PHARMACY

FDA says some cancer drugs not effective in treating colon cancer

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK People with some genetic make-ups might not experience any improvement with some cancer drugs, and the Food and Drug Administration may soon require drug makers to mention this in prescribing information.

Officials from the agency will meet Tuesday to determine whether healthcare professionals should look for the KRAS gene mutation before prescribing two drugs for colon cancer, Erbitux (cetuximab), by Eli Lilly and Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Amgen’s Vectibix (panitumumab). People who have the gene will not experience any effect from the drugs, which can cost up to $10,000 per month. Both drugs are biologics that belong to the class known as monoclonal antibodies.

According to the American Cancer Society, nearly 150,000 people have colon cancer, of whom about 40 percent have the KRAS mutation.

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Take Care opens three clinics in New Orleans area

BY Antoinette Alexander

CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. Take Care Health Systems, which is owned by Walgreens, announced on Monday that it has opened three retail-based clinics in New Orleans, marking the first Take Care Clinics in the state of Louisiana.

Additional locations are slated to open in New Orleans in early 2009.

“We are excited to bring high-quality, affordable care to the citizens of New Orleans,” said Peter Miller, Take Care Health Systems’ president and chief executive officer. “We have watched this city overcome incredible obstacles in the past few years and we feel that its residents will greatly benefit from the increased access to health care offered by Take Care Clinics. Nearly one million patients have been treated at Take Care Clinics nationwide and we are proud to expand into New Orleans as part of our continued growth.”

Last year, Walgreens celebrated the opening of its 6,000th pharmacy location nationwide in New Orleans and has historically maintained a strong presence in the city.

Take Care Health Systems currently manages 312 clinics in 18 states.

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Medicine Shoppe teams with ADA on American Diabetes Month activities

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK A retail pharmacy chain and the American Diabetes Association are collaborating to mark American Diabetes Month with free cards listing healthy recipes for people with diabetes.

Medicine Shoppe will distribute the cards, partially funded by Bayer HealthCare, listing 10 recipes that the ADA has approved as safe for diabetics, including chicken, turkey, potato, sausage and vegetable dishes.

The cards, titled the “Live Health Nutritional Recipe Cards,” list nutrition information and serving sizes for each recipe.

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