PHARMACY

Greene promoted to president, COO of Alnylam

BY Drew Buono

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, a biotech company focused on understanding how genes are turned on and off, has announced the promotion of Barry Greene to the new position of president and chief operating officer.

Greene previously held the title of chief operating officer. In his new role, he will assume responsibilities for business, corporate and commercial development activities and will continue to report to the chief executive officer. He has more than 20 years of experience in health care and product development.

Prior to working at Alnylam, Greene was general manager of oncology at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, where he led the company’s global strategy and execution for its oncology business including strategic business direction and execution. He also worked as vice president of marketing and customer service for AstraZeneca.

“We are delighted to promote Barry to the new role of president and chief operating officer. He has excelled in the business leadership of Alnylam and has aptly earned this advancement and new recognition,” said John Maraganore, chief executive officer of Alnylam. “Barry and I have worked together successfully as a team for several years and I look forward to working closely with him over the long term in building Alnylam as a leading biopharmaceutical company founded on RNA interference.”

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PHARMACY

Pharmacy-friendly TRICARE bill moves forward with passage of equal access provisions in Senate

BY Jim Frederick

WASHINGTON Two days after its passage in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Senate has voted to approve language in the Fiscal Year 2008 National Defense Authorization Act that pharmacy leaders consider critical to their ability to participate in the government’s massive TRICARE military health program.

The bill contains two key provisions that address the TRICARE prescription drug benefit for military beneficiaries. Among them: an extension of the current freeze on increases to retail pharmacy co-payments, so that patients covered by the military health plan won’t be penalized for filling their prescriptions at a community pharmacy rather than through a mail-order facility. The bill also affirms the right of the Department of Defense to negotiate with drug manufacturers for federal pricing discounts that would apply to prescriptions filled at retail pharmacies, as well as those that currently apply to drugs filled at military bases or by mail order facilities.

Citing the “extensive grassroots and lobbying campaign” his organization conducted to ensure those elements were included in the defense spending bill, NACDS president and chief executive officer Steven Anderson called the Senate’s approval of the provisions “a victory for community pharmacy and the military patients we serve.

“NACDS applauds the House and Senate for their action to preserve access to retail pharmacies in the TRICARE program,” he said. “Our nation’s soldiers, military retirees, and their families should have the freedom to choose where they obtain prescription medications, and this legislation will help protect that freedom.

“We urge President Bush to sign this legislation promptly so that it can be enacted into law,” Anderson added.

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Student designs new insulin delivery in a wristwatch

BY Drew Buono

PARIS A German student has designed a new mobile device to help pump insulin in a diabetic’s body without the hassle of using syringes or bulky machines, according to the European Space Agency.

The design is for a wristwatch that contains an ultra-light insulin pump to help people with type 1 diabetes. The watch produces its own electricity using aerospace technology, by conducting electricity caused by the movement of the person wearing the watch.

The product is being called COR and it can contain enough insulin to be sufficient for a type 1 diabetic for two-to-three weeks. The pump is attached to the user via a thin tube and a needle inserted under the skin to allow the insulin to flow into the body continuously, substituting for conventional syringe injections.

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