PHARMACY

NACDS set for annual meeting with full program, attendance boost

BY Jim Frederick

ALEXANDRIA, Va. Reflecting a slowly brightening economic picture, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores is reporting at least a modest upsurge in the number of attendees planning to gather this weekend in Palm Beach for the 2010 NACDS Annual Meeting.

The high-profile event, which typically draws several thousand leaders from the retail, supplier, education, consulting and service sides of the pharmacy industry, will kick off April 24 at The Breakers resort hotel. Registration, said NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson, is still open.

“The highly-anticipated 2010 NACDS Annual Meeting reflects the strength of our industry and our members,” he said. “We have exceeded last year’s attendance of retailers and suppliers. A review of this year’s attendees reveals key leaders who are trendsetters within the industry.”

As before, the huge gathering will combine strategic exchange and business discussions with networking opportunities in an interactive format, along with a slew of social activities. Among the highlights:

  • A “Meet the Retailer” program, which give supplier companies an opportunity for to hear from senior retail executives about how they do business;
  • Two business programs, featuring remarks from outgoing NACDS chairman Andy Giancamilli, CEO of Rexall Pharma Plus; and incoming NACDS chairman Larry Merlo, president of CVS/pharmacy, along with Anderson.
  • Talks during the morning general business sessions with Jim Collins, author and business consultant; and General Michael Hayden, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency;
  • Strategic Exchange meetings where trading partners can discuss strategic issues.

More information on the event can be found at www.nacds.org.

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PHARMACY

Sandoz to acquire Oriel Therapeutics

BY Alaric DeArment

HOLZKIRCHEN, Germany Sandoz got its hands on a collection of generic drug candidates Monday as it agreed to acquire privately owned U.S. drug maker Oriel Therapeutics, the generics arm of Swiss drug maker Novartis said. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Oriel focuses on drugs for respiratory conditions, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and the deal gives Sandoz access to development projects such as Solis, a dry powder inhaler that uses Oriel’s FreePath drug-delivery technology.

“Oriel is a strong strategic fit with Sandoz, and the acquisition is expected to support our strategy of increasing the number of differentiated, higher-value products in our development pipeline,” Sandoz division head Jeff George said. “One of our strategic objectives is to offer fully substitutable generic versions of key branded medicines, including respiratory medicines.”

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Emdeon affirms e-prescribing for controlled substances is a ‘practical necessity’

BY Alaric DeArment

NASHVILLE, Tenn. Electronic prescribing network Emdeon is supporting the approval of security standards for e-prescribing of controlled substances, Emdeon said last week.

The company, which calls itself the only e-prescribing network with market-based experience in controlled substances, said it was committed to helping the Drug Enforcement Administration and healthcare industry to implement the interim final rule for e-prescribing the drugs. Controlled substances include prescription drugs for such conditions as chronic pain and psychiatric disorders that are prone to abuse and diversion.

“Our market experience during the Massachusetts Department of Public Health research project indicates that electronic prescribing for controlled substances is safe and a practical necessity,” Emdeon CEO George Lazenby said. “The potential impact is tremendous.”

The Agency for Health Research and Quality, a government agency, funded the MDPH research project with the aim of demonstrating the technological feasibility and potential benefits to patient safety in e-prescribing of controlled substances.

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