PHARMACY

FDA approves new drug for chronic lymphocytic leukemia

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new drug for leukemia made by Genentech, the agency said Friday.

The FDA announced the approval of Gazyva (obinutuzumab) for treating patients with previously untreated chronic lymphocytic leukemia, in combination with the chemotherapy drug chlorambucil. The drug works by helping certain cells in the immune system attack cancer cells.

CLL is a blood and bone marrow disease that usually gets worse slowly, and according to the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, 15,680 people in the United States will be diagnosed with the disease, and 4,580 will die from it.

 

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Insource Healthcare Solutions to use telehealth systems from Polycom

BY Alaric DeArment

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Insource Healthcare Solutions is adding wall-mounted and cart-mounted video systems at the hospitals it operates in upstate New York and Pennsylvania in order to allow for telehealth services and cut costs.

Polycom said Insource would install its HDX 8000 video systems, which stream video to remote physicians who have corresponding software on their computers and tablets, enabling them to observe, interact with and diagnose patients.

"With the Affordable Care Act providing medical coverage to millions of Americans who were previously uninsured, the traditional healthcare system will be hard-pressed to meet the needs of everyone, which is why our model is proving to be so successful," Insource CEO Mark Celmer said. "We eliminate the need to wait weeks to see specialists by collaborating via video with experts all over the world. Telemedicine also allows our network of primary care and urgent care providers to see anyone at any time without traveling. This lets doctors dramatically increase their productivity, saving insurance providers and patients thousands of dollars on medical procedures."

 

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Mylan sales down due to currency exchange rates

BY Alaric DeArment

PITTSBURGH — Mylan experienced a slight dip in sales in its third quarter, due primarily to fluctuating currency values, the generic drug maker said Thursday.

The Pittsburgh-based company said sales were essentially flat when excluding the effects of currency values, which resulted in $1.77 billion in sales, compared with $1.8 billion in third quarter 2012. For the first nine months of the year, sales were $5.1 billion, compared with $5.07 billion during the first nine months of 2012. Profits for the quarter were $159.4 million, compared with $212.09 million last year. Under a plan authorized by Mylan’s board, the company plans to repurchase up to $500 million worth of stock.

"Mylan’s third quarter performance continued to demonstrate the momentum and stability of our core business and our ability to leverage the strength and diversity of our global platform," Mylan CEO Heather Bresch said. "Coming off an exceptional year in 2012 for both Mylan and our industry, we delivered double-digit constant currency growth in our Asia Pacific and [Mylan Specialty] businesses and saw continued strength in Europe."

 

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