PHARMACY

FDA approves Celgene lung-cancer drug

BY Alaric DeArment

SUMMIT, N.J. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved an injected drug for lung cancer made by Celgene, the company said Friday.

Celgene announced the approval of Abraxane (paclitaxel) protein-bound particles for injectable suspension, for the first-line treatment of non-small cell lung cancer that has advanced locally or spread to other parts of the body, in combination with carboplatin, for patients who are not candidates for curative surgery or radiation therapy.

"Non-small cell is the most common type of lung cancer, the leading cause of cancer death in the United States," said Mark Socinski, director of the lung cancer section in the division of hematology and oncology at the University of Pittsburgh and lead investigator in the phase-2 and phase-3 clinical trials of the drug. "The FDA approval of Abraxane is exciting for healthcare professionals because it offers an important new treatment option for all types of non-small cell lung cancer patients, in an area that has seen few treatment advancements in recent years."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 200,000 people were diagnosed with lung cancer, and more than 150,000 died from it. Non-small cell lung cancer, or NSCLC, accounts for 87% of lung cancer cases.


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PHARMACY

Kirby Lester to introduce updated tablet counter

BY Alaric DeArment

LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Pharmacy automation manufacturer Kirby Lester has launched a version of one of its tablet counters with streamlined verification software.

The company announced the launch of KL1Plus, which it said combines the KL1 tablet counter with the updated software. The device will be introduced at the National Community Pharmacists Association and Department of Defense Joint Forces Pharmacy Services annual convention in San Diego this month.

"There is absolutely no reason why a pharmacy can’t afford to verify 100% of orders now that the KL1Plus has been developed," Kirby Lester president and CEO Garry Zage said. "Pharmacies across the country have incorporated the KL1 into their operations. Now, they can use the KL1, plus verification."

The counter, which is seven inches wide and weighs eight pounds, is designed to verify all pharmacy orders so that patients receive the right medication, dosage and quantity each time, allowing the pharmacy technician to scan the barcode on the patient’s prescription label and then scan the label on the corresponding stock bottle to ensure there’s a match.


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Rite Aid, UnitedHealth Group offer diabetes services to Long Island, N.Y., residents

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid pharmacists on Long Island in New York state are participating in a diabetes initiative run by health insurer UnitedHealth Group, the two companies said Thursday.

The pharmacists are part of the Diabetes Control Program, itself part of UnitedHealth’s Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance. The program is available to residents of the island enrolled in UnitedHealthcare’s employer-sponsored health plans.

"Rite Aid’s relationship with the Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance is an important step to show our patients with diabetes that they aren’t alone when it come to managing their diabetes," Rite Aid EVP pharmacy Robert Thompson said. "Thanks to this innovative collaboration, Long Island patients enrolled in the Diabetes Control Program can now receive one-on-one counseling with a Rite Aid pharmacist specifically trained in diabetes care and medication therapy management – all at no additional out-of-pocket cost."

Patients enrolled in the program will be able to connect with Rite Aid pharmacists trained in diabetes care and medication therapy management, who will offer private, one-on-one consultations, education and support. They will also consult with enrolled patients to evaluate their success adhering to their drug therapies and review their test results for blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol.

The service will be available at 27 Rite Aid stores on the island. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that Long Island’s largely suburban Suffolk and Nassau counties are home to more than 170,000 people with diabetes.


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