PHARMACY

CVS Caremark to open Pharmacy Customer Care Center

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS Caremark is opening in December its first Pharmacy Customer Care Center in Cumberland, R.I., and is partnering with several state and local agencies in the state to recruit and train certified pharmacy technicians for jobs at the new facility, the company announced on Tuesday.

“We are pleased that our first Customer Care Center will be located in our home state of Rhode Island,” stated Larry Merlo, president of CVS/pharmacy. “We are launching this innovative pharmacy service program to enhance the service provided to individuals who call our pharmacies, as well as to provide more time for our pharmacy teams to spend serving customers in our stores.”

The new center, being built in Highland Corporate Park in Cumberland, will be staffed by pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and customer service associates, who will service phone calls from pharmacy customers, prescribers and other third party agencies. The center will initially employ 125 people.

The company is partnering with the Community College of Rhode Island and the Providence Skills Center to train qualified applicants as pharmacy technicians. Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation, the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, Workforce Partnership of Greater R.I. and Workforce Solutions of Providence/Cranston are also offering recruitment and training support.

“We want to thank all of our partners in this project. Their support and cooperation is critical to our ability to create these new jobs in Rhode Island,” stated Merlo. “We plan to grow our Pharmacy Customer Care Center further in 2010, which will create additional job opportunities.”

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PHARMACY

Sandoz launches a generic version of Vantin

BY Alaric DeArment

PRINCETON, N.J. Generic drug maker Sandoz has launched a version of an oral antibiotic.

The company, a division of Swiss drug maker Novartis, announced the launch of cefpodoxime proxetil oral suspension in the 50 mg per 5 mL and 100 mg per 5 mL strengths, used to treat such mild to moderate infections caused by Gram positive and Gram negative bacteria as ear infections, sore throats and sinusitis.

The drug is a generic version of Pfizer’s Vantin. Branded and generic formulations of cefpodoxime proxetil oral suspension were about $4 million in the 12 months ended in April, according to IMS Health data.

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OSI Pharmaceuticals, Genentech announce results of Tarceva trial

BY Alaric DeArment

MELVILLE, N.Y. A drug used to treat non-small cell lung cancer and pancreatic cancers extended the survival of patients with advanced NSCLC taking it immediately after chemotherapy, according to results of a late-stage clinical study.

OSI Pharmaceuticals and Genentech announced the results of a phase 3 trial of Tarceva (erlotinib), which they will present at the 13th World Congress on Lung Cancer, on Aug. 4 in San Francisco.

“This study has now not only confirmed that immediate treatment of Tarceva after initial chemotherapy delayed the progression of disease, but also importantly helped patients in the study live longer,” principal investigator Federico Cappuzzo of the Instituto Clinico Humanitas IRCCS in Milan, Italy, said. “This is good news for doctors and their patients, since advanced lung cancer is one of the most challenging cancers to treat and is often associated with a very short life expectancy.”

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