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Chimerix gets emergency FDA approval for Ebola antiviral

BY Ryan Chavis

 

DURHAM, N.C. — Biopharmaceutical company Chimerix on Monday announced that brincidofovir has been provided for potential use in patients with Ebola virus at the request of treating physicians. Emergency investigational new drug applications were granted by the Food and Drug Administration.
 
"Chimerix is committed to working with global health organizations and government agencies in the fight against the Ebola virus outbreak," said M. Michelle Berrey, M.D., M.P.H., president and CEO of Chimerix. "Based on in vitro data from work conducted by the CDC and the National Institutes of Health suggesting brincidofovir's activity against Ebola, we are hopeful that brincidofovir may offer a potential treatment for Ebola Virus Disease during this outbreak. Data collected over years of clinical development of brincidofovir have allowed us to progress this compound into Phase 3 programs for cytomegalovirus and adenovirus infections, and provided information on the safety and dosing of brincidofovir to allow it to be explored as a potential therapy for Ebola Virus Disease."
 
The company said it is working with the FDA to finalize clinical trial protocol this week to assess the safety and efficacy of the drug in patients who are confirmed to have Ebola. 

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Target developing pharmacy app

BY Antoinette Alexander

MINNEAPOLIS — Target has announced that it is completely revamping its app, while also working on a new for pharmacy.

“We view mobile as the new front door to Target,” says Jason Goldberger, SVP of Target.com and mobile, was quoted as saying in the company’s newsletter, A Bullseye View. “We’re launching a host of significant enhancements and updates to Target’s mobile offerings — making it easier than ever for guests to shop Target.”

Under the initiative, the retailer is developing a new pharmacy app called Target Healthful, which allows guests to organize prescriptions, check prescription status, transfer prescriptions and place orders for refills. According to Target, this app is just the beginning, with future app updates coming in 2015.

Also new is curbside pickup. Target has partnered with the startup Curbside to offer curbside pickup at 10 San Francisco Bay area stores. How it works: Guests place an order for store pickup through the Curbside app and collect their purchase in person at a Curbside-branded trailer or tent near the store entrance.

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Walmart to cover breast, lung or colorectal cancers under its Centers of Excellence program

BY Michael Johnsen

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart on Tuesday announced it is expanding its Centers of Excellence program.

Effective Jan. 1, 2015, Walmart associates and family members enrolled in the company’s health reimbursement account plans or health savings account plan who are diagnosed with breast, lung or colorectal cancer can obtain a review of their medical records by Mayo Clinic, and when recommended, receive care covered at 100% for on-site visits at Mayo Clinic Cancer Center locations in Rochester, Minn., Jacksonville, Fla., or Phoenix.
 
“We are proud to expand our Centers of Excellence with Mayo Clinic to help ensure that our associates and their covered family members who are diagnosed with cancer receive the best care,” said Sally Welborn, SVP global benefits at Walmart. “The three cancers covered under our program are among the most prevalent experienced by associates on our healthcare plans.”
 
"We are pleased that Walmart approached us to help its associates diagnosed with breast, colon and lung cancer,” said Jan Buckner, deputy director for practice at Mayo Clinic Cancer Center. “Our coordinated approach to cancer care offers patients the latest advances in treatment in a compassionate and caring environment.”
 
Walmart’s Centers of Excellence cancer program will provide a review of an associate’s medical record, or their covered family member’s medical record, by Mayo Clinic oncologists following a diagnosis of breast, lung or colorectal cancer. The review will determine if they would benefit from an on-site visit at a Mayo Clinic location. On-site visits will be covered at 100% and will include recommended treatment — such as chemotherapy, radiation or surgery — without deductible or co-insurance, plus travel expenses for the patient and a caregiver.
 
The National Cancer Institute reports that breast cancer is the most common type of cancer, with about 235,000 new cases expected in the United States in 2014. Lung cancer, with more than 224,000 cases expected this year, and colorectal cancer, with a projected 136,000 new cases in 2014, also rank among the most common cancers in the United States.
 
Walmart launched its first-of-a-kind Centers of Excellence program in January 2013, which focused on select spine and cardiac procedures. In 2014, Walmart partnered with the Pacific Business Group on Health to extend the Centers of Excellence program to include knee and hip replacement procedures. Walmart first partnered with Mayo Clinic in 1997 for associates in need of organ transplants.
 

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