Novartis looks to expand pipeline, focuses on long-term growth
BASEL, Switerland — Swiss drug maker Novartis will focus on innovation as part of a program for long-term growth, the company said Wednesday.
Novartis touted its research and development pipeline of 142 drugs in clinical trials, 35% of which are in phase 3 or undergoing regulatory review, as well as a plan to submit 30 more drugs for regulatory review by the end of 2012. The company also plans to continue investing in vaccine development.
“Novartis has leading businesses in fast-growing segments of health care, and by focusing on our strategic priorities, we are well-positioned to succeed in a rapidly changing healthcare environment,” CEO Joseph Jimenez said.
Other parts of the company’s strategy include its diversified drug portfolio and initiatives for increasing efficiencies in manufacturing, sales, marketing and procurement.
Merck’s cardiovascular drug improves cholesterol levels in patients during late-stage trial
WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. Patients taking an investigational treatment for cardiovascular disease showed big improvements in cholesterol levels, according to late-stage clinical trial results released Wednesday.
Merck announced results of its 18-month phase-3 trial of anacetrapib in 1,623 patients with coronary heart disease. The drug showed no difference in safety compared with placebo, and 16 patients experienced cardiovascular problems –– cardiovascular death, heart attack, unstable angina or stroke –– compared with 21 taking placebo. Data were presented Wednesday at the scientific sessions of the American Heart Association and published online in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Most importantly, after 24 weeks of treatment among patients who had previously taken a statin, the drug decreased “bad” LDL cholesterol by 40% while increasing “good” HDL cholesterol by 138%.
Local independent pharmacy models program after NCPA’s Dispose My Meds
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A group representing the nation’s independent pharmacies praised a local drug store’s participation in a drug take-back program.
The National Community Pharmacists Association lauded the Great Peconic Take Back event, held Wednesday, which served the eastern Suffolk area of New York. Led by Bob Grisnik of Southrifty Drug, located in Southampton, N.Y., the free service allowed anyone wishing to safely dispose of his or her expired or otherwise unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications to bring the medications to any of the 15 participating pharmacies of the newly formed Peconic Independent Pharmacy Association.
The program is based on the NCPA’s Dispose My Meds program, which addresses drug diversion and environmental contamination.
“It’s exciting to see community pharmacies working together to meet the growing patient demand for a safe and environmentally friendly way to discard unused medications. Programs like this should be voluntary, but I hope many pharmacies seize the opportunity to create their own programs to meet the needs of their patients,” said Robert Greenwood, NCPA president.