HEALTH

NACDS praises organized retail crime bill

BY Allison Cerra

ALEXANDRIA, Va. A bipartisan legislation that seeks to prevent organized retail crime is being applauded by the chain pharmacy industry.

The Organized Retail Theft Investigation and Prosecution Act of 2010, introduced by Reps. Bobby Scott, D-Va., and Lamar Smith, R-Texas, would create a specific task force within the Department of Justice to investigate and prosecute instances involving organized retail crime.

Responding to this proposed legislation, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores commended Reps. Scott and Smith for their leadership to curb the growing problem of organized retail crime, noting that retailers not only face such burdens as increased costs and investment to cover their losses, but consumers also face risks.

 

“Consumers are placed at risk when package tampering occurs on consumer healthcare products, such as infant formula and over-the-counter medications. These stolen products are repackaged and relabeled to falsely extend a product’s expiration date or to hide the fact that the item has been stolen,” NACDS wrote in a letter. The NACDS also urged Congress to support legislation that treats theft committed by organized, professional crime rings as a federal felony.

 

 

“We commend you again for introducing and advancing strong bipartisan legislation that will assist retailers and law enforcement to combat the serious problem of organized retail crime, and we look forward to working with you to enact this important legislation,” the letter stated.

 

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FDA approves multiple sclerosis drug Gilenya

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. The Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug for reducing relapses in patients with multiple sclerosis.

 

The FDA announced Wednesday the approval of Swiss drug maker Novartis’ Gilenia (fingolimod) capsules, saying it was the first oral drug that can slow the progression of disability in patients with MS and offered an alternative to injected drugs.

 

 

Around 400,000 people in the United States and 2.1 million worldwide have MS, according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

 

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Novartis’ Cushing’s disease drug shows promising results in trial

BY Alaric DeArment

EAST HANOVER, N.J. Swiss drug maker Novartis said its investigational drug is the first to show promise in a late-stage clinical trial for Cushing’s disease, a potentially fatal hormonal disorder.

 

Novartis announced Wednesday that the drug SOM230 (pasireotide) had reduced cortisol levels in patients with Cushing’s disease. The disease results from a benign pituitary tumor that causes the adrenal glands to produce excess cortisol. This can lead to metabolic and cardiovascular problems and death. Results will be presented at the 14th congress of the European Neuroendocrine Association.

 

 

“There is a critical need for a medical treatment for people with Cushing’s disease because currently available options, such as surgery or radiotherapy, are ultimately not effective for many of the patients who suffer from this debilitating disease,” said William Ludlam, director of the Seattle Pituitary Center at the Swedish Neuroscience Institute in Seattle. “The results of this study suggest that pasireotide may help patients achieve biochemical control of their Cushing’s disease and its symptoms by directly targeting the pituitary tumor that triggers excess cortisol production.”

 

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