PHARMACY

New drug may relieve symptoms of Parkinson’s

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Patients with Parkinson’s disease may soon have a drug that relieves some of the tremors associated with the disease, according a new study.

The drug, istradfeylline, helps dull the symptoms when they return after other Parkinson’s drugs have worn off, a period that specialists call “off” time.

The drug’s developer, Tokyo-based Kyowa Pharmaceuticals, supported a study of 395 Parkinson’s patients using levodopa, also known as L-DOPA, by Duke University’s Medical Center, which found that 24 percent of patients experienced a decrease in symptoms during the “off” time.

But it could be a while before the drug makes its way to pharmacies in the U.S. The Food and Drug Administration has refused to approve it, citing lack of sufficient evidence to demonstrate its effectiveness.

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FDA issues third approvable letter for Wyeth’s bazedoxifene

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON Wyeth Pharmaceuticals’ new drug for treating postmenopausal osteoporosis has hit another speed bump.

The Food and Drug Administration sent a third approvable letter to Wyeth for the drug bazedoxifene pending analyses about the incidence of stroke and venal thrombosis in patients who use it. The FDA made a similar request in a letter sent in December.

Merck reported that its postmenopausal osteoporosis drug Fosamax (alendronate sodium) had worldwide sales of $3.05 billion in 2007.

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Longs plans drive-through windows at Hawaiian locations

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Longs Drug Stores plans to open drive-through windows at some of its stores in Hawaii, the company announced recently.

The drugstore chain, based in Walnut Creek, Calif., will add a drive-through window to its store in Maui later this year. The new store it plans to open in Honolulu will also have a window.

Walgreens, which recently opened its first locations in Hawaii, credits itself with inventing the concept of the drugstore with a drive-through pharmacy more than 15 years ago.

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