PHARMACY

‘GI Nurses & Associates Day’ to honor achievements in gastroenterology, endoscopy

BY Michael Johnsen

CINCINNATI The Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates and Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals on Wednesday announced their joint support of “GI Nurses & Associates Day,” a day marked to honor the achievements of certified gastroenterology and endoscopy professionals.

In recognition of “GI Nurses & Associates Day,” GI and endoscopy practices across the nation are identifying nurses and associates in their local offices to recognize these individuals for their dedication to patients and the larger GI community.

“The Asacol [mesalamine, an ulcerative colitis treatment] brand, on behalf of P&G Pharmaceuticals, proudly recognizes the crucial role GI and endoscopy nurses and associates play in patient care and the advancement of the GI field,” stated David Lacy, GI category director at P&G Pharmaceuticals. “We are pleased to draw the public’s attention to these individuals, who are heroes to the patients that rely on their guidance and personal care. The Asacol brand’s support of ‘GI Nurses & Associates Day’ is part of P&GP’s ongoing commitment to serve healthcare providers and patients alike.”

SGNA president Lisa Heard said nurses and associates in this field have a profound understanding and passion to meet their patients’ needs.

“We are excited that ‘GI Nurses & Associates Day’ gives the public and the GI/endoscopy fields a chance to recognize the outstanding commitment of these individuals, and we encourage all local units and facilities to submit their winners to SGNA for national consideration,” Heard stated.

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FDA approves third Depakote generic

BY Alaric DeArment

ROCKVILLE, Md. The Food and Drug Administration has approved a generic version of a drug used to treat epilepsy.

The agency approved Mylan’s divalproex sodium delayed-release tablets in the 125 mg, 250 mg and 500 mg strengths. The tablets are a generic version of Abbott Labs’ Depakote, used to treat seizures and convulsions.

Mylan’s generic of Depakote is the third approved this month.

Depakote had sales of $803 million during the 12 months ending in March 2008, according to IMS Health data.

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FDA approves phase 3 study for autism treatment

BY Alaric DeArment

RYE, N.Y. The Food and Drug Administration has allowed a phase 3 study of a drug for autism to commence.

Curemark announced Wednesday that it expected to begin the trials of the drug CM-AT at multiple sites across the United States during second quarter 2009.

“With one-in-150 children diagnosed with autism, we have children who are suffering, Curemark CEO Joan Fallon said in a statement. “We are very excited about the opportunity to enter a phase 3 trial for this ever-growing population of children.”

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