PHARMACY

Escalon acquires Immunodiagnostic Systems Holdings’ hematology division

BY Alaric DeArment

PHILADELPHIA A Philadelphia-area company that makes medical and diagnostic equipment has acquired a British in vitro diagnostics company’s hematology division.

Escalon Medical Corp., based in Wayne, Pa., acquired Immunodiagnostic Systems Holdings’ hematology for $5.9 million Friday, according to published reports.

Neither company had posted a statement about the deal for the press on its Web site Monday.

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NACDS Foundation awards $140,000 in grants to promote pharmacy practice, boost patient care

BY Michael Johnsen

ALEXANDRIA, Va. New efforts to improve clinical care, disease management and other broadly based community pharmacy practice models got a big shot in the arm this week.

That boost came today when the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation announced the award of four grants totaling nearly $140,000 to help fund projects to address, identify and develop ways to promote the practice of community pharmacy and improve patient care.

Among the winners was Drake University College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences, for a program pairing pharmacy interns with chain pharmacy innovators; the New Mexico Medical Review Association, to fund a pilot study on improving medication adherence through Medication Therapy Management; the University of California San Francisco School of Pharmacy, to fund research on pharmacist-delivered diabetes and lipid management services provided as part of the Northern California Collaborative for Pharmacist Care Services; and the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy for an “Analysis of Physician Identified Medication-Related Needs in the Community: Opportunities for Pharmacist-Provided Medication Therapy Management.”

“Without the generosity of donors, we would not be able to provide aid to schools and institutions working to advance the role of community pharmacies in patient care,” said NACDS Foundation president Phil Schneider.

Letters of inquiry are due February 1, 2008 for consideration in the Foundation’s next funding cycle.

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Solicitor General speaks out against Vermont’s FDA pre-emption ruling

BY Drew Buono

WASHINGTON U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement has issued an opinion to the Supreme Court supporting preemption, saying that the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of a drug label preempts state law.

Clement recently disagreed with the Vermont Supreme Court’s ruling that a patient could sue Wyeth over the labeling of its anti-nausea drug phenergan. In the case Wyeth v. Diana Levine, the Vermont Supreme Court “erroneously interpreted” the law by saying the FDA’s approval of drug labels is only a “first step,” according to the solicitor general. The drug’s labeling recommends deep intramuscular injection and describes how to avoid intra-arterial injection, which can cause serious adverse events.

At issue is whether patients can sue a drug maker over a product they believe caused them harm at the state level if the FDA has approved a drug. The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review a case involving drug preemption in February involving Rezulin, a diabetes drug made by Parke-Davis/Warner-Lambert.

The Wyeth case has been appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, but the justices have not decided whether to accept it.

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