Biogen Idec receives FDA approval for multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease treatment
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. The Food and Drug Administration has given approval to a drug for treating multiple sclerosis and Crohn’s disease.
Biogen Idec announced Thursday that the FDA had approved Tysabri (natalizumab), which already has approval in more than 40 countries as a treatment for moderate to severe Crohn’s disease and relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis. Biogen Idec co-markets the drug with Ireland-based Elan Corp.
Biogen Idec will use a high titer process for which it received approval in the European Union in December to manufacture the drug in higher quantities at its plant in Research Triangle Park, N.C.
“Developing this high titer process is another example of our world-class expertise and leadership in biologics manufacturing,” Biogen Idec COO Bob Hamm said. “We expect this new process to result in about a four-fold increase in yield.”
WellPoint executive elected as Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy president
INDIANAPOLIS An executive from health insurer WellPoint has been named president of the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy, WellPoint announced.
Chief pharmacy officer Brian Sweet was elected Wednesday at the AMCP’s annual meeting in Orlando, Fla. The organization represents pharmacists, healthcare practitioners and others who practice in managed care settings.
“Today’s challenging economic times shine a spotlight on the need to justify the value of pharmaceuticals,” Sweet said. “I am excited in my new role to be part of this calling to managed care organizations and pharmaceutical companies to work together for more evidence-based development, technology evaluation standards and information dissemination to patients in consumer-friendly terms.”
Sweet’s term as president will begin in April 2010, WellPoint said.
AARP/Walgreens Wellness Tour kicks off in the Big Apple
NEW YORK Walgreens and AARP have kicked off a national tour with nine buses traveling to 3,000 communities across the country and offering free health screenings.
The AARP/Walgreens Wellness Tour started Tuesday at New York’s Rockefeller Plaza, and Drug Store News got a first-hand look.
The bus had a table outside with free reusable tote bags and pamphlets on chronic diseases, along with forms visitors could use to sign up for the screenings. Inside, the bus featured a small area where visitors could wait before getting screenings in curtained booths for blood glucose, blood pressure, body mass index and bone density. After completing the screenings, visitors were instructed to talk to one of the on-site pharmacists outside, who could discuss whatever conditions the visitors may have had.
This is the fifth year in which Walgreens has offered a health screening tour. Of people screened last year, 72.8% had high blood pressure levels, 13.3% had high blood glucose and 65.9% had low bone density.