PHARMACY

NACDS elects board of directors

BY Allison Cerra

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores elected its 2009-2010 board of directors’ officers this past weekend at its Annual Meeting.

The chairman of the board is Andy Giancamilli, CEO of Snyders Drug Stores and CEO of Katz Group North America. Giancamilli was elected as Chairman in December 2008, to serve the remainder of the chairmanship when Warren Bryant, chairman, president and CEO of Longs Drug Stores, resigned.

In addition, for the 2009-2010 term, Larry Merlo, president of CVS Pharmacy, retail for CVS Caremark, was elected to serve as vice chairman; and Bob Loeffler, president of H-E-B, was elected to serve as treasurer.

“Stepping into the role last December, Andy Giancamilli has shown great leadership as NACDS chairman,” said Association president and CEO Steve Anderson.  “I look forward to continuing to work with Andy, as well as with Larry and Bob in their new roles as board officers over the next year to develop strategic visions that further enhance pharmacy as the face of neighborhood health care.”

Six new members of the board were elected on April 18 during the annual Chain Member Meeting: Joe Courtright, president and CEO of USA Drug; Kermit Crawford, SVP Pharmacy, Walgreens; Keri Jones, SVP, Health and Beauty, Target Corp.; Paul Julian, EVP and group president, McKesson/Health Mart; Michael Kaufmann, CEO, pharmaceutical segment of Cardinal Health; and John Standley, president and CEO of Rite Aid Corp.

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Vertex reports Q1 earnings

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. Vertex Pharmaceuticals ended first quarter 2009 with $869 million in cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities, the company announced Thursday.

The company is conducting a phase 3 study of telaprevir, a protease inhibitor for treating hepatitis C in patients who have not received treatment or for whom other treatments have failed. In March, Vertex started a phase 2a trial of VX-809, a compound designed to treat cystic fibrosis, and it also plans to start trials for the investigational CF drug VX-770 in the United States and Europe.

“With our strong performance in the first quarter, we are well-positioned to drive forward key programs in hepatitis C and cystic fibrosis and to deliver on our 2009 financial projections outlined earlier this year,” Vertex president Matt Emmens said. “Our top priority is to execute on the telaprevir phase 3 program and to prepare for [a new drug application] filing for telaprevir in the second half of 2010.”

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Drug maker’s shares fall after HHS requests regulatory filing

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK A Department of Health and Human Services request that companies bidding on a government contract to provide anthrax vaccines give a regulatory plan to the Food and Drug Administration in 15 days caused shares of one of the companies to fall by 5.5% in afternoon trading on Friday, according to published reports.

The Associated Press reported Thursday that PharmAthene submitted a regulatory filing saying that HHS did not provide sufficient information. The HHS request caused PharmAthene’s shares to fall by 15 cents, to $2.56.

The Annapolis, Md.-based company makes the anthrax vaccine SparVax.

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