PHARMACY

Prescription drug abuse up among young adults

BY DSN STAFF

WASHINGTON More young adults are abusing prescription medications, according to the 2006 National Survey on Drug Use and Health from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. According to the results, 7 million Americans over 12 years old used prescription psychotherapeutic drugs—including pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants or sedatives—nonmedically in the month preceding the survey.

Overall prescription drug abuse among U.S. young adults increased from 5.4 percent in 2005 to 6.4 percent in 2006. Of the nonmedical prescription drug users in 2006, 5.2 million used prescription pain relievers, an increase from 4.7 million in 2005.

“The abuse of prescription drugs for nonmedical reasons is of increasing concern,” agency chief Terry Cline stated. “These are potent drugs that can have serious and life-threatening consequences if misused. Parents in particular need to be aware of this problem and take steps to prevent these medications from falling into the wrong hands.”

In 2006, 2.6 million people over 12 years old used psychotherapeutic drugs nonmedically for the first time, with the most significant increase being among the use of stimulants. The primary source of the drugs (55.7 percent) were friends and relatives who gave them away for free. About 19 percent were obtained from a doctor, and only 0.1 percent were purchased over the Internet.

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PHARMACY

Shire takes ADHD patch off market

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK British drug developer Shire PLC is temporarily withdrawing from the market its product that treats attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Forbes.com reported yesterday.

Shire decided to extract the Daytrana product line from the market after patients and caregivers complained that the patch’s release liner is difficult to detach, a problem for those who are trying to administer the drug. To mitigate the state of affairs, Shire stated they would provide easier-to-use patches to those affected by the market withdrawal.

Meanwhile, American depository shares of Shire fell 42 cents to $78.32 in pre-market trading yesterday. In a separate statement, Noven Pharmaceuticals, creator of Daytrana and other medications, estimated the damages at $4 million to $6 million.

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PHARMACY

Novo Nordisk announces Gruhn, Soeters to switch places

BY Adam Kraemer

PRINCETON, N.J. Leading diabetes company Novo Nordisk Tuesday announced the appointment of Jerzy Gruhn as president of Novo Nordisk Inc., the company’s U.S. affiliate, and senior vice president of Novo Nordisk North America.

Gruhn will replace Martin Soeters, who will take up the position as senior vice president of the European region, overseeing the company’s operations in 35 countries. Gruhn is currently vice president of the Eastern Europe region. The appointments will take effect on January 1, 2008.

“We are making these changes at a time when Novo Nordisk is doing well in both Europe and North America and are confident that we have the right leadership to secure our future growth in the two regions,” said Kare Schultz, executive vice president and chief operating officer.

“North America is not only the world’s largest diabetes market, but also a region populated by people passionate about stopping the diabetes epidemic here and around the world,” said Gruhn. “Novo Nordisk will continue to be a leader in changing diabetes by embracing a unique business model that allows us to be socially and environmentally responsible, while achieving fiscal growth to advance diabetes care.”

Martin Soeters has more than 27 years’ experience in Novo Nordisk in executive management, sales and marketing. Since he took over responsibility for the company’s operations in the North American region in 2000 he has grown annual sales from $500 million in 2000 to $2.1 billion in 2006.

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