PHARMACY

Biotech industry hit hard by slumping economy, reports say

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Things aren’t looking good for the biotech industry.

The Wall Street Journal reports that several small biotechs are expected to file for bankruptcy, cancel drug trials, lay off workers or be acquired by larger companies. 

The Journal reported that this could harm larger drug companies, which depend on small biologic drug makers to invent drugs the larger companies can acquire and market. 

Lately, several larger companies have had to trim down their research and development operations. Wyeth announced that it would reduce its R&D therapeutic areas; GlaxoSmithKline recently said it would lay off 850 workers, while Merck is laying off more than 7,000.

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Medimetriks announces agreement to market treatments for impetigo

BY Alaric DeArment

FAIRFIELD, N.J. Medimetriks Pharmaceuticals has entered into a licensing agreement with Perrigo for U.S. Marketing rights to Centany Ointment and two prescription keratolytic brands, Medimetriks announced Tuesday.

Johnson & Johnson’s OrthoNeutrogena professional division previously marketed Centany, which is used for treating impetigo caused by Straphylococcus aureas and Streptococcus pyogenes bacteria. The Food and Drug Administration approved it in 2002.

The two keratolytic brands are urea-based therapies for treating severe dry skin.

“We are happy to have a partner that brings such a record of success in the branded pharmaceutical business,” Perrigo executive vice president Sharon Kochan said in a statement. “We believe the licensed products are in good hands, given Medimetriks management’s proven abilities in building a successful business in the dermatology and podiatry markets.”

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Few healthcare providers receive adequate training, tools to help patients quit smoking

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK A new study suggests that few healthcare workers have sufficient training in smoking cessation to help patients quit.

The study, presented Monday at the annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians in Philadelphia, found that 87 to 93 percent of healthcare providers receive less than five hours of smoking cessation training, while less than 6 percent know the governmental Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s guidelines for treating people with tobacco dependence.

The study surveyed 600 people working in health care, including physicians, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, social workers and students, and divided them into prescribers and non-prescribers.

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