PHARMACY

Fleet Laboratories appoints new president, CEO

BY Allison Cerra

LYNCHBURG, Va. Fleet Laboratories, a global manufacturer of personal care and healthcare products, recently named Jeffrey Rowan as its new president and CEO.

Rowan previously was COO of the company. He succeeds Douglas Bellaire, who led the company since 1996, first as president and then as president and CEO.  Bellaire will become vice chairman of the company’s board of directors.

After receiving a master’s degree from Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management in 1983, Rowan’s career included a variety of U.S. and international brand marketing positions with General Mills, Bayer Corp. and other companies before joining Fleet in 1998.

An 11-year company veteran, Rowan held several positions at Fleet, where he led the company’s expansion into markets around the world. Before becoming COO in August 2007, he was responsible for overseeing global marketing and the company’s international operations.

Rowan anticipates a smooth transition and continued growth for Fleet.

“I’m very optimistic about the future of Fleet Laboratories. We’ve been placing focus on improving organizational efficiency and strategic alignment, in preparation for our next phase of expansion in the U.S. and abroad,” Rowan said. “We anticipate growth will come from both our existing brand portfolio, as well as potential acquisitions of businesses in strategically important markets.”

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Study: Anti-smoking medication effective treatment for patients with cardiovascular disease

BY Alaric DeArment

ORLANDO, Fla. An anti-smoking drug normally prescribed to otherwise healthy people also works for people with cardiovascular disease, according to a study.

Study results presented Tuesday at the American College of Cardiology’s 58th Annual Scientific Session indicate that 47% of smokers with a history of cardiovascular disease who take Pfizer’s drug Chantix (varenicline) were able to quit without relapse for the first four weeks of treatment, compared to 13.9% who received placebo.

“These data are consistent with the findings from the pivotal varenicline trials, which showed that varenicline was more effective than placebo among smokers who were generally healthy,” lead study investigator, Harvard Medical School professor of medicine and director of the Tobacco Research and Treatment Center at Massachusetts General Hospital Nancy Rigotti stated. “This study demonstrates that varenicline is effective in helping smokers with cardiovascular disease quit smoking.”

Approximately 130,000 people die each year from smoking-related cardiovascular disease in the United States, constituting about one-third of all smoking-related deaths among adults aged 35 and older.

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FDA approves vaccine for Japanese encephalitis

BY Alaric DeArment

ROCKVILLE, Md. A viral disease mostly found in Asia but rare in the United States that kills as many as 15,000 people a year now has a vaccine.

The Food and Drug Administration approved British drug maker Intercell Biomedical’s Ixiaro, a vaccine for Japanese encephalitis. The mosquito-borne disease, which affects between 30,000 and 50,000 people each year, is sometimes found among civilians and military traveling between the United States and Asia.

Symptoms of JE include flu-like symptoms that can progress to high fever, neck stiffness, brain damage, coma and death.

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