Merck KGaA launches RebiSmart
DARMSTADT, Germany An electronic injection device designed to make self-administration of a multiple sclerosis drug easier for patients has been launched, the manufacturer announced Wednesday.
Merck KGaA announced the launch of RebiSmart in Canada and Europe. The device, designed for self-administration of Rebif (interferon beta-1a), is undergoing phase 3 trials in the United States, while the drug itself received approval from the Food and Drug Administration in 2002.
The RebiSmart is used with multi-dose cartridges of Rebif, each of which contains a week’s worth of medicine. It includes interactive, on-screen instructions and signals to guide patients through the injection process, as well as adjustable comfort settings to minimize discomfort and pain.
“Making injection more comfortable for the patient is important to ensure optimal treatment outcomes in multiple sclerosis,” University of British Columbia assistant professor of neurology Virginia Devonshire said. “The first electronic injection device in MS is an innovative approach and could contribute to increasing patient adherence to therapy.”
Based in Darmstadt, Germany, Merck KGaA is a separate company from Whitehouse Station, N.J.-based Merck & Co.
NBGH recognizes employers that promote healthy living
WASHINGTON A nonprofit organization has awarded more than 60 employers for promoting healthy living.
The National Business Group on Health announced Wednesday that it had recognized 63 large employers as the winners of the “2009 Best Employers for Healthy Lifestyles” award.
“We are proud to recognize 63 large employers for their unparalleled commitment to a healthy workplace and for making their employees’ health and well-being a top priority,” NGBH president Helen Darling said. “Employers know first-hand that a healthy workforce is essential to increasing productivity and to maintaining a competitive edge in the new global economy.”
Companies that won the award – given in Platinum, Gold and Silver categories – included Hannaford Supermarkets, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, CVS Caremark, General Mills, Wal-Mart, Cardinal Health, Meijer and Target.
MinuteClinic becomes participating provider in all CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield plans
MINNEAPOLIS MinuteClinic is now a participating provider in insurance plans offered by CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., the company announced on Wednesday.
Nearly 3.4 million CareFirst members now have in-network access to MinuteClinic healthcare centers located inside select CVS/pharmacy stores in Maryland and portions of northern Virginia in the CareFirst service area.
Previously, MinuteClinic was a participating provider with CareFirst’s preferred provider and federal employee plans in Maryland only.
“This is an important development in the growth of our business in Maryland and northern Virginia as we expand access to care to new customers,” stated Chip Phillips, MinuteClinic president. “By offering high-quality treatment in a convenient setting, we are working with CareFirst to help reduce healthcare insurance expenses for its members, as well as time spent away from members’ families and the workplace.”
MinuteClinic, which is owned by CVS Caremark, has about 500 locations in 25 states.