Genzyme awaits FDA approval for leukemia treatment
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. A Food and Drug Advisory Committee considered whether to approve a drug for treating acute myeloid leukemia, the drug’s manufacturer announced.
Genzyme Corp. said the FDA’s Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee decided Tuesday on whether to recommend approval for Clolar (clofarabine) as a treatment for AML in patients ages 60 and older. As of Sept. 1, the committee determined that more data is needed to establish its safety for older patients. An FDA advisory committee’s recommendation does not guarantee approval for a drug, but will be taken into consideration when the FDA decides whether to approve it.
Clolar is already approved for treating acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The last induction therapy for newly diagnosed AML patients was approved in 1990.
“Most AML patients who are 60 years or older and have unfavorable prognostic factors do not receive conventional induction therapy because of the lower response rates and high treatment-related mortality,” Genzyme Oncology and Multiple Sclerosis president Mark Enyedy said in a statement. “The clofarabine data in this patient population demonstrate durable complete remissions with low treatment-related mortality and suggest that Clolar could provide an important new therapeutic option for these patients.”
Rite Aid founder succumbs to cancer
Rite Aid founder Alex Grass passed away Thursday night after a 10-year battle with lung cancer, The Patriot News reported online Thursday night.
Grass opened his first drug store in 1962, under the moniker Thrif D Discount Center, in coal-mining town Scranton, Pa, where Grass was born. First year sales totaled $750,000. That 1,700-square-foot health and beauty aids store marked the beginning of the drug chain that would be renamed Rite Aid in 1968, the year of the company’s first public stock offering. Rite Aid offered 350,000 shares at $25 per share then, fielding 22 locations in central Pennsylvania.
Grass retired from the day-to-day operations of Rite Aid in 1995, ceding the chairmanship of Rite Aid to his son Martin Grass. He exited the Rite Aid board in 2001.
He was named to Drug Store News’ REX (Retail EXcellence awards) Retailer Hall of Honors in recognition of his lifetime achievements in the druggist industry in 1996.
NACDS Webinar offers retailers strategies for surviving the downturn
ALEXANDRIA, Va. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores Retail Advisory Board hosted a Webinar Tuesday featuring speaker Thom Blischok, president of consulting and innovation, for Information Resources Inc., discussing the changing paradigm of today’s cash-crunched shopper by way of its NACDS ECON09 program.
The bottom line — today’s shopper is predominantly buying less and will continue to buy less for the foreseeable future. So the strategy is to position your company against that new shopping paradigm, Blischok suggested.
In his closing remarks, Blischok outlined five strategies for both retailer and supplier:
- Simplify the shopping experience (78% of shoppers want this, Blischok said). As today’s consumer is bombarded with messaging and discounting, the retailer/supplier who makes the shopping trip easy ought to come out a winner;
- Redefine end-to-end shopper communication. Online media, including social media sites like Twitter or Facebook, not only continues to gain in popularity, but serves as a growing source for information for today’s consumer. “Social media plays a major role in influenced-based marketing,” Blischok said;
- Recognize and capitalize on changing rituals now. Rituals such as more and more consumers making up a shopping list at their kitchen table (with the laptop very likely opened to Facebook and other Web sites right next to them). Retailers or suppliers may want to seek out ways to get on that shopping list in the first place instead of attempting to convert an impulse purchase at the store;
- Focus on familiar products. Primarily because trial outside of trusted name-brands is somewhat inhibited right now, Blischok suggested; and
- Prepare for a new conservative shopper long-term. Because the dollar-saving shopping behaviors consumers are learning today are not likely to fade even after the economy begins its recovery. The conservative shopper buys less and more carefully, Blischok said.