PHARMACY

New type of antibiotics targets bacterial toxins

BY Alaric DeArment

CHICAGO Researchers in the United States have found a novel approach to combating bacterial infections: Don’t kill them—just take away their weapons.

The researchers, who published their findings in the journal Science, have developed a compound, LED209, that blocks bacteria’s ability to communicate and release the toxins that cause sickness. They said the compound works on cultures E. coli, salmonella and Francisella tularensis bacteria, the latter of which causes tularemia, and prevented mice with salmonella and F. tularensis from becoming sick.

The researchers said that the bacteria would not likely be able to develop antibiotic resistance because the compound does not kill them.

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PHARMACY

AstraZeneca adopts HealthHonors medication incentive program

BY Alaric DeArment

NORWELL, Mass. Patients will soon get reminders to take their medications as prescribed from AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals.

HealthHonors announced Thursday that AstraZeneca had adopted its Dynamic Intermittent Reinforcement platform, a patient incentive program that uses intermittent reinforcement schedules to motivate patients to take their medications as prescribed.

Studies show that patients fail to take more than half of the 3.5 billion annual dispensed prescriptions as prescribed. This creates increased costs to the United States health-care system of more than $100 billion, as well as 125,000 deaths, accounting for 10 percent of all hospitalizations. A randomized study using HealthHonors’ program, however, found that patients who used it were 33 percent more likely to adhere to their prescription regimens.

“AstraZeneca is committed to finding innovative ways to help people lead healthier lives, and we believe the Dynamic Intermittent Reinforcement technology can help deliver on this goal,” said Mark Mallon, AstraZeneca’s vice president of marketing and sales operations.

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NACDS supports removal of e-pedigree legislation from bill

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON The National Association of Chain Drug Stores is calling legislation to mandate electronic drug pedigrees unnecessary and doubts the bill will make it beyond a House committee.

NACDS vice president of government affairs Paul Kelly said that the Safeguarding America’s Pharmaceuticals Act of 2008, sponsored by Indiana Republican Rep. Steve Buyer and Utah Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson, will not likely pass as a stand-alone bill. Efforts by Buyer and Matheson to attach the bill to the FDA Globalization Act have likewise not met success.

Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, supports the FDA Globalization Act, which requires electronic pedigrees for drug ingredients but not finished drugs, the FDA reported.

“We remain very pleased that Chairman Dingell has decided not to include an electronic pedigree requirement, and more importantly the track-and-trace requirement, in that bill,” Kelly said.

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