PHARMACY

Exelixis plans layoffs after reported financial loss

BY Alaric DeArment

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. A California drug maker plans to lay off 78 of its employees in light of a failure to bring any drugs to the market and a recent loss of $916 million.

The layoffs at Exelixis were noted in a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission Friday and represent 10 percent of the company’s workforce.

Founded in 1994, Exelixis has entered partnerships with Genentech, Bristol-Myers Squibb and other companies, but has not seen any of its drug compounds enter the market.

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Jewel-Osco extends Prescription Plus offerings for more customers to get flu shots

BY Alaric DeArment

ITASCA, Ill. A retail pharmacy chain is reminding patients to use their prescription medications properly and get vaccinated despite the difficult economy.

Jewel-Osco Pharmacy will extend its Prescription Plus Rewards Programs through Jan. 31, allowing frequent pharmacy customers to save money on groceries. The program offers customers a 10 percent discount coupon for every five prescriptions they fill at the pharmacy using a discount card.

“As pharmacists, our foremost concern is helping our patients comply with their prescribed medication therapies,” Jewel-Osco vice president for pharmacy operations Tom Rousonelos said. “We’re extending the length of Prescription Plus in response to a real need our pharmacy customers tell us they have for the continuous opportunities to reduce their grocery bills through this program.”

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FDA approves Aurobindo’s generic version of Zoloft

BY Alaric DeArment

ROCKVILLE, Md. The Food and Drug Administration has approved Aurobindo’s application for sertraline hydrochloride oral concentrate, FDA records show.

The drug is a generic version of Pfizer’s antidepressant Zoloft. Roxane and Ranbaxy also offer generic versions.

The FDA approved sertraline hydrochloride tablets from Aurobindo in February 2007. The oral concentrate formulation received approval on Oct. 31.

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