PHARMACY

GSK inks deal with Lonza, announces CFO’s exit

BY Alaric DeArment

LONDON Swiss drug maker Lonza will help British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline manufacture five biotech drugs in early- and mid-stage clinical trials, the two companies said Wednesday.

 

Lonza will manufacture clinical trial batches of the drugs, all monoclonal antibodies in phase-1 and phase-2 testing, and provide additional access to manufacturing capacity so GSK can fulfill future demands. The two companies said other details of the agreement remain confidential.

 

 

“We believe this is a critical step in the ongoing and future success of GSK in biopharmaceuticals,” GSK head of biopharmaceutical research and development Ian Tomlinson said.

 

 

Tomlinson said the company’s goal was to have a biopharmaceutical portfolio that consistently exceeded 20% of its research and development pipeline by 2015.

 

 

In other news, the company said that CFO and executive director Julian Heslop would retire at the end of March 2011. Goldman Sachs executive Simon Dingemans will be appointed CFO designate and executive director in January.

 

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Kerr Drug kicks off flu shot campaign

BY Allison Cerra

RALEIGH , N.C. Regional pharmacy chain Kerr Drug is kicking off its immunization program early this year to meet the demand for flu shots.

Customers ages 14 years and older now can receive the 2010-2011 flu vaccine by Kerr Drug’s specially trained immunizing pharmacists, no appointment necessary. No payment is required by those with Medicare Part B, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, Blue Cross Federal, NC State Health Plan and Humana Gold Choice. For all others, flu shots cost $30 each.

“People only need to get one flu shot this year because the 2010-2011 flu vaccine will protect against the H1N1 as well as two other types of influenza expected to be seen during the season,” said Debbie Pruss, a Kerr Drug pharmacist in Raleigh’s North Hills store. “We encourage everyone to follow the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s] new recommendations for flu vaccines. With immunizations available during almost all operating hours, it has never been easier to get a flu shot.”

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Two FastCare clinics to open in Idaho Walmart stores

BY Antoinette Alexander

POCATELLO, Idaho Portneuf Medical Center has teamed up with Bellin Health FastCare to operate two retail clinics in Walmart stores in Pocatello and Blackfoot, Idaho, according to a report by the Idaho State Journal.

 

The partnership, effective as of Sept. 1, will offer treatment for such acute ailments as sore throats, pink eye and allergies. Next month, another FastCare is slated to open in a Walmart in Peru, Ill.

 

 

This marks FastCare’s first clinics within Walmart. In an interview with Drug Store News in August, Ken Berndt, director of FastCare, stated that, at that time, FastCare had 38 clinics either built or under construction. Over the next 12 months, it plans add between 40 and 50 clinics. Bellin Health Systems established the FastCare brand of retail health clinics in 2006.

 

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