PHARMACY

Target’s ClearRx named Design of the Decade

BY Jim Frederick

MINNEAPOLIS – Target called it “pharmacy rethought from the bottle up” when it was introduced more than five years ago. Now, the company’s breakthrough ClearRx packaging innovation for prescription drugs has been named Design of the Decade by the Industrial Designers Society of America.

Target unveiled ClearRx in 2005 as part of a campaign to boost sales, customer loyalty and awareness of the services offered by its pharmacies. The chain’s pharmacy leaders presented the innovative ClearRx D-shaped bottle design as a solution to the communication, packaging and system deficiencies encountered by users of maintenance drugs, including the elderly.

The system incorporates an upside-down, wide-mouthed bottle with a personalized, color-coded ID ring system for each member of the family, which fits beneath the bottle cap, and an easy-to-read label with larger type and clear instructions. It’s designed to make it easier for patients to adhere to their drug dosage regimen and avoid drug-safety issues, company officials said.

The design awards, sponsored by Teague, are given in recognition of the positive impact that design has on business and society, according to IDSA. “After thorough evaluation of all of the entrants for the 2010 Designs of the Decade competition, ClearRx was the unanimous choice of the jury,” said Masco chief design officer Charles Jones. “There was complete alignment around the aesthetic, functional and societal benefits of the product.”

Jones called ClearRx “an elegant design solution helping millions of users. Target is to be commended for helping to bring such a thoughtful, well designed solution to the marketplace."

Keri Jones, Target’s SVP in charge of health and beauty merchandising, said the company is “thrilled to be honored with this award because great design is a part of our DNA at Target. We brought this same belief of improving people’s lives through great design to Target Pharmacy in a meaningful way with the introduction of ClearRx.”

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FDA panel backs Contrave

BY Alaric DeArment

SAN DIEGO — A Food and Drug Administration advisory committee has recommended approval for an investigational diet pill.

Orexigen Therapeutics and Takeda Pharmaceutical announced Tuesday that the FDA Endocrinologic and Metabolic Drugs Advisory Committee voted 13-7 that clinical trial data demonstrated that the benefits of the drug Contrave (naltrexone and bupropion) outweighed its risk and supported approval. The committee also voted 11-8 to recommend a study to examine Contrave’s effect on risk for cardiac disease.

“We are encouraged by the panel’s view of the risk-benefit profile of Contrave,” Orexigen president and CEO Michael Narachi said. “We look forward to continued discussions with the FDA regarding the design of a post-marketing study to evaluate cardiovascular risk and to address the questions raised at the meeting today in preparation for our [Prescription Drug User Fee Act] action date in January.”

Diet pills for treating overweight and obese patients have been a tough sell for the FDA. The agency declined to approve such drugs as Vivus’ Qnexa (phentermine and topiramate) and Arena Pharmaceuticals’ Lorquess (lorcaserin) while requesting that Abbott’s Meridia (sibutramine) be removed from the market due to safety concerns.

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J&J’s bid to acquire Crucell gains full support

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — Johnson & Johnson made its courtship with Dutch biotech company Crucell official by acquiring all of the company for $2.3 billion, the two companies said Wednesday.

In a deal that won the full support of Crucell’s management, J&J will pay $32.74 per share for the remainder of Crucell that it doesn’t already own; J&J indirectly controls around 18% of Crucell’s stock through a Dutch affiliate, while Delta Lloyd Asset Management, Robeco and the Van Herk Group control around 15.5%, according to published reports.

J&J said it would maintain Crucell’s headquarters in Leiden, Netherlands, and keep it as the center for vaccines within J&J’s pharmaceuticals division; it also would keep the company’s senior management and “generally” keep its current staff intact.

J&J originally announced its intention to buy the remainder of Crucell in September, receiving backing from Crucell in early October. Prior to its acquisition by Pfizer, Wyeth also had considered buying Crucell in January 2009.

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