PHARMACY

House Agriculture Subcommittee approves $2.1 billion for FDA in 2009

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK The Food and Drug Administration may get a boost in funding next year, under a fiscal 2009 budget passed by the House Agriculture Subcommittee.

The budget, totaling $2.1 billion, gives the FDA $282 million more than it originally requested, including $275 million that Health and Human Services secretary Michael Leavitt had requested.

A subcommittee of the FDA’s Science Board had released a report complaining of insufficient funding and staff and obsolete equipment that prevented it from adequately performing its duties.

The bill will go to the House Appropriations Committee, which will then vote on whether to send it to the full House.

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ShopKo to open in-store clinics in Wisconsin

BY Antoinette Alexander

MADISON, Wis. Meriter, a provider of healthcare services, has teamed up with ShopKo to open two FastCare clinics in Madison in mid-October.

Meriter’s clinics, which will be located in ShopKo East and ShopKo West, will be staffed by nurse practitioners who can offer treatment for such acute ailments as pink eye, bladder infections and skin rashes. The n.p. can write a prescription, if needed.

“We’re very pleased to provide this service to residents, as well as visitors, to our community,” stated Geoff Priest, Meriter chief medical officer. “Providing quality health care that is convenient, both in hours and location, is very important to us at Meriter.”

Green Bay, Wis.-based Bellin Hospital, in partnership with ShopKo, started the FastCare concept. Since then, they have negotiated partnerships with other health care systems, including ThedaCare in Appleton, Aspirus in Wausau and Olmstead in Rochester, Minn. Others underway include Beaver Dam and one in Waukesha.

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Alnylam inks potential $93 million deal with Kyowa Hakko Kogyo

BY Drew Buono

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. Alnylam Pharmaceuticals has signed a collaborative deal with Kyowa Hakko Kogyo, that could be worth as much as $93 million, to develop and market the experimental respiratory drug ALN-RSV01, according to the Associated Press.

ALN-RSV01 is currently in midstage development for respiratory syncytial virus, which can cause severe lower respiratory infections, particularly in infants. Most of Alynlam’s pipeline, though, is still in the preclinical phase of development, with potential candidates for liver cancer, Huntington’s disease, pandemic flu, and cystic fibrosis, among others.

This is the company’s second recent deal. At the end of May, Alnylam signed a research partnership deal with Takeda Pharmaceuticals worth as much as $1 billion.

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