PHARMACY

Pfizer suspends more tanezumab trials

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Drug maker Pfizer is suspending some clinical studies of a biotech drug for treating pain following reports of harmful side effects in patients, Pfizer said Monday.

The drug maker halted studies of the drug tanezumab in patients with chronic low back pain and painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy at the request of the Food and Drug Administration.

Pfizer said the suspension follows further consideration of reports of harmful side effects in osteoarthritis patients taking the drug. The company already had suspended the osteoarthritis study of tanezumab in June.

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PHARMACY

Kerr innovator to lead N.C. pharmacy board

BY Jim Frederick

RALEIGH, N.C. —Rebecca Chater, one of community pharmacy’s leading clinical-care innovators, has been elected president of the North Carolina board of pharmacy for 2010-2011.

Chater is EVP of Kerr Health—the company recently renamed itself to reflect its complete offering; Kerr Drug remains the name of its retail stores—and as such is one of the architects of many ground-breaking patient-care initiatives at the North Carolina retail drug innovator, directing the Care Management service line—previously known as KDI Health Solutions—a healthcare provider organization specializing in preventive and chronic care services.

Chater is in her second five-year term on the board and assumed the role of president for the second time. “It is an honor to serve in this capacity,” she said. “With some measure of national healthcare-reform legislation imminent, it is imperative we, as pharmacists, continue to assume an ever-increasing role in upholding and protecting public safety.”

“In leading the development of clinical pharmacy services within Kerr Drug, Chater earned recognition for Kerr as 2006 Pinnacle Award recipient by the American Pharmacists Association Foundation; 2007, 2008 and 2009 National Medication Therapy Management Provider of the Year by Outcomes Pharmaceutical Health Care; [and] 2008 North Carolina Provider of the Year by the American Diabetes Association,” Kerr stated.

Chater has been recognized nationally for her professional leadership as a past trustee and fellow of the APhA, past recipient of that group’s Gloria Niemeyer Francke Leadership Mentor Award and the APhA Academy of Pharmacy Practice and Management Administrative Practice Award. Most recently, she was tapped for the 2008 Eagle Award by the North Carolina Alliance of Healthy Communities.

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Novo Nordisk completes enrollment for largest insulin therapy study

BY Alaric DeArment

ZURICH, Switzerland A population large enough to fill an American college town during fall semester will take part in a multinational study to investigate the effects of modern insulins on Type 2 diabetes treatment.

Danish drug maker Novo Nordisk announced Monday the recruitment of the 60,000th patient in its “A1chieve” study, which it said would be the world’s largest observational study in insulin therapy, involving more than 3,300 physicians in 28 countries on four continents. The company expects results to become available next year.

“Multinational observational studies like A1chieve provide valuable insights in the way current therapies are applied when it comes to varying cultural, economic and epidemiological circumstances,” A1chieve global advisory board chairman and professor of diabetes medicine at England’s Newcastle University Philip Home said.

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