PHARMACY

Study shows bacteria becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics

BY Diana Alickaj

CHICAGO A new study shows that soil microbes have become resistant to even the world’s most potent antibiotics.

According to published reports, the study extracted soil microbes—taken from 11 sites—that were able to withstand antibiotics 50 times more than the normal standard for bacterial resistance.

The research was conducted by George Church, a geneticist at Harvard Medical School, whose initial plan was to find organisms in the soil that were able to remove toxins from cellulose. According to published reports, the soil organisms easily defeated the toxins of the cellulose, which gives plants their structure, but when tested against antibiotics they found that the microbes actually grew on almost all of the antibiotics.

According to published reports, the antibiotics used in the study were penicillin and ciproflaxin, which are very well known and used often. Although the bacteria were of a type not dangerous to humans, it had properties very close to groups of bacteria that infect people with cystic fibrosis and Serratia marceescens, which causes blood infections.

The study confirms that throughout the years, bacteria have increasingly grown more and more resistant to antibiotics, which serves as a growing concern for geneticists.

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PHARMACY

Rite Aid posts sales increase for March

BY Michael Johnsen

CAMP HILL, Pa. Rite Aid on Thursday reported a same-store sales increase of 2.6 percent (which does not yet include the Brooks/Eckerd acquired stores) for the four weeks ended March 29.

Pharmacy same-store sales increased 1 percent, which included an approximate 493 basis points negative impact from new generic introductions. Front-end same-store sales were up 5.7 percent. March same store sales were positively affected by a shift to a March Easter this year from an April Easter last year (March 23 this year as compared to April 8 last year).

Total drug store sales for the four-week period increased 50.7 percent to $2 billion. Prescription revenue accounted for 67.6 percent of drugstore sales, and third party prescription revenue represented 96.2 percent of pharmacy sales.

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FDA grants orphan designation for MELAS syndrome drug

BY Diana Alickaj

WASHINGTON Sirtris Pharmaceuticals has been granted orphan drug designation for resveratrol by the Food and Drug Administration, according to published reports.

Resveratrol is a drug used to treat MELAS syndrome, a progressive fatal aging disease that produces symptoms of muscle weakness, fatigue, recurrent headaches and seizures. The government’s grant is usually offered in cases in which companies are discovering treatments for rare drugs, and the grant would allow the company to speed up their testing period.

Sitris has decided to focus on the SIRT1 gene, which is a gene tied to the aging process. SIRT1 is being studied as a possible source in treating MELAS or type 2 diabetes. According to published reports, the grant has resulted in Sitris being offered seven years of marketing exclusivity for its formulation of resveratrol.

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