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CVS Caremark achieves $1 million mark in donations to support Children’s Hospital Boston

BY Allison Cerra

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark announced it has raised $1 million for Children’s Hospital Boston to help children with disabilities.

The company said that donations, derived through the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust and the CVS Caremark All Kids Can Program, helped support the pediatric hospital’s cerebral palsy program and center for communication enhancement.

Funds benefited Children’s Hospital Boston’s cerebral palsy program’s functional mobility initiative, which is designed and set up to enable patients to see multiple subspecialists involved in their care in one day rather than have patients and their families make multiple trips to receive a spectrum of services and care, CVS Caremark said. Additionally, monies donated also benefited the hospital’s center for communication enhancement’s augmentative communication program, a multidisciplinary program that incorporates symbols, video interaction and computer technology with speech pathology and occupational therapy for children with a variety of disabilities who have difficulty with their communications.

The milestone will be celebrated Monday night at Fenway Park prior to the Boston Red Sox/Baltimore Orioles game.

"We are incredibly proud of our $1 million milestone and great partnership with the team at Children’s Hospital Boston," CVS Caremark SVP corporate communications and community relations Eileen Howard Boone said. "Together we are helping children with disabilities learn, play and succeed in all they set out to do. The fact that we’ve been able to infuse one of the nation’s best pediatric hospitals with funds that enhance and expand the phenomenal services they are already providing to children with disabilities is very rewarding for all of us at CVS Caremark."

CVS Caremark has partnered with Children’s Hospital Boston for more than five years.

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Merck drug for HIV effective, tolerated, study results show

BY Alaric DeArment

CHICAGO — A drug made by Merck for treating HIV infection was effective and tolerated in patients regardless of their gender or race, according to results of a late-stage clinical trial announced Monday.

Merck announced the release of data from the phase-3 "REALMRK" study showing that Isentress (raltegravir) combined with other drugs produced results similar to those seen in other phase-3 studies. The REALMRK study enrolled 209 patients who had not previously received treatment for HIV, as well as those for whom previous treatments didn’t work. Of the patients enrolled, 74.6% were black, while 46.9% were women.

"Results from the REALMRK study demonstrate the benefits of Isentress in combination therapy in a diverse patient population that refelcts the faces of money people living with HIV-1 today," director of the division of infectious disease and environmental medicine at Thomas Jefferson University’s medical school and lead study investigator Kathleen Squires said. "Blacks and women are disproportionately affected by the HIV epidemic."

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FDA approves two new indications for Amgen’s Prolia

BY Alaric DeArment

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved two new uses for a drug made by Amgen, the drug maker said Monday.

Amgen announced the approval of the biotech drug Prolia (denosumab) for increasing bone mass in men and women who are at risk of fractures due to hormone ablation treatments they are receiving for prostate and breast cancer, respectively.

"Bone loss and fractures are recognized adverse effects of hormone ablation therapies, but we have not had an approved treatment option to prevent these problems for our patients," Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center genitourinary malignancies program head Matthew Smith said. "Prolia now gives us the ability to reduce the risk of bone loss and fractures, allowing patients to continue their treatment and their fight against cancer."

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