AstraZeneca stops testing based on life-saving results of cholesterol pill
LONDON AstraZeneca has halted the trial of its Crestor cholesterol drug early, because of evidence that shows the pill’s effectiveness in cutting deaths in patients with no evidence of heart disease, according to published reports.
AstraZeneca is the United Kingdom’s second-biggest drug maker, behind GlaxoSmithKline, and the results of the trial are set to help propel the company to a greater share of the cholesterol market, worth $35 billion dollars. According to published reports, AstraZeneca is anxious to get Crestor out on the market before the competing drug from Pfizer, Lipitor, loses its patent protection, resulting in consumers turning solely to a generic version instead.
The study done to test Crestor’s effectiveness, named JUPITER, was looking to find whether the drug was able to block a protein associated with a risk of arterial blockages and would work on patients with low to normal cholesterol. It was said to have outperformed the placebo. Another successful study named ASTEROID found that Crestor reduced blockages in the arteries, which can reverse the cause of heart attacks.
GMDC’s Blough passes away at 58
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. GMDC on Thursday announced that Doug Blough, longtime director of communications for the association, passed away on March 22 at the age of 58 after a battle against pancreatic cancer.
“Doug made huge contributions to GMDC and its success over the years and he’ll be missed by all of us privileged to have worked with him,” stated David McConnell, GMDC president and chief executive officer. “He fought against this insidious disease and to the very end maintained the sense of dignity, kindness and caring for others that were at the core of who he was and how he’ll be remembered by all of us who were privileged to have known him.”
A resident of Colorado Springs since 1975, Blough’s relationship with GMDC spanned more than two decades as he served as an outside vendor providing visual communications services until he joined the staff management team in December of 1999. His tenure as a GMDC employee continued until the end of 2005 when he retired to spend more time with his wife Linda and pursue his passion for fine art digital imagery.
Even after his retirement from staff duty he was retained as a contractor who continued to manage GMDC’s creative and communication activities as well as serving as the Association’s liaison interfacing with the trade press and managing its public relations programs.
“Throughout his long tenure with GMDC Doug played a significant role in creating and managing the GMDC brand and was beloved in the industry as a person who always had a smile and a good word to say to anyone he ever encountered,” the association stated.
“Doug talked to me just a week ago about his anticipated passing with a sense of calm that amazed me and he actually played a big role in the planning of his funeral,” McConnell said. The funeral is being held Friday, March 28. McConnell is delivering the eulogy. “In these conversations and the planning process with [his wilfe] Linda he was consistent in stressing that it was very important that his passing be a celebration of his ife and who he was … not a time of sadness.”
The family has asked that in lieu of flowers donations be made to:
The Blough Children Educational Fundc/o US Bank6 South Tejon StreetColorado Springs, Colorado 80903Attention: L. Specht
Otsuka settles Abilify allegations for $4 million
TOKYO Otsuka Pharmaceuticals has agreed to pay $4 million to resolve allegations that it marketed its schizophrenia drug Abilify for off-label uses with Bristol-Myers Squibb, according to published reports.
Squibb settled its issue with Abilify back in September by agreeing to pay $515 million to settle allegations that it overcharged the government for drugs and promoted medicine like Abilify for unapproved uses.
The accusations came from the Justice Department, which stated that the companies of promoting the drug for use in children, and as a remedy for dementia, without FDA approval. Now, the drug is required to carry a black-box warning for use in dementia-related psychosis.
Otsuka will pay the government about $2.3 million and the remainder to states’ Medicaid programs, the company said in a statement. It agreed to a corporate integrity agreement, without specifying the length of the compliance and monitoring pledged. The agreement requires the company to maintain compliance programs to monitor business practices.
Over 12.5 million prescriptions have been written as of June 2007 for Abilify, according to IMS.