PHARMACY

FDA commissioner Hamburg salutes healthcare professionals for H1N1 efforts

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. Healthcare professionals got a big “thank you” from the head of the Food and Drug Administration.

FDA commissioner Margaret Hamburg sent a letter to healthcare professionals thanking them for their efforts during the 2009 H1N1 influenza outbreak.

“In November, I wrote to thank you for your efforts during the 2009 H1N1 influenza outbreak and to provide information about the development and FDA approval of the H1N1 vaccines,” Hamburg wrote. “I mentioned our continuing robust efforts to monitor the safety of these vaccines and now would like to reassure you that, to date, the safety assessment is very encouraging.”

As of Dec. 30, nearly 100 million vaccines have been distributed, with 94% of adverse side effects described as “non-serious,” such as soreness, according to a Jan. 8 statement by the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Sosalski joins Victoza Lifecycle Management team

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK A member of the trade team of Danish drug maker Novo Nordisk is heading off to Switzerland soon.

Novo Nordisk announced that Rachel Sosalski, who has worked for the company’s trade team for more than four years, will work as senior global product manager for global operations, joining the Victoza (liraglutide) Lifecycle Management team in Zurich.

Sosalski will begin working in the new position on March 1.

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New report emphasizes importance of retail clinics, projects growth

BY Antoinette Alexander

WASHINGTON A recent report by the National Center for Policy Analysis, a nonprofit public policy research organization, underscored the importance of retail-based health clinics and stated that the number of clinics is likely to grow to 3,200 by 2014.

“The growth of the Internet, high-speed telecommunications networks and electronic medical records have made it possible for patients to seek care in a variety of clinical settings without losing the continuity of care a primary care provider offers,” the report stated. “Healthcare entrepreneurs using these technologies in retail clinics are making medical care increasingly accessible and convenient, while raising quality and reducing costs.”

Citing data from consulting firm Deloitte, the NCPA report stated that there are currently 1,100 to 1,200 clinics and the number is likely to grow to 3,200 by 2014.

The problem with today’s U.S. healthcare system, the report said: A lack of convenient, low-cost care that often leads to an overuse of emergency rooms.

“Competition from these new clinics may lead traditional physician practices to adopt new technology, and offer extended and more convenient weekend hours,” the report stated. “Moreover, low-cost, convenient clinics offer the best solution for improving access to care for the uninsured, individuals without a primary care physician and workers in need of routine care.”

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