PHARMACY

FDA releases sun safety video

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. Summer is a time when millions of Americans make their way to beaches, parks and vacation spots, but they also could be putting themselves at risk for skin and eye damage caused by ultraviolet radiation from the sun.

The Food and Drug Administration has posted a short video on its website designed to show consumers how to protect themselves from UV rays. The video features FDA dermatologist Jane Liedtka and FDA ophthalmologist Wiley Chambers explaining the need for sunscreen and sunglasses, and what kinds consumers should buy.

The video is available at www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm214669.htm.

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Medco Health Solutions awarded by The Joint Commission

BY Alaric DeArment

FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J, Pharmacy benefit manager Medco Health Solutions has received a nod for its home care and pharmacy dispensing services from a healthcare standards and accrediting body, Medco said Tuesday.

The PBM said it received the Gold Seal of Approval from The Joint Commission. The recognition applies to services offered to clients and health plan members by Medco’s dispensing and call center pharmacies, and Medco said the approval places it among the leading organizations in its category. The organization’s accreditation process includes a review of 129 standards across 13 areas of focus, including treatment and services, rights and ethics, medication management and information management.

“This independent review validates the progress we have made in driving ever-higher standards in clinical excellence as we focus on closing the gaps in care for patients with chronic and complex conditions – patients who account for 96% of all drug spending and 75% of all medical costs,” Medco president and COO Kenny Klepper said. “The fact that in our reaccreditation The Joint Commission consistently found a high level of service across so many facilities speaks to the diligence and professionalism of Medco people at every level across our company.”

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Astellas completes acquisition of OSI

BY Alaric DeArment

TOKYO Japanese drug maker Astellas Pharma has completed its acquisition of OSI Pharmaceuticals, Astellas said Tuesday.

The $4 billion acquisition, announced in May, gives Astellas access to such drugs as the cancer drug Tarceva (erlotinib), which OSI co-markets with Roche division Genentech. OSI has lately been enrolling subjects for a late-stage clinical trial of OSI-906, a treatment for patients with adrenocortical carcinoma, a rare cancer of the adrenal gland, whose disease has spread to other parts of the body.

OSI will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Astellas through Astellas US Holding, a holding company.

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