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CVS chief helps URI find room to grow

BY DSN STAFF

KINGSTON, R.I. —With the help of CVS Caremark’s chairman, president and CEO, Tom Ryan, the University of Rhode Island recently broke ground on a $75 million complex that will allow its College of Pharmacy to grow in its role as a center of excellence.

Set to open in 2011, the facility is being supported by $65 million in general obligation bonds approved by Rhode Island voters in 2006, and a $10 million campaign for private donations.

Already, more than $4.1 million in gifts and pledges, provided by more than 200 alumni, friends and corporate sponsors of the college, has been raised, including contributions from, among others, Ryan, CVS Caremark and Teva Pharmaceuticals USA.

“This is a tremendous day for URI and for those of us who set our sights on the goal of building a state-of-theart school of pharmacy in Rhode Island,” Ryan stated. “With the aging of the population and continual advances in pharmacy health care, pharmacists play a key role as part of the healthcare delivery team. We are pleased to help in preparing them for their careers as trusted healthcare advisors.”

The new facility will allow the college to accept more students in its six-year doctor of pharmacy degree, its graduate programs and its four-year bachelor’s degree in pharmaceutical sciences, which was launched this semester. The College of Pharmacy typically enrolls about 95 students annually in its doctor of pharmacy program from an applicant pool of more than 1,000.

With the new building, URI can pursue its goal of increasing enrollment in the doctor of pharmacy program by 30% over the next several years. Additional students will be enrolled in the bachelor’s program in pharmaceutical sciences, which will develop professionals to work in the pharmaceutical industry and within health systems to manage health service delivery.

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Hy-Vee celebrates the other white meat

BY Alaric DeArment

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa A lot of people complain about pork barrel spending, but not Midwest supermarket chain Hy-Vee.

October is National Pork Month, and the West Des Moines, Iowa-based Hy-Vee announced Friday that sales of the meat have increased more than 25% over October 2008. The chain said it was on track to increase pork tonnage by more than 30%.

 

“With pork prices the lowest they’ve been in more than a decade, we’ve focused our marketing efforts on promoting pork as a great value for consumers,” Hy-Vee assistant VP meat operations Kenan Judge said in a statement. “Today’s shopper is looking for nutritious, economical meal ideas, and pork perfectly fits the bill.”

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Patients prefer new diabetes drug Victoza over its competitor, survey finds

BY Alaric DeArment

MONTREAL A new diabetes drug satisfied patients more than its competitor, according to a study funded by the drug’s manufacturer.

According to data on 379 patients who took the Diabetes Treatment Satisfaction Questionnaires, presented Thursday at the 20th World Diabetes Congress and published in medical journal The Lancet, patients taking Novo Nordisk’s drug Victoza (liraglutide) perceived less abnormally low or high blood sugar levels — known respectively as hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia — than those taking Byetta (exenatide), made by Eli Lilly & Co., Amylin Corp. and Alkermes.

Victoza is approved in Europe, but Novo Nordisk is still waiting for approval from the Food and Drug Administration in the United States.

“Liraglutide has shown here in a convincing study that it is associated with less nausea, less perceived hypoglycemia and definitely higher patient satisfaction compared to exenatide,” principal investigator Wolfgang Schmidt said in a statement. “Patient-reported outcomes data is an important extension of the efficacy data. If a patient is satisfied with his or her treatment, then they are much more likely to really stick to the treatment over the long term, which is necessary in Type 2 diabetes.”

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