PHARMACY

Shire to expand assistance program for UC patients

BY Alaric DeArment

PHILADELPHIA A British drug maker announced Monday that it would expand its patient assistance program for patients with ulcerative colitis.

Shire said that UC patients taking Lialda (mesalamine delayed-release tablets) or Pentasa (mesalamine extended-release capsules) and who became unemployed this year can receive their medication at no cost throughout the rest of the year.

“We are committed to helping UC patients better manage their condition,” Shire gastrointestinal business SVP Roger Adsett stated. “Offering greater financial support to those who may be struggling due to the current economic climate through our expanded Shire CARES PAP is a natural extension of the Shire mission.”

Last week, Pfizer announced that it would begin offering drugs for free to patients with prescriptions to Pfizer drugs who lost their jobs this year.

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PHARMACY

E.F. Bavis and Associates create non-pneumatic, tape-drive prescription carrier

BY Alaric DeArment

CINCINNATI Retail pharmacies that deliver prescriptions to drive-through customers via pneumatic tube have a more environmentally friendly option.

E.F. Bavis and Associates, a company that manufactures drive-through equipment for retail pharmacies, banks and quick-service businesses, has launched the Captive Carrier TransTrax, a non-pneumatic, tape-drive prescription carrier. The company said that other systems typically use 40 amps to operate, while E.F. Bavis’ uses two amps and is made with recyclable materials.

A company spokesman said that while it is conceptually similar to a pneumatic tube system, the use of a tape drive allows Captive Carrier to adjust to different vehicle heights and allows for manual retrieval in the event of a power failure.

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Genentech presents positive study results at ASCO meeting

BY Alaric DeArment

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. Positive results of phase 2 and phase 3 studies of a cancer-fighting monoclonal antibody are among the subjects that biotech company Genentech plans to present at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s 45th annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.

Key study results will include positive phase 3 results for Herceptin (trastuzumab) in advanced HER2-positive stomach cancer and phase 2 data in metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer with trastuzumab-DM1, which uses Herceptin’s antibody to deliver a specialized cancer cell-killing agent to tumor cells. The company will also present data from two phase 3 studies of Avastin (bevacizumab), one that studied the drug as a treatment for early-stage colon cancer and another that investigated a combination of the drug with Tarceva (erlotinib) as a first-line treatment for non-small cell lung cancer.

 

“By focusing on the biology of cancer, we are able to create potential new therapies that uniquely target the disease, impede multiple growth triggers and can be used at different times during the course of treatment,” Genentech chief medical officer and EVP global development Hal Barron stated. “Biomarker research is involved in each of our cancer development programs in order to help us identify which patients may respond best to our medicines.”

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