PHARMACY

Traveling exhibit seeks to become diabetes education resource

BY Allison Cerra

JERSEY CITY, N.J. An interactive traveling exhibit, developed by Sanofi-Aventis and the Detroit Science Center, hopes to shed light on diabetes.

Diabetes: A Deeper Look seeks to help Americans understand diabetes, available diabetes treatment options and the role insulin plays in the body. The exhibit, which resembles a giant walk-through blood vessel, opens Thursday at Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, N.J., and will commence a national, 12-destination tour through 2012.

“In our role as a relevant educational resource, Liberty Science Center is very pleased to host this engaging exhibit that will enlighten New Jersey and New York residents about diabetes, one of America’s leading health issues,” said Emlyn Koster, president and CEO of Liberty Science Center. “Diabetes: A Deeper Look conveys important messages about diabetes to all ages and stages of learning, and we are delighted to partner with Sanofi-Aventis U.S. to provide our diverse visitors with this hands-on learning experience.”

With more than 40,000 LED lights pulsating to the sound of a heartbeat, visitors to the eye-catching exhibition enter through a giant cell structure that simulates insulin’s role in getting glucose (sugar) to provide energy to cells. Inside and around the vessel, hands-on interactive exhibits and displays explain the role of insulin in the body; how people can be affected by diabetes; the importance of diet and exercise as the first line of defense in preventing and managing Type 2 diabetes; the types of medications used to help control blood sugar levels, including insulin; and the research and discovery of medications used to help treat diabetes.

“With nearly 24 million Americans living with diabetes, including an estimated 5.7 million who remain undiagnosed, educational efforts like Diabetes: A Deeper Look are part of our commitment at Sanofi-Aventis U.S. to raise awareness among the public about diabetes and the importance of blood sugar control,” said Paul Chew, chief science officer/chief medical officer, Sanofi-Aventis. “Sanofi-Aventis U.S. is proud to work with the Detroit Science Center, Liberty Science Center and additional venues nationwide to educate people about diabetes, and more specifically, to explain the important role of insulin and how the body is affected when it does not effectively use or produce enough insulin.”

Admission to the exhibit is free to visitors with paid museum admission. For more information about the exhibit and the national tour, visit www.DiabetesADeeperLook.com.

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After flooding, power outage in Rhode Island, CVS/pharmacy up and running

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS/pharmacy has restored the pharmacy computer system in its stores after massive flooding in Rhode Island caused a national computer system outage that impacted all of the chain’s 7,000 pharmacies.

CVS spokesperson Mike DeAngelis told Drug Store News that service was restored to its pharmacies Tuesday evening between 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

For the most part, stores were able to fill prescriptions, but they were unable to process the insurance claims. As a result, pharmacists were instructed to complete all prescription requests and keep records for insurance purposes.

The CVS headquarters in Woonsocket lost power mid afternoon. It was one of several office complexes affected by flooding problems at local power substations, according to a local news report. The power loss caused the widespread computer outage.

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FDA: Stalevo may increase male patients’ risk of cancer

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. Data from a long-term clinical trial may indicate a possible cancer risk in men taking a drug for treating Parkinson’s disease, the Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday.

The agency notified healthcare professionals and patients that it was evaluating data from the STRIDE-PD trial indicating a possible risk of prostate cancer in patients taking the Novartis drug Stalevo (carbidopa, levodopa and entacapone). It cautioned, however, that it had not concluded that a risk existed and that other clinical trials evaluating Stalevo and a related drug, Comtan (entacapone), did not show an increased prostate cancer risk.

Novartis issued the following statement in response to the FDA report: “Novartis is coordinating with the FDA as it evaluates data from the STRIDE-PD study related to an unexpected imbalance in reports of prostate cancer cases. STRIDE-PD was conducted in patients with early Parkinson’s disease to investigate a potential new indication outside the terms of the current label. Previous controlled clinical trials have not found an increased risk of prostate cancer.”

Stalevo and Comtan had collective sales of $217 million in 2009, according to Novartis financial reports.

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