PHARMACY

Ferring Pharmaceuticals announces immediate availability of prostate cancer treatment

BY Allison Cerra

PARSIPPANY, N.J. Ferring Pharmaceuticals announced Wednesday that its FDA-approved treatment for prostate cancer will be available immediately in the United States.

Degarelix, a new injectable gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), is designed for the treatment of hormone sensitive advanced prostate cancer. It is available for order through traditional and specialty pharmacy distributors.

“Degarelix, the lead product in our urology portfolio, demonstrated both a rapid onset of action and a profound long-term suppression of testosterone,” said Wayne Anderson, president, CEO Ferring Pharmaceuticals. “Now, advanced prostate cancer can be treated with a direct-acting GnRH receptor antagonist inducing rapid reduction of testosterone and sustaining those levels over time, meeting the goals of systemic therapy. We are excited to provide this effective new treatment option for men fighting advanced prostate cancer.”

Study findings showed that prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels were lowered by 64% two weeks after administration of degarelix, 85% after one month, 95% after three months, and remained suppressed throughout the one year of treatment. These PSA results should be interpreted with caution because of the heterogeneity of the patient population studied. No evidence has shown that the rapidity of PSA decline is related to a clinical benefit.

Approved by the FDA in December 2008, degarelix represents Ferring Pharmaceuticals’ first global launch and the second urology product launch for Ferring Pharmaceuticals, USA. The European Commission granted marketing authorization for degarelix last month.

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McKesson Canada withdraws acquisition offer

BY Alaric DeArment

MONTREAL McKesson Canada has withdrawn its offer to take over Uniprix, the company has announced.

McKesson Canada said the number of shares tendered was not enough to meet the Jan. 19 acquisition offer’s conditions.

“Despite withdrawing our offer, McKesson Canada will continue to support the independent pharmacy business model,” McKesson Canada president Domenic Pilla said in a statement. “As such, our desire to help the Uniprix Group succeed and to see further growth among its banners remains strong, and we wish to pursue our longstanding business relationship.”

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D&W Fresh Markets, Family Fare and VG’s Expand Discounted Generic Drug Program

BY Drug Store News Team

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. On March 1, D&W Fresh Market, Family Fare and VG’s pharmacies expanded their generic drug program to 90-day prescriptions for $10, the companies announced.

D&W Fresh Market, Family Fare and VG’s Pharmacies are also increasing the number of women’s health medications they offer at the discounted price. These include prescription drugs such as tamoxifen to treat breast cancer and pre-natal vitamins.

Presently, there are two programs offering lower prices on over 300 generic drugs to meet the healthcare needs and healthcare budgets of our customers. These pharmacies are also increasing the number of women’s health medications as part of the generic drug program offer.

This new initiative expands the program introduced in November 2008 that provides a $4 price for more than 300 generic drugs prescribed in 30-day supplies. It also complements several other programs these stores are offering customers to help them stretch their food, fuel, healthcare and household budgets cross promotions, bonus savings and other initiatives.

“Our expanded generic drug program is another example of the many ways we are making it easier for customers to stretch their food, healthcare, and household dollars,” said Alan Hartline, EVP mechandising. “Our customers can continue to rely on the expert health counsel and friendly service our team of professional pharmacists consistently offer.”

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