwood in character as a pharmacist and a series of customers, APhA sheds light on a typical day in the life of a pharmacist and on pharmacists’ role in health care and how that role has expanded.

According to an APhA survey, 68 percent of consumers don’t know their pharmacists? names, but when they asked their pharmacists questions, 99 percent received the help they needed.

“Like most people, I wasn’t really sure what pharmacists do,” Sherwood said in a statement. “So, I was intrigued when the APhA asked me to help celebrate pharmacists by creating these entertaining vignettes. Now, I know pharmacists go above and beyond filling prescriptions by playing an important role in helping people with their healthcare needs.”

Sherwood is a cast member of the TV show “Whose Line Is it Anyway?” 

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PHARMACY

FDA, SciClone meet agreement on distribution of melanoma treatment

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NEW YORK The Food and Drug Administration has reached an agreement with a drug maker on the design of a phase 3 trial of a skin cancer drug.

SciClone Pharmaceuticals announced Monday that it had reached the agreement with the agency concerning the drug thymalfasin, which it sees as a potential treatment for stage 4 melanoma.

“Patients suffering from stage 4 melanoma have very few treatment options available,” SciClone chief medical officer Israel Rios said in a statement. “Based on the positive data from an earlier phase 2 trial, thymalfasin could provide new treatment modalities for this high unmet medical need.”

The drug, if approved, will be sold under the brand name Zadaxin. The full name of its active ingredient is thymosin alpha 1.

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Teva releases generic version of AstraZeneca’s Pulmicort

BY Alaric DeArment

NORTH WALES, Pa. The world’s largest maker of generic drugs has introduced a generic version of AstraZeneca’s Pulmicort Respules.

Teva announced Wednesday that it had launched budesonide inhalation suspension, a treatment for asthma, in 0.25-mg-per-2-milliliters and 0.5-mg-per-2-milliliter strengths.

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