PHARMACY

Report: New data highlights imatinib’s efficacy

BY David Salazar
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Genentech, Publix, Mars and Regeneron named to Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list

BY Brian Berk

NEW YORK — Genentech, Publix, Mars and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals were named to Fortune magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list. The listings are based upon reviews by company employees.

Genentech placed sixth on the list: “The biotech giant has a ‘casual intensity’ vibe, says one staffer. ‘We are a very fun company, but at the end of the day we all know our part in the mission” — making drugs for life-threatening illnesses. Every time a medicine is FDA approved, employees ring a bell at the same time in celebration. (That happened four times in the past year.),” wrote Fortune.

Publix earned the No. 21 slot on the magazine’s list. “The largest employee-owned company in the country, this grocery chain with a ‘family’ feel gives staff a ‘great opportunity to retire worry-free’ through a stock ownership plan (part-timers participate too). Hefty holiday bonuses don’t hurt either. The result: Employees stick around. The company has dozens of workers over the age of 90,” wrote the magazine.

Mars placed 50th. "Employees at this food and candy maker (whose brands incude Snickers, Uncle Ben's RIce and M&Ms) live by the company's five principles: quality, responsibility, mutality, efficiency and freedom," wrote Fortune. "Staffers say the values are 'guiding light,' influencing even 'how we act in our personal lives, making us the best version of ourselves."

Regeneron earned the No. 85 spot on the list. “Dedication, purpose, impact, world-leading science” — those are some of the reasons people want to work at this biotech firm, which aims to combat a range of diseases and has four FDA-approved drugs. In a ‘world driven by the dollar,’ says one employee, it’s ‘refreshing’ to be at a company where the ‘bottom line is with patients,’ the publication wrote.

Google placed first on the list. This marks the sixth consecutive year the Internet company earned the top spot.

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CVS to dispense naloxone prescription-free in four more states

BY Brian Berk

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Pharmacy added Arizona, Georgia, Iowa and South Carolina to the list of stated where it now dispenses the opioid overdoes reversal drug naloxone to patients without a prescription. CVS Pharmacy locations in 41 states are now able to increase access to this medication.

"CVS Health is committed to addressing and preventing opioid abuse in the communities we serve and increasing access to this life-saving medication is an important part of that commitment," said Tom Davis, RPh, Vice President of Pharmacy Professional Practices at CVS Pharmacy. "Naloxone is a safe and effective antidote to opioid overdose and by expanding availability of this medication, we can save lives and give more people a chance to get the help they need for recovery." 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), opioids — including prescription opioids and heroin — killed more than 33,000 people in 2015, more than any year on record. At the same time, a recent CVS Health/Morning Consult survey indicates there is a significant need for increased awareness about the availability of naloxone and its role in reversing potentially fatal opioid overdoses. 

"Overuse and abuse of opioids is a public health epidemic," said Georges C. Benjamin, MD, executive director of the American Public Health Association. "Making naloxone more widely available and accessible is a critical component of a broader strategy to prevent overdose deaths. I applaud CVS Health for its leadership.

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