PHARMACY

Retailers explore new technologies before improving current sites

BY Michael Johnsen

LEXINGTON, Mass. A new benchmark report from RSR Research found that retailers are holding back on investing in improving consumers’ online shopping experience while they explore next generation eCommerce Web 2.0 technologies.

“Today, retailers can no longer assume that their sites are able to easily handle increased holiday volume or that customers will stick around to wait for a web page to load,” stated Nikki Baird, managing partner at RSR Research. “Delivering quality web experiences while using advanced web technologies is now a competitive necessity.”

“Bear in mind that adding new features or tools (especially those using web 2.0 technologies or delivered via third parties) can impact the performance of both the web site and customers’ online experiences. Retailers looking to ensure that all users have the optimal experience, regardless of location, connection or browser, should therefore test and monitor their own site performance and benchmark against their competitors and industry leaders,” commented Steve Rowen, RSR Research partner/analyst.

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States come out against FDA pre-emption rule in Wyeth case

BY Alaric DeArment

MONTPELIER, Vt. Forty-seven states—including Vermont—want the United States Supreme Court to uphold a ruling against Wyeth that forced the drug maker to pay $6.8 million in damages after one of its drugs caused complications requiring a woman’s arm to be amputated.

The woman, Diana Levine of Marshfield, Vt., received an injection of the anti-nausea drug Phenergan in an artery in 2000. The injection caused artery damage and gangrene that eventually required amputation of her right arm. The jury in a lower court awarded Levine, a musician, $6.8 million.

The case will be argued before the Supreme Court Nov. 3.

Wyeth says it won approval for the drug’s warning label from the Food and Drug Administration, and thus should not have been subject to a lawsuit.

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FDA warns of Byetta risk for severe pancreatitis

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON The Food and Drug Administration has received six reports of hemorrhagic or necrotizing pancreatitis in patients taking Eli Lilly’s Byetta, an injected drug used for treating Type 2 diabetes and known generically as exenatide.

All six cases required hospitalization, and two patients died. At the time of reporting, four were recovering.

The FDA warns that patients should discontinue medication use if pancreatitis is suspected, and that there are no signs to distinguish acute hemorrhagic or necrotizing pancreatitis associated with Byetta from less severe forms of the disease.

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