PHARMACY

DIA launches new online career center

BY Allison Cerra

HORSHAM, Pa. The Drug Information Association, the premiere neutral, global, multidisciplinary association of professionals involved in the lifecycle management of biopharmaceuticals, announces the launch of its new online Career Center—a highly targeted resource for online employment connections.

The DIA Career Center allows employers to post jobs online, search for qualified candidates based on specific job criteria, create an online resume agent to email qualified candidates daily, and receive job activity statistics.

The DIA Career Center is a free service to job seekers who have access to employers and jobs in the biopharmaceutical industry. In addition to posting their resumes, job seekers can browse and view available jobs based on their criteria, save those jobs for later review, and create a search agent to provide email notifications of jobs that match their criteria.

“Our new DIA Career Center provides a wider range of services and opportunities to job seekers looking for new professional opportunities and to employers seeking to find qualified professionals to fill available positions,” said William Brassington, Acting DIA Worldwide executive director.

Job seekers and employers also have access to the National Healthcare Career Network, a group of more 60 top healthcare associations and professional organizations, including the American Hospital Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Association of American Medical Colleges. DIA’s alliance with the NHCN increases employers’ reach to over 7,000 resumes, as well as job seekers’ reach to over 1,500 job postings.

“We’re very excited about the DIA Career Center because we know how critical it is for employers in the biopharmaceutical industry to attract first-rate talent with a minimum expenditure of time and resources,” said Marie Dray, president, DIA board of directors. “And it is important for DIA to provide access to career opportunities for those seeking jobs.”

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Gilead finds that investigational hypertension drug reduces blood pressure in patients

BY Alaric DeArment

SAN FRANCISCO An investigational drug reduces blood pressure in patients with resistant hypertension, results of a phase 3 clinical trial presented Friday at the American Society of Hypertension’s annual scientific meeting in San Francisco showed.

Gilead Sciences announced the presentation of data from DAR-311, a phase 3 trial of the drug darusentan. The drug, an endothelin receptor agonist, is designed as a once-daily treatment for use as part of a three-drug regimen that includes a diuretic.

“Because of the increased risk of a number of life-threatening cardiovascular conditions associated with failure to control blood pressure, including stroke and heart attack, it is essential that new therapeutic approaches be evaluated for treatment of resistant hypertension,” stated lead study author and professor of medicine at the State University of New York Downstate Medical College of Medicine. “These data are important because they showed meaningful reductions in blood pressure when darusentan was added to existing antihypertensive regimens in a very difficult-to-treat patient population.”

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Walgreens wraps up Drug Fair deal

BY Rob Eder

DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreens announced late Friday afternoon that it has completed the acquisition of 31 Drug Fair stores in central and western New Jersey. In March, Walgreens agreed to buy the stores in the wake of Drug Fair’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Walgreens expects to have completed store conversions “over the next few weeks,” according to a statement, including extensive remerchandising, refreshed graphics package, new signage and displays, and a shift to the Walgreens product mix and assortment, including private label. Store hours will not be affected during the transition period, the company stated. More importantly, the store makeovers will also include conversion to Walgreens’ pharmacy system, tying it into the other 6,700-plus stores in the chain, and the ability to offer pharmacist counseling and prescription labels in 14 languages.

“This will be a seamless transition for our new customers,” said Walgreens market VP Tim Anhorn. “In fact, many of the familiar faces they know and trust will continue to work at these locations. These stores will carry on the tradition of service that Drug Fair has built over more than 50 years in this region.”

In addition to the 31 Drug Fair stores it will continue to operate, Walgreens also has purchased the prescription files two other stores, one in Clifton and another in Morris Plains, N.J., which Walgreens plans to move to stores it already operates in those areas. The company said it also expects to complete transactions for two additional Drug Fair locations in the coming weeks.

With total sales of more than $340 million, including $170 million of it coming from prescription drug sales, Drug Store News had ranked Drug Fair no. 48 on its annual listing of the top 50 pharmacy retailers in America for 2008 (The Drug Store News PoweRx50 2008).

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