PHARMACY

Biogen Idec seeks approval in Canada, European Union for MS drug

BY Alaric DeArment

ZUG, Switzerland Biogen Idec hopes to win approval for a multiple sclerosis drug in Canada and the European Union with regulatory approval applications that it recently submitted, the Swiss drug maker announced Tuesday.

The drug maker filed a marketing authorization application with the European Medicines Agency and a new drug submission application with Health Canada for Fampridine-PR (fampridine prolonged-release tablets), designed to improve walking ability in adult MS patients. The Food and Drug Administration also recently accepted an approval application for the drug, which Acorda Therapeutics plans to market under the Fampridine-SR brand; the Canadian version also will be marketed as Fampridine-SR.

“Walking impairment has a significant impact on the lives of many people living with MS,” Biogen Idec SVP neurology research and development Alfred Sandrock said in a statement. “Fampridine-PR tablets may offer a novel approach to address this debilitating aspect of the disease by improving the walking ability of MS patients.”

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PHARMACY

Bennett named DrSN publisher

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK Drug Store News, Pharmacy Practice, PharmacyTech News, Retail Clinician and Specialty Pharmacy magazines, as well as all Drug Store News electronic media products.—Lebhar-Friedman Inc., parent company of The Drug Store News Group, last month named Wayne Bennett publisher of the group, which includes

The move, which became effective just prior to the holidays, acknowledges the considerable contributions Bennett has made to the Drug Store News franchise over a highly successful 15-year career with the company. Bennett, who most recently served as associate publisher of the group and national sales manager prior to that, has played an instrumental role in the overall growth of the enterprise from the single flagship Drug Store News print edition to the group of publications and e-media products that comprise The Drug Store News Group today.

Bennett succeeds John Kenlon, who in 2009 was named VP and group publisher for Lebhar-Friedman’s retail division, which includes The Drug Store News Group as well as Chain Store Age, Retailing Today and Home Channel News, including all print and electronic products.

“Wayne has a genuine passion for retail pharmacy and wants the industry to succeed—not just Drug Store News,” Kenlon said. “For that reason, suppliers and retailers want to work with him; they know he will do everything he can to help improve their businesses.”

Bennett first joined Lebhar-Friedman in October 1995 as area manager for Drug Store News.

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Finding synergy between food, Rx

BY DSN STAFF

Drug Store News interview with Helen Eddy, VP health and wellness at Hy-Vee

Drug Store News: How did Hy-Vee get the idea to have pharmacists and dieticians collaborate on educating patients about disease states and health management?

Helen Eddy: We started by having three corporate dieticians on staff, which grew into having dieticians in the stores. The evolution of the pharmacist and dietician teams was just a natural partnership that evolved quickly. I credit our stores for recognizing the synergies and developing the programs. At Hy-Vee, the best ideas come from our stores.

DrSN: What do you hope to accomplish the most?

Eddy: Richard Jurgens, our chairman and CEO, has stated that our goal is to be the healthiest company in America, and then to help the states in which we operate become the healthiest states in the nation. We will do that through employee and customer programs that help them live healthier lifestyles and reverse the obesity epidemic.

DrSN: How do you leverage your capabilities as a supermarket pharmacy in educating patients with chronic disease states?

Eddy: Supermarket pharmacies are uniquely positioned to help customers achieve their health goals through the combination of pharmacy and healthy food choices. Every time that we are educating a customer about a disease, we address diet and healthy lifestyles.

Prescription medications alone usually are not enough to achieve the desired health outcome. It also requires that we address diet and nutrition. The supermarket, where [customers] shop, is the ideal classroom for teaching customers how to live healthier lives.

DrSN: What roles can supermarket pharmacies play in the U.S. healthcare system?

Eddy: Our healthcare crisis will not be resolved until we address obesity and begin preventing chronic disease. The supermarket pharmacy is an accessible, unique resource for both patients and healthcare professionals. Supermarket pharmacies have the health expertise of their pharmacists, combined with healthy, fresh food.

At Hy-Vee, we are already seeing physicians referring patients to our dieticians and pharmacists for education because we combine nutrition and chronic disease education. The result is better patient outcomes.

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