Smith Drug president, Couch, wins plaudits for industry service
ARLINGTON, Va. The Center for Healthcare Supply Chain Research and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals have named Smith Drug Co. president Ken Couch winner of the 2008 NEXUS Award for Lifetime Achievement for his work on behalf of pharmacy and community health care.
The award, presented at the Healthcare Distribution Management Association’s 2008 Annual Leadership Forum, goes each year to an industry representative for “leadership, exemplary service and professional excellence in the healthcare industry and the community.”
Couch, a pharmacist, is past chairman of the wholesale drug industry group, and has also served as chairman of its Government and Public Policy Council. He was also recognized for his business and civic leadership in Spartanburg, S.C.
“Ken’s leadership, experience, knowledge and enthusiasm have been tremendous assets to the healthcare industry,” said John Gray, HDMA president and chief executive officer.
Over his career, Couch has held positions as a pharmacist, computer systems manager, marketing director and currently, president of Smith Drug, a division of JM Smith Corporation. He also has served on several HDMA committees, including the Executive Committee, the Federal Government Affairs Committee and the Investment Committee.
FDA approves Mylan’s generic drug for treating epilepsy
ROCKVILLE, Md. The Food and Drug Administration has approved Mylan’s levetiracetam tablets, FDA records show.
The tablets, a generic version of UCB’s epilepsy drug Keppra, will be available in 250 mg, 500 mg and 750 mg dosages.
The agency’s records indicate an approval date of Nov. 4 and that Mylan’s is the first generic version of Keppra.
Study shows Gardasil is effective in prevention of HPV in males
ATLANTA A vaccine used to prevent genital warts in girls and women works in boys and men, too.
A study of Gardasil funded by its manufacturer, Merck, has shown that the vaccine is effective in preventing infection human papillomavirus in boys and men as well as in girls and women. The study took place in 20 countries among 4,000 boys and men aged 16 to 26, including more than 1,000 in the United States.
Regulatory agencies in 40 countries have approved Gardasil for use in males, but not the Food and Drug Administration, which has approved it only for females aged 9 to 26 because of the lack of evidence of efficacy in males.
Now, however, Merck plans to ask the FDA to extend approval to males. As yet, there is no evidence that the vaccine prevents HPV-related cancers in males.