PHARMACY

Teen smokers reject nicotine nasal spray

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK A study published in the journal Pediatrics suggests that teenagers are not more likely to quit smoking if they use nicotine nasal spray.

Teenagers using the spray, which usually works in adults, complained of side effects such as burning in the nostrils, foul smells and others and stopped using it altogether or didn’t use it often enough.

Other treatments often didn’t work either. Nicotine patches, for example, gave doses too large, leading to jumpiness and nightmares, but doses still didn’t relieve nicotine cravings.

The study involved 40 teenagers aged 15 to 18 who smoked at least five cigarettes a day over the previous six months. The teenagers were divided into groups who received eight weeks of counseling, six weeks of the spray or a combination of the two treatments. The researchers found no difference between the groups that received the counseling only and the counseling plus the spray. Among those who received the spray only, 57 percent stopped after a week.

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PHARMACY

UI sues Amgen over patent infringement

BY Alaric DeArment

IOWA CITY, Iowa A major biotech company has trouble with the University of Iowa.

The university is suing Amgen, alleging that it has knowingly infringed on its patents for several years, specifically in its manufacture of drugs such as the rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis treatment Enbrel (etanercept).

The university is demanding unspecified damages from the Thousand Oaks, Calif., company.

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Take Care adds four new vaccines to its program

BY Antoinette Alexander

CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. Take Care Health Systems, which is owned by Walgreens, has expanded its vaccine program with four new vaccines.

The new vaccination suite includes varicella (chickenpox); measles, mumps and rubella (MMR); pneumococcal (PPV); and human pappilomavirus (HPV).

These vaccinations—in addition to hepatitis B, menactra (meningitis), shingles, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (Tdap) and tetanus booster (Td)—are now available at all 223 Take Care clinics within Walgreens.

Flu shots will also be available from Oct. 1 through early 2009.

“Vaccinations are the cornerstone of disease prevention and health promotion,” stated Sandy Ryan, chief nurse practitioner officer at Take Care Health Systems. “Routine immunizations are critical for both children and adults. Adults should ensure they are up to date on recommended vaccines to prevent against common, yet serious, diseases.”

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