PHARMACY

Sanofi-Aventis honored by National Business Group on Health

BY Drew Buono

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. The National Business Group on Health has honored the U.S. division of Sanofi-Aventis for its commitment and dedication to promoting a healthy workplace and encouraging a healthy lifestyle for its employees and families.

Winners of the Best Employers for Healthy Lifestyles awards were honored in one of three categories: Platinum, for established programs with measurable outcomes; Gold, for creating cultural and environmental changes that support employees who have made a commitment to long-term behavior changes; and Silver, for those employers who have launched significant programs or services to promote living a healthier lifestyle. Sanofi received a gold award for its health awareness program.

“There’s no question that the passion, productivity and even the creativity of our employees are tied to their health and wellness,” said Liz Donnelly, vice president, benefits, rewards and people management for Sanofi-Aventis U.S. “It follows that the quality we bring to patients is related to the extent to which we help our employees and their families realize their health goals. But even beyond any patient or marketplace outcomes, caring for our employees is simply the right thing to do. For all these reasons, I’m proud and honored that Sanofi-Aventis U.S. has received this gold award.”

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Ziopharm’s Palifosfamide receives orphan designation

BY Drew Buono

NEW YORK Ziopharm Oncology has received orphan drug approval from the Food and Drug Administration for Palifosfamide, for the treatment of soft tissue sarcoma, according to published reports.

Ziopharm will receive seven years of exclusivity of marketing for the drug once it has been approved, as well as an accelerated review process, grant funding, tax benefits, and an exemption from other fees.

Ziopharm’s chief executive Jonathan Lewis said that the drug stands to bring in as much as $400 million in revenues annually in the U.S. alone once it is approved. “Developing drugs for rare diseases is going to become increasingly more important because more and more the way we define diseases is into smaller and smaller subsets,” said Lewis. “In addition, we are looking to develop this for other indications starting with sarcoma.”

The intravenous form of Palifosfamide is currently in phase II studies and the oral form is expected to enter Phase I studies in early 2009.

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Delhaize banners offer discounted generics

BY DSN STAFF

LAS VEGAS Shoppers at several supermarket chains in the eastern U.S. can buy hundreds of generic drugs at a discount.

Belgian food retailer Delhaize Group is offering a generic drug discount program at several of its U.S. chains, including Nashville, Ga.-based Harveys Supermarkets, Salisbury, N.C.-based Food Lion, Tampa, Fla.-based Sweetbay Supermarkets and Scarborough, Maine-based Hannaford Bros.

Participating stores offer 30-day and 90-day supplies of hundreds of generic drugs, though Harveys only offers 90-day supplies. Sweetbay offers more than 400 drugs, including the psychiatric drug haloperidol, thyroid hormone levothyroxine and respiratory drug albuterol, charging $4 for 30-day supplies and $10.99 for 90-day supplies.

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