PHARMACY

ARCA Biopharma makes unprecedented payment to Aeolus following FDA approval of bucindolol

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Aeolus Pharmaceuticals announced Friday that it had received a $175,000 milestone payment from ARCA Biopharma following the Food and Drug Administration’s acceptance of an approval application for a cardiovascular drug.

Aeolus said the drug, bucindolol, could be the first genetically targeted cardiovascular therapy. CPEC, a company owned jointly by Aeolus and Indevus Pharmaceuticals, licensed all rights to bucindolol to ARCA.

“ARCA’s success in demonstrating the potential benefits of bucindolol in treating heart failure in patients is encouraging,” Aeolus president and chief executive officer John McManus said in a statement. “We look forward to an expeditious review and hope for a positive outcome.”

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Zebra to provide industry printer services to Managed Healthcare Associates

BY Alaric DeArment

VERNON HILLS, Pa. A company that provides printing services for the healthcare industry and the country’s largest alternate-site GPO have signed a three-year agreement to provide barcode and card printers.

Zebra Technologies will provide Managed Healthcare Associates with its printers, as well as supplies and service agreements, at almost 500 of MHA’s member facilities for identification, tracking and access-control applications.

“Increasing patient safety is among the highest priorities in healthcare today,” MHA contract coordinator Kelly Decker said. “Having effective information technology in place is a key step in building a culture of safety that enables providers to improve outcomes and quality of care throughout their organizations.”

According to the Institute of Medicine, at least 1.5 million preventable adverse drug events happen every year in the United States, thought bar coding has been shown to reduce dangerous and expensive medical errors.

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Drug adherence study shows that patients suffering despression often go off medication

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK A company that provides patient adherence and education programs released a study recently that examined adherence rates among patients on SSRI/SNRI antidepressant therapy.

The study, by Burlington, Mass.-based Adheris, found that patients new to antidepressant treatment and those who had restarted therapy after a lapse of six months or more were twice as likely to discontinue therapy in the first 30 days of treatment versus patients previously dispensed an antidepressant.

It also found that the greatest differences in the duration of antidepressant use were not among patients using different drugs, but among patients taking the same drug with different levels of prior experience with antidepressants.

The study appears in the September issue of the journal Clinical Therapeutics. It included more than 211,000 patients taking SSRI/SNRIs from 1,157 retail pharmacies across the country.

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