PHARMACY

Kinney Drugs promotes three executives

BY Alaric DeArment

GOUVERNEUR, N.Y. Kinney Drugs has promoted three of its executives, the retail pharmacy chain announced Wednesday.

The privately owned chain, which operates stores in upstate New York and Vermont, promoted Stephen McCoy, Rich McNulty and Richard Cognetti Jr.

McCoy, VP finance and CFO, has been promoted to EVP and CFO; McNulty, who has served various positions with the company, has been promoted to VP human resources; Cognetti, director retail merchandising, has been promoted to VP retail merchandising. 

“The development and promotion of these individuals is a continuing part of the organization’s long-range plans to insure the necessary leadership is in place to support the company’s continued success,” president and COO Bridget-ann Hart said in a statement.

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Heart drug Efient approved by EMEA

BY Alaric DeArment

INDIANAPOLIS The European Medicines Agency has approved a new drug by Eli Lilly & Co. and partner Daiichi Sankyo Co. for preventing heart attacks in patients with acute coronary syndrome undergoing a heart-opening procedure, the two companies announced Monday.

The EMEA approved Efient (prasugrel) for ACS patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention surgery following a positive opinion adopted by the EMEA’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use.

“This European approval is good news for doctors and patients since more than 700,000 people die from heart attacks in the European Union each year,” Daiichi Sankyo president and CEO Takashi Shoda said in a statement. “We believe Efient will become an important new treatment for patients with ACS undergoing PCI, a severe disease with potentially life-threatening consequences.” 

The Food and Drug Administration’s Cardiovascular and Renal Drugs Advisory Committee voted unanimously to recommend approval of prasugrel for the United States market on Feb. 3, but the two companies had not decided on a brand name at the time. 

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Health care to continue growing as share of economy says new CMS report

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON Growth in healthcare spending probably will decline by this year because of the recession, but health will continue growing as a share of the economy, according to a new report by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Growth in national health expenditures is expected to be 6.1% in 2008, as it increases from $2.2 trillion in 2007 to $2.4 trillion in 2008, while growth in the gross domestic product is expected to be 3.5%. For this year, healthcare spending is expected to increase by 5.5%, while the GDP is expected to decline by 0.2%. Meanwhile, the health share of the GDP is expected to increase from 16.2% in 2007 to 16.6% in 2008 and 17.6% in 2009, representing about one-third of the total increase in the health share of the GDP for 2008 through 2018.

Prescription drug spending growth is expected to slow from 4.9% in 2007 to 3.5% in 2008, as customers fill fewer prescriptions and switch to generics, but prescription drug spending growth likely will rebound to 4% in 2009.

The full report is available at http://www.cms.hhs.gov/NationalHealthExpendData/03_NationalHealthAccountsProjected.asp.

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