PHARMACY

FDA approves Meda’s new formulation nasal spray, Astepro

BY Alaric DeArment

STOCKHOLM, Sweden The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new formulation of an antihistamine nasal spray made by Meda, the Swedish drug maker announced Friday.

The spray, Astepro, is a reformulation of Astelin. The company said it is an improvement over Astelin that is easier for patients to tolerate. The active pharmaceutical ingredient in both drugs is azelastine.

Astepro is approved for treating seasonal allergic rhinitis and will become available before the next allergy season.

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GlaxoSmithKlines acquires Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Egyptian mature products business

BY Alaric DeArment

LONDON GlaxoSmithKline has acquired the Egyptian mature products business of Bristol-Myers Squibb, the British drug maker announced Wednesday.

GSK said the acquisition, worth $210 million, is a move to accelerate sales growth and further extend its pharmaceutical portfolio in emerging markets.

“This acquisition is an important step forward in GSK’s strategy to accelerate sales growth in emerging markets,” GSK president for emerging markets Abbas Hussain said in a statement. “It will enable us to build and diversify our existing branded pharmaceuticals portfolio and signals our strong commitment to provide quality medicines to patients in Egypt and other countries in the Middle East and North Africa regions.”

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‘Face the Nation’ anchor Schieffer to headline NACDS Foundation event

BY Jim Frederick

ALEXANDRIA, Va. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation revealed today that the keynote speaker at the 2008 annual NACDS Foundation Dinner will be Bob Schieffer, anchor of the CBS News’ Sunday public affairs broadcast “Face the Nation.” Schieffer, who also serves as CBS News chief Washington correspondent, will address attendees Dec. 2 at the Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers in New York City.

NACDS’ announcement is a timely one. Schieffer, one of the few broadcast or print journalists to have covered all four major beats in the nation’s capital—the White House, the Pentagon, the State Department and Capitol Hill, moderated the third and final Presidential debate this week.

“Bob Schieffer demonstrated as moderator of this week’s presidential debate that he asks the questions on the minds of Americans relating to political and national affairs in each of his broadcasts,” said Phil Schneider, NACDS Foundation president. “His conversational style enables him to delve into his stories and share a comprehensive look at the issues facing the country.  The NACDS Foundation is delighted to have Mr. Schieffer as the keynote speaker at the 10th annual Foundation dinner this year.”

For more information or to register for the Foundation dinner, please visit www.nacdsfoundation.org.

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