PHARMACY

Late-stage clinical data support experimental MS drug, say Teva, Active Biotech

BY Alaric DeArment

JERUSALEM — Late-stage clinical data support the efficacy of an experimental drug under development by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and Active Biotech for multiple sclerosis, the two companies said.

At the 29th congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis in Copenhagen last week, Teva and Active presented phase-3 data from two studies that they said supported the hypothesis that oral administration of the drug laquinimod once per day may have an effect on inflammation and underlying mechanisms that result in progression of relapsing-remitting MS. Of the four types of MS, relapsing-remitting is the most common.

"Continued analysis of the Allegro and Bravo phase-3 studies demonstrates that the trend of efficacy results was maintained in the analysis of data pooled from the two studies and is consistent with the proposed mechanism of action for laquinimod," Teva president of global research and development and chief scientific officer Michael Hayden said. "Teva remains committed to the laquinimod clinical development program in MS and in other diseases characterized by a neurodegenerative pathology and to addressing the needs of these patients worldwide."

 

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Arthritis, psoriasis organizations sponsor country’s first psoriatic arthritis-specific event

BY Alaric DeArment

PORTLAND, Ore. — The National Psoriasis Foundation and the Arthritis Foundation are presenting the country’s first program specifically devoted to psoriatic arthritis this week, the two organizations said Monday.

The groups will sponsor the event, Be Joint Smart, at Queens College in New York, on Saturday.

According to the two organizations, 30% of people with psoriasis, which is the most common autoimmune disease in the country, actually have psoriatic arthritis, an inflammatory disease that causes pain, swelling and stiffness of the joints and tendons. Up to 2 million Americans are currently diagnosed with the disease, and the National Psoriasis Foundation says that nearly one-quarter of people with psoriasis may have undiagnosed psoriatic arthritis.

 

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Walgreens helping to transform retail pharmacy almost on a daily basis

BY Michael Johnsen

Walgreens reached a 19.1% prescription market share for its fiscal year ended Aug. 31. But that wasn’t the story to come out of the Chicagoland retailer’s conference call. The story was how far along Walgreens has come in its pledge to transform pharmacy

Truth is, there isn’t one aspect of the pharmacy business that hasn’t been touched by Walgreens’ focus on transformation. And with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act yet to come in 2014, Walgreens is far from done. See for yourself: click on DSN‘s Walgreens news feed — all Walgreens news, all the time — and you have one story after another about how Walgreens is helping to redefine what retail pharmacy means to employers, payers and most importantly, the patient, almost on a daily basis. 

Just earlier this week, Walgreens president, CEO and "chief roadblock remover" Greg Wasson joined Sona Chawla at the Shop.org Annual Summit 2013 to talk about how Walgreens has created a culture that embraces technology to the point that it permeates everything they do. During the hour-long presentation, Wasson shared that it was a discipline shared among the senior echelons of management to incorporate an e-retailing element into every facet of the chain’s business. 

Also earlier this week, Walgreens partnered with GoHealth to provide a resource for those patients looking to explore the new health insurance marketplace. It’s more than just a value add for those patients who patronize Walgreens’ stores. Walgreens has become health-and-wellness resource-rich; with their teams of pharmacists, nurse practitioners and health guides, if Walgreens can’t answer a health-and-wellness question, there very likely isn’t an answer to be had. 

Walgreens’ health-and-wellness reach even extends beyond the typical retail pharmacy and into specialty pharmacy. On Monday, Walgreens issued a report on the positive impact the company’s infusion pharmacists can have on patient care

Walgreens is a company worth watching often, because if a conceivable health-and-wellness offering isn’t being offered by the chain today, they’re very likely to announce that new service tomorrow. And you can find all here at DrugStoreNews.com.

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