PHARMACY

FDA says Eli Lilly & Co’s Darvon and Darvocet should be banned

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON A painkiller on the market for almost 50 years should be banned, a panel of medical experts at the Food and Drug Administration has said.

The panel said that Eli Lilly & Co.’s Darvon (propoxyphene) and Darvocet, a formulation of Darvon with acetaminophen added, could increase the risk of death from heart disease. 

The FDA has not taken action on the recommendation, which the panel made last week. 

Several companies also make generic formulations of propoxyphene.

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AstraZeneca announces plans to lay off 6,000 employees by 2013

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Drug maker AstraZeneca plans to lay off 6,000 employees by 2013, the Anglo-Swedish company announced Thursday.

The layoffs add to the 9,000 jobs AstraZeneca said it would cut in 2007. The company has 65,000 employees.

Amid the worldwide economic downturn, several drug makers have announced layoffs. Pfizer announced this week that it would lay off more than 8,000 workers as part of its acquisition of Wyeth.

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Bartell Drugs to offer free health screenings at 11 of its stores in Feb.

BY Alaric DeArment

SEATTLE Bartell Drugs, which operates stores in the Seattle area, said it would offer free health screenings at 11 of its stores next month. The stores will offer tests for blood glucose, cholesterol and blood pressure in partnership with One Touch, Nature Made and CIA Health Screenings. Customers will receive results immediately.

“We are extremely pleased to offer these screenings, because the results can provide our customers with important front-line indicators in the fight against diabetes, heart disease and stroke,” chairman and CEO George Bartell said in a statement.

The screenings will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day of the month starting Feb. 16.

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