PHARMACY

DestinationRx nominated for Webby Award

BY Drew Buono

LOS ANGELES The 12th Annual Webby Awards has nominated DestinationRx for the Best Pharmaceutical Website of 2008.

The Webby Awards is the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet, including Web sites, Interactive Advertising, Online Film & Video, and Mobile Web sites. The awards are judged by the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences, a global organization that includes David Bowie, Virgin Group founder Richard Branson, AKQA global creative director Rei Inamoto, “Simpsons” creator Matt Groening, Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington, Real Networks chief executive officer Rob Glaser and The Weinstein Company’s Harvey Weinstein.

“The Webby Awards honors the outstanding work that is setting the standards for the Internet,” said David-Michel Davies, executive director of The Webby Awards. “DestinationRx’s selection is a testament to the skill, ingenuity and vision of its creators.”

By using the variety of tools offered by DestinationRx—from price comparison and online shopping to information about side effects, interactions, therapeutic alternatives and more—consumers can save time and money.

“A key weapon for consumers in all industries is independent research. For example, few people would walk into a car lot and buy the first vehicle they laid eyes on. They would do some research on their own and weigh the pros and cons of various models,” said Michael Cho, chief executive officer of DestinationRx. “This same principle applies to managing prescription drugs. Patients who want to save money need to become savvy consumers. We provide a simple, convenient way for them to do that.”

Winners will be announced on May 6, 2008 and honored at The 12th Annual Webby Awards in New York City on June 10th.

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PHARMACY

Hormone deemed effective in male birth-control pill

BY Drew Buono

TORRANCE, Calif. According to published reports, one of the two government-funded research centers in the U.S. for male contraceptives has discovered hormone pills that block sperm production in men and has found them to be safe and reversible.

The hormone combination that proved most successful halts testosterone production in the testicles, but fakes the body into believing that testosterone levels are the same, according to the study. The progestin, typically a female hormone, speeds the process and improves the effectiveness of the drug, research shows. The hormones can be taken in a pill or injection form.

As with female birth control, the male contraceptives don’t prevent sexually transmitted disease. But they have proven as effective as female pills in preventing pregnancy, according to the study.

The next goal is to find pharmaceutical companies that want to conduct final development of the drug, but so far companies have been unwillingly to take part because of the regulatory requirement involved in manufacturing a contraceptive.

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Federal appeals court lets Washington state Plan B ruling stand

BY Drew Buono

LOS ANGELES A federal appeals court on Thursday left in place a lower court’s ruling that allowed Washington state pharmacists to refuse to sell Duramed’s emergency contraceptive pill Plan B on religious grounds, according to Reuters.

A federal judge in Seattle suspended state rules that required pharmacies to dispense the drug and other emergency contraceptives that prevent fertilized eggs from implanting, which some people believe is the same as abortion.

U.S. District Judge Ronald Leighton found that the state rules force pharmacists into an unconstitutional choice between their religious beliefs and their work.

State officials and several women had asked the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to suspend the judge’s preliminary injunction, which bars them from enforcing the law, while they appeal his ruling.

In a split decision, the appeals court denied that request, finding that the state and the women did not show that they would suffer irreparable harm if the injunction stayed in place pending the appeal.

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