HEALTH

Second D.C.-area MinuteClinic opens

BY Antoinette Alexander

WASHINGTON MinuteClinic celebrated the opening of its second clinic location inside a CVS/pharmacy store in the District of Columbia with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The new MinuteClinic, located inside the CVS/pharmacy at 320 40th Street NE in the Benning neighborhood, serves residents in Ward 7 and is within walking distance of Metro stations on the orange and blue lines, as well as Metrobus service. It joins the first MinuteClinic to open in the district at 845 Bladensburg Rd. NE in Ward 5 in the Carver Langston neighborhood.

David Catania, District of Columbia council member at-large and chair of the Council’s Committee on Health, and Yvette Alexander, council member for Ward 7, joined executives from CVS Caremark and MinuteClinic for the ceremony.

“As chair of the District of Columbia City Council’s Committee on Health, I have made it a top priority to expand access to quality health care for all district residents,” Catania stated. “That is why I am so pleased to partner with CVS for the opening of the first MinuteClinic east of the Anacostia River. By offering convenient and affordable routine medical services, the clinic will go a long way to helping the residents of this community obtain the health care they need.”

MinuteClinic stressed its commitment to helping the “district broaden access to healthcare services,” and plans to announce additional openings in the coming year.

MinuteClinic locations also can be found inside select CVS/pharmacy stores in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties in Maryland and in cities throughout Northern Virginia.

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PharmaLink gets orphan drug designation for Nefecon

BY Alaric DeArment

STOCKHOLM The Food and Drug Administration has given orphan drug designation to a treatment for a rare kidney disease under mid-stage clinical development by privately owned Swedish drug maker PharmaLink, the company said.

 

The FDA granted the designation to Nefecon (PL-56), a treatment for IgA nephropathy, also known as Berger’s disease, a disorder that leads to end-stage kidney disease. The FDA gives orphan drug designation to incentivize development of treatments for rare and serious disorders.

 

 

“Today’s news marks a significant milestone for PharmaLink and increases the commercial value of Nefecon as it moves toward the marketplace,” PharmaLink managing director Johan Haggblad said. “We believe this product candidate has great potential in treating IgA nephropathy.”

 

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Medco: Poor adherence may cause lack of response to medication

BY Alaric DeArment

BOSTON When a patient isn’t showing a response to a medication, a common tactic the doctor might use is to increase the dosage. According to a new study, however, the ineffectiveness might be happening because the patient isn’t properly taking the medication.

The Medco Research Institute, the research arm of pharmacy benefit manager Medco Health Solutions, found that nearly one-third of patients given increased dosages of antidepressants were not regularly taking their original prescriptions. Data from the study recently were presented at the American Psychiatric Association’s 62nd Institute on Psychiatric Services in Boston.

 

Medco said the study showed doctors should monitor a patient’s adherence to their antidepressants before raising the dosage because poor adherence may contribute to disease relapse, thus leading to unnecessary dosage increases.

 

 

“A physician usually increases a dose when a patient is not responding to the current dosage,” Medco Neuroscience Therapeutic Resource Center national practice leader and lead study author David Muzina said. “But the analysis shows that the reason the dose may not be effective is that many patients are not taking their antidepressants as directed.”

 

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