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Avella Specialty Pharmacy to distribute Celgene’s Otezla

BY Michael Johnsen

PHOENIX — Just days after the Food and Drug Administration approved Otezla, a new oral therapy to treat active psoriatic arthritis in adult patients, Avella Specialty Pharmacy on Friday announced that it is prepared to begin distributing the drug. 

At this time, Avella is one of a select number of pharmacies that are contracted by Celgene, the drug manufacturer, to dispense the product at launch.

Otezla is the first oral therapy approved to treat active psoriatic arthritis, a condition that impacts a sizable percentage of individuals who suffer from psoriasis. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, psoriasis is the most prevalent chronic inflammatory disease in the U.S.

Otezla provides convenient oral dosing for PsA patients who up until now did not have an FDA-approved oral treatment option for PsA. In trials conducted prior to FDA approval, Otezla demonstrated clinically significant improvements across multiple manifestations of psoriatic arthritis including joint pain and swelling, as well as dactylitis (swelling of fingers) and enthesitis (swelling of the tendons) in patients with these pre-existing symptoms.

“Avella is proud to be at the forefront of innovation by providing access to this new medication for psoriatic arthritis,” stated Leslie Yendro, VP business development of Avella,“ We believe that our emphasis on engaging and educating patients, combined with the efficacy and convenience of this new oral therapy, will benefit individuals with this psoriatic arthritis.”

 

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Polar vortex set to create a shorter but more powerful season for allergy sufferers

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — The polar vortex may be responsible for an exceptionally strong, though delayed, spring allergy season, according to a report published Friday on CNN.com. 

Citing allergy experts, the snowfall and below-freezing temperatures that defined this year’s winter means a late flowering for trees, and that means pollinating trees will "be busy catching up" once temperatures do warm up. 

"If it warms up quickly, and gets really warm, that may mean everything starts pollinating all at once," commented Estelle Levetin, professor of biology at University of Tulsa, CNN.com reported. Typically, trees release pollens much more gradually. But if spring is shortened, then that process is compacted into a few weeks.

The increased moisture in the ground — melting winter snows coupled with spring rains — will also spawn plenty of mold for allergy sufferers, the report noted. 

 

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Meijer pens Milwaukee Brewers sponsorship in anticipation of entering Wisconsin market

BY Michael Johnsen

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Brewers on Friday announced a multi-year partnership with Meijer that begins this season. The partnership will include branding on both the right-center and left-center field walls at Miller Park. Additional advertising will also be featured on the official website of the Brewers, Brewers.com.  

This is the first sports partnership in Wisconsin for Meijer as the store plans on opening its first Wisconsin stores next year. The retailer currently has more than 200 locations in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky.

“This partnership is just one example of Meijer’s commitment be an integral part of our community even before they open their doors to customers,” stated Brewers COO Rick Schlesinger.  “We see this as a great way to welcome them to Wisconsin.”

“We’ve been learning a lot about Wisconsin, and we’ve come to understand that the Brewers are part of the fabric of the Milwaukee community and that the team’s fan base is extremely loyal,” commented Frank Guglielmi, senior director of communications for the company.  “We’re excited to be involved with the Milwaukee community and hope to make its citizens loyal fans of Meijer as well.”

The Meijer signage will be up for the Brewers exhibition games at Miller Park tonight and tomorrow, as well as Monday’s Opening Day and throughout the partnership.

 

 

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