Study shows discontinuing MS drug may worsen symptoms
A new report states that people who were taking the drug Tysabri for multiple sclerosis and then stopped have experienced a recurrence of brain lesions.
Experts, though, are calling for more studies because the current one only involved a few people. The study’s finding is in contrast to another study which said that people who stopped taking the drug did not show any rebound.
“They varied enough that both might be right, but we just don’t know that yet,” said Dr. John Richert, executive vice president of research and clinical programs at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in New York City.
The drug works by attaching itself to white blood cells called lymphocytes and preventing them from entering the brain, where they do damage that causes the disabling symptoms of MS. Tysabri had also been used to treat Crohn’s disease.
The drug though has been shrouded in controversy since; it was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in November 2004. It was taken off the market after three months because patients in clinical trials were developing a deadly viral brain infection. The drug was then allowed back on the market in June 2006, with new guidelines concerning administration of the drug.
GSK will supply over 30 million doses of flu vaccines to U.S. this season
PHILADELPHIA The influenza virus vaccines Fluarix and FluLaval from GlaxoSmithKline will have a combined total of 30 million to 35 million doses supplied to the U.S. markets for the 2007-08 influenza season.
The vaccines will be delivered in phased approach for the rest of September and all of October with completion occurring at the end of October. “Providing an ample and steadily growing supply of flu vaccine has been a priority for GlaxoSmithKline since entering the U.S. market in 2004,” said David Pernock, senior vice president of GSK. “Over the years, GSK has significantly increased its influenza vaccine manufacturing capacity, and we have taken steps to improve the way this product is distributed to those who need it.”
Last year, the company sent about 25 million doses of the drugs for flu season.
NACDS pledges to award at least $100,000 in scholarships
ALEXANDRIA, Va. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation is pledging to award at least $100,000 this year in scholarships, and has begun accepting applications.
Last year, 40 students were awarded a scholarship, an increase of three from 2005, and this year it looks like the foundation wants to add award the scholarship of $2,000 to at least 50 students. Also, some select recipients will receive named scholarships in the amount of $2,500, in addition to the $2,000 scholarship.
Applicants must be at least in their second year of pharmacy school, as well as have experience and the desire to work in a chain community pharmacy.
“The NACDS Foundation is continuously committed to advancing the pharmacy industry for the good of the public. An important part of our industry is its future, and that is what these students represent,” said Phil Schneider, NACDS Foundation president. The deadline for all applications is Oct. 19.