PHARMACY

Research suggests that intradermal flu shots work better for seniors

BY Michael Johnsen

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia International researchers on Friday made the case for delivering flu shots intravenously, as opposed to in the muscle, at the International Congress for Infectious Diseases held here.

Researchers from Sanofi-Aventis determined that seniors older than 60 who were given the flu shot under the skin using a short, thin needle were about 7 percent better protected against flu than those who received Sanofi’s Vaxigrip shot in a muscle with a conventional needle.

The researchers employed a new intradermal microinjection system for the study.

The study may prove influential into how seniors—already a high-risk population for infections like the flu because of a weaker immune system—receive flu shots. According to the researchers, vaccine efficacy is lower in elderly adults as compared to younger, healthier subjects, and it is likewise the population most associated with influenza morbidity.

The study included 3,701 men and women over the age of 60 (54.4 percent were female).

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PHARMACY

ShopKo to open in-store clinics in Wisconsin

BY Antoinette Alexander

MADISON, Wis. Meriter, a provider of healthcare services, has teamed up with ShopKo to open two FastCare clinics in Madison in mid-October.

Meriter’s clinics, which will be located in ShopKo East and ShopKo West, will be staffed by nurse practitioners who can offer treatment for such acute ailments as pink eye, bladder infections and skin rashes. The n.p. can write a prescription, if needed.

“We’re very pleased to provide this service to residents, as well as visitors, to our community,” stated Geoff Priest, Meriter chief medical officer. “Providing quality health care that is convenient, both in hours and location, is very important to us at Meriter.”

Green Bay, Wis.-based Bellin Hospital, in partnership with ShopKo, started the FastCare concept. Since then, they have negotiated partnerships with other health care systems, including ThedaCare in Appleton, Aspirus in Wausau and Olmstead in Rochester, Minn. Others underway include Beaver Dam and one in Waukesha.

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Alnylam inks potential $93 million deal with Kyowa Hakko Kogyo

BY Drew Buono

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. Alnylam Pharmaceuticals has signed a collaborative deal with Kyowa Hakko Kogyo, that could be worth as much as $93 million, to develop and market the experimental respiratory drug ALN-RSV01, according to the Associated Press.

ALN-RSV01 is currently in midstage development for respiratory syncytial virus, which can cause severe lower respiratory infections, particularly in infants. Most of Alynlam’s pipeline, though, is still in the preclinical phase of development, with potential candidates for liver cancer, Huntington’s disease, pandemic flu, and cystic fibrosis, among others.

This is the company’s second recent deal. At the end of May, Alnylam signed a research partnership deal with Takeda Pharmaceuticals worth as much as $1 billion.

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