PHARMACY

GPhA president, CEO resigns

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON Generic Pharmaceutical Association president and CEO Kathleen Jaeger will leave the organization effective June 30, the industry group said Tuesday.

“I think it was just a recognition from her perspective that it was time for a change,” GPhA chairman and president and CEO of Watson Pharmaceuticals Paul Bisaro told Drug Store News. Bisaro said the organization would soon begin looking for a replacement. “Kathleen has taken us a very long way, and hopefully we can find someone who can take us further.”

Jaeger began working for the organization in 2002, shortly after its formation. Since then, she has become one of the leading voices of the generic drug industry and a strong advocate on issues facing the industry, such as biosimilars.

“It has been a distinct honor to represent GPhA these past eight years and help build a strong, vibrant trade association,” Jaeger said in a statement. “I am extremely proud of the work that the GPhA team has accomplished. Our industry has achieved many victories that have greatly contributed to improving the lives of countless Americans. And today, despite David and Goliath comparisons, the GPhA team has tremendously enhanced the visibility and influence of the trade association, and we’ve been successful at getting a seat at the table in critical industry debates.”

Jaeger’s resignation comes shortly after news that Israel-based Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, the world’s largest manufacturer of generic drugs, would leave the GPhA, saying the lobbying group was no longer capable of reflecting its interests.

“It is with regret that I announce that the board of directors of GPhA has reluctantly accepted the resignation of Kathleen Jaeger as president and CEO of our association,” GPhA chairman and Watson Pharmaceuticals president and CEO Paul Bisaro said. “We are pleased that Ms. Jaeger will remain an adviser to GPhA through the end of 2010 and that she has agreed to work with the association to ensure a smooth transition without interruption in our advocacy activities.”

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NACDS names Guckian state affairs chief

BY Jim Frederick

ALEXANDRIA, Va. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores has named Sandra Kay Guckian, a pharmacy and policy veteran of the organization, as VP state government affairs.

Guckian, nee Sandra Jung, will oversee the work of five state government affairs directors based in regions throughout the U.S., as well as an administrative assistant based at NACDS headquarters. She reports directly to Carol Kelly, NACDS’ SVP government affairs and public policy.

In addition to leading the state government affairs team, Guckian manages state-level legislative and regulatory advocacy in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and the District of Columbia.

Guckian replaces Gary Wirth, who has left the association to pursue other interests, according to NACDS spokesperson Chrissy Kopple. The appointment is effective immediately.

Guckian is one of the longest-serving members of NACDS’ management team, and last served as VP and deputy director of state government affairs. NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson called her promotion “the latest step in the transformation of NACDS to maximize its strategic focus and effectiveness.

“In her 13 years at NACDS, Sandra has established a reputation as a member-focused, highly substantive and strategically oriented leader who is absolutely passionate about pharmacy,” said Anderson. “Sandra is well equipped to work collaboratively with NACDS member company representatives, with state association partners, and with her dedicated colleagues on the state government affairs team and throughout NACDS to help advance pharmacy at all levels of government for the ultimate benefit of patient care.”

Guckian earned her B.S. in Pharmacy and M.S. in Pharmacy from The University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy, and completed an accredited residency at Parkland Memorial Hospital.  She has practiced as a pharmacist in a variety of settings including community retail pharmacy, hospital pharmacy and home health care practice.

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FDA: Certain prostate cancer drugs may cause other health problems

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. The Food and Drug Administration is investigating a possible link between drugs commonly used to treat prostate cancer and a risk of serious health problems, the agency said Monday.

The FDA said it was conducting a safety review of gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists, saying they have been associated with a “small increased risk” for diabetes, heart attack, stroke and sudden death. The agency is suggesting that healthcare professionals monitor men using the drugs, but that patients should not stop using them unless directed to do so. It also cautioned that it had not made any conclusions about whether the drugs cause an increase in the risk of developing heart disease and diabetes.

GnRH agonists include such branded drugs as Abbott’s Lupron (leuprolide acetate), Watson’s Trelstar (triptorelin pamoate) and several generic drugs.

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