Human Genome Sciences, GSK announce trial results for systemic lupus treatment
ROCKVILLE, Md. An investigational biotech drug for treating systemic lupus has done well in late-stage clinical trials so far, the two companies developing the drug announced Monday.
Human Genome Sciences and GlaxoSmithKline announced that the drug Benlysta (belimumab) met its primary efficacy goal in BLISS-52, the first of two phase 3 trials comparing it to standard methods of care and placebo in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus, also known as SLE. The companies said Benlysta was the first lupus drug to reach this advanced a stage in clinical development.
“The BLISS-52 results demonstrate that Benlysta has the potential to become the first new approved drug in decades for people living with systemic lupus,” Human Genome Sciences president and CEO H. Thomas Watkins said in a statement. “Given the limited treatment options currently available, patients would benefit greatly from potential new treatments.”
The two companies entered an agreement to develop and commercialize Benlysta in August 2006.
RCEC focuses on rising role of retail clinicians
ORLANDO, Fla. There is still time to register for the second annual Retail Clinician Education Congress, hosted by Retail Clinician, a publication of The Drug Store News Group, and the Convenient Care Association.
The role that these clinics play continues to grow increasingly vital as patients battle rising health care costs and an overburdened healthcare system. There are currently more than 1,100 clinics in operation.
This year’s event will be held Aug. 3 to 5 at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin. More than 500 nurse practitioners from across the nation are expected to attend. Those who attend can fine-tune their skills, while earning up to 13 CE/CME credits and learning about the latest products and services the industry has to offer.
“CCA is very excited to again partner with Retail Clinician and Drug Store News to offer a first-rate clinical education congress, delivering timely medical education, policy news, and clinic operation tips,” said Tine Turton-Hansen, executive director of CCA. “In addition to being a very informative and productive event, the RCEC is a terrific opportunity for the CCA to express its sincere appreciation for the health care providers who work in the clinics, without whom we wouldn’t be able to achieve our mission of providing high quality and personal care to all patients who walk in the door.”
Last year, attendance for the event surpassed expectations as more than 300 nurse practitioners attended.
In addition to the presentation of The CARE Awards (Clinician Awards for Retail Excellence), which honor outstanding retail clinicians who go above and beyond the call of duty to achieve excellence in patient care, this year’s agenda includes an impressive lineup of speakers and educational sessions.
Presentations include “Communicating with Patients: What Every Healthcare Professional Must Know” by Edward Leigh, founder and director for Center for Healthcare Communication; “CCA: Where are we Currently and Where are we Headed?” by Sandy Ryan, chief nurse practitioner officer for Take Care Health Systems, Kevin Smith, director of clinical services at MinuteClinic and Tine Hansen-Turton, executive director of the CCA; and “Pediatric Pharmacology & Dosing” by Margaret Fitzgerald, president of Fitzgerald Health Education Associates.
Award categories for this year’s CARE Awards include: Headquarters CEO of the Year, Clinical Leadership Award, Lifetime Achievement Award and Three Retail Clinic Unsung Heroes. In addition to the CARE award plaque, winners will be featured on the cover of the Winter 2009 edition of Retail Clinician magazine, and Retail Clinician magazine will make a donation in their names to the charities of their choice.
The 2008 “Unsung Heroes” included Anita Wilson-Powell of Take Care Health Systems, Louise Berndt of Bellin Health Fast Care, Dixie Childers-Bowman of MinuteClinic, and Wendy Wright of Take Care Health. Ryan received the CARE “Leadership” Award and Loretta Ford received the Lifetime Achievement Award.
As of press time, event sponsors included McNeil Consumer Healthcare, a division of McNeil-PPC; Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America; Hylands; Merck & Co.; MinuteClinic; Take Care Health Systems and The Little Clinic.
Cub Foods launches nutrition information program in stores
NEW YORK That connection between healthy foods and pharmacy is the most powerful card a supermarket pharmacy retailer can play in the battle for prescription-drug marketshare.
But to do it right, you truly need to leverage the assets of that pharmacy — you can’t just expect the customer to bridge that gap between food and pharmacy on her own. Programs like this leverage those assets and make a clear statement to their shoppers: “We do more than just fill the prescriptions your doctor writes; we can also help you realize those healthier-eating recommendations that your doctor makes.”
One Food Marketing Institute survey published last year found that while 80% of Americans were trying to eat healthier, only 1-in-10 do so on a regular basis. Everyone else needs help, and that need is forecasted to grow significantly over the next 10 years according to NPD Group market research. “As the population ages, levels of concern regarding food and nutrition are expected to rise,” stated Ann Hanson, director of product development at NPD, earlier this month.
According to another FMI report published in the summer of 2008, more than 48.1% of food retailers already were realizing this vital connection with their customers.