PHARMACY

Physicians urge FDA not to approve Truvada

BY Alaric DeArment

LOS ANGELES — A group of physicians is urging the Food and Drug Administration not to approve a drug made by Gilead Sciences for the prevention of HIV infection.

Fifty-five physicians signed a letter spearheaded by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation citing concerns about the use of Gilead’s Truvada (tenofovir disoproxil fumarate and emtricitabine) for “pre-exposure prophylaxis,” or PrEP. Concerns included the risk of a decrease in condom use and a lack of information showing proper use in “real world” situations.

“As medical care providers, we strongly support continued research on the prevention of HIV, but oppose approval of a pre-exposure prophylaxis that runs the risk of contributing to the spread of HIV and drug-resistant viruses,” the physicians wrote. “Our first obligation is to do no harm to individuals and to the public health.”

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NACDS conference exhibitors donate 6.5 tons of consumer goods through Conventions C.A.R.E.

BY Antoinette Alexander

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — As part of this year’s National Association of Chain Drug Stores Marketplace Conference in Boston, which came to a close Tuesday, NACDS conference exhibitors and Conventions C.A.R.E. dispersed 6.5 tons of consumer goods to various charitable organizations throughout the Greater Boston community.

NACDS worked with the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority’s Conventions C.A.R.E. program, which was established by the MCCA to benefit convention and trade show exhibitors, the convention centers and local nonprofits. Exhibitors are saved the time and expense of shipping unneeded goods after a show ends, while local nonprofits benefit from useful donations, such as boxes of toiletries or office supplies. The MCCA and its partners in turn help divert these items from local landfills. Marketplace exhibitors donated such products as cosmetics, health and hygiene products, food and beverages, household supplies and other consumer products available in chain pharmacies.

"During these challenging economic times, we are deeply grateful to NACDS’ associate member companies for their product contributions to help those in need in the Boston community," NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson said. "NACDS is grateful to have a partner in the Conventions C.A.R.E. program to distribute these goods to local nonprofit groups."

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Valeant buys rights for Elidel, Xerese

BY Alaric DeArment

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario — Canadian drug maker Valeant Pharmaceuticals International will acquire rights to topical drugs for eczema and cold sores from Swedish drug maker Meda.

Valeant said it would buy rights for the eczema drug Elidel (pimecrolimus) and the cold sore drug Xerese (acyclovir and hydrocortisone) for the United States, Canada and Mexico. Valeant said, however, that Xerese has not yet received regulatory approval in Canada.

Valeant will pay Meda $76 million upfront and over the next 18 months will pay a series of potential milestone payments and royalties of about $130 million.

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