PHARMACY

FDA approves new treatment for bleeding disease

BY Alaric DeArment

Rockville, Md. The Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug to treat a bleeding disease that affects as few as 150 people in the United States.

The FDA licensed Marburg, Germany-based CSL Behring?s drug RiaSTAP (fibrinogen concentrate [human]), a treatment for the inherited disorder congenital fibrinogen deficiency. The agency had given the drug orphan drug status, which it grants to drugs for treating rare diseases that lack effective treatment options. Congentical fibrinogen deficiency affects between 150 and 300 Americans.People who have the disease face potentially life-threatening bleeding due to their livers? inability to make sufficient amounts of fibrinogen, which aids blood clotting. The bloodstream normally contains 250 to 400 mg per decaliter of fibrinogen.”This product offers much-needed treatment for the small number of patients with congenital fibrinogen deficiency,” FDA Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research director Jesse Goodman said in a statement. “If bleeding occurs in the brain or other organs and is left untreated, it may lead to blood loss, organ damage and death.”RiaSTAP is an intravenous concentrate made from the plasma of healthy human blood donors.

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Rite Aid amending some financing terms

BY Melissa Valliant

CAMP HILL, Pa. Rite Aid on Friday reported that it is in the process of amending its Receivables Financing Agreement, an agreement originally entered into Sept. 21, 2004, through which Rite Aid sells substantially all of its eligible third-party pharmaceutical receivables to another entity, which then transfers those interests to various commercial paper vehicles.

The amendment extends a commitment that was set to expire Jan. 15 until Jan. 22, Rite Aid said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

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Hiller’s Markets stops sale of tobacco

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK A chain of supermarkets in Michigan has decided not to sell tobacco products, according to published reports.

The Hiller’s Markets chain has stopped stocking cigarettes and other tobacco products, according to the Oakland Press. The family-owned chain operates stores in the Michigan cities of Union Lake; Ann Arbor; West Bloomfield; Northville; Plymouth; Berkley and Commerce Township.

Several other supermarket chains have also stopped selling cigarettes, including Wegmans Food Markets and DeCicco Family Markets.

Last year, San Francisco banned the sale of tobacco and retail pharmacies, but continued permitting it in supermarkets and mass-merchandising stores that operate pharmacies.

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