PHARMACY

CVS Caremark to offer free vaccines for unemployed

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS Caremark is offering 100,000 free seasonal flu shots to those who are unemployed as part of a nationwide flu vaccination effort, the company announced on Monday.

The program will include on-site flu clinics at One-Stop Career Center locations and distribution of vouchers for free flu shots at CVS/pharmacy or MinuteClinic. One-Stop Career Centers offer tools and training to job seekers.

In addition to offering $3 million in free flu vaccinations for the unemployed, the company is offering several options for consumers to get a flu shot.

Beginning Sept. 1, seasonal flu shots will be available daily, without an appointment, at more than 500 MinuteClinic locations. Starting Sept. 15, more than 9,000 flu shot clinic events will be held in select CVS/pharmacy stores nationwide. Vaccinations are covered by more insurance plans.

Meanwhile, through its PBM, CVS Caremark will work with its employer clients during flu season to make it easier, more convenient and more affordable for their employees to get an annual flu vaccination. Employer clients can participate in a program that offers seasonal flu shots at no cost to their employees at MinuteClinic locations, flu shot clinic events held in select CVS/pharmacy stores nationwide or at employer on-site clinics.

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Japanese drug maker permitted to start clinical trials of diabetes drug

BY Alaric DeArment

OSAKA, Japan The Food and Drug Administration has given a Japanese drug maker permission to start clinical trials of a diabetes drug.

Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. announced Friday that the FDA had agreed to the design of a study to examine the effects on cardiovascular safety of the Type 2 diabetes drug alogliptin.

The study will begin next month and end in December 2014, enrolling about 5,400 patients at 1,000 sites in the United States, Europe and Asia.

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FDA rejects application for new epilepsy drug

BY Alaric DeArment

TITUSVILLE, N.J. A drug maker’s regulatory approval application for a new epilepsy drug has been rejected.

Johnson & Johnson announced last week that the Food and Drug Administration had delivered it a complete response letter regarding the drug Comfyde (carisbamate). A complete response letter means that the agency requires additional clinical data before it will approve a new drug or a new use for an existing drug.

J&J filed its application in October, seeking approval for the drug as a treatment for partial onset seizures in patients aged 16 and older.

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