PHARMACY

Wal-Mart plans to open pharmacy on UC campus

BY Alaric DeArment

CHARLESTON, W. Va. The University of Charleston’s pharmacy school will get a Wal-Mart pharmacy that will give students hands-on experience in their profession.

The pharmacy will open in two months and will be a full-service pharmacy, filling prescriptions and selling over-the-counter medicines.

In addition to employing students, it will also have a full-time pharmacist who will serve as an adjunct faculty member at the school.

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Study questions Lipitor’s efficacy for women

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK A study published in the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies has shown that Pfizer’s blockbuster drug Lipitor does little to reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems in women.

The study was based on analysis of previous studies on drugs’ effects on cardiovascular health in men and women. Studies had shown that the reduction in heart attack risk was statistically significant in men who used Lipitor (atorvastatin calcium), but not in women.

“Our findings indicate that each year, reasonably health women spend billions of dollars on drugs in the hope of preventing heart attacks but that scientific evidence supporting their hope does not exist.”

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Study shows long-term use of Avonex improves quality of life

BY Alaric DeArment

MONTREAL Data from a study has shown long-term benefits among patients using Avonex to treat relapsing multiple sclerosis, drug maker Biogen Idec announced Thursday.

The study—called Assessment of Drug Utilization, Early Treatment and Clinical Outcomes, or ASSURANCE—represented a long-term follow-up of patients who participated in the Multiple Sclerosis Collaborative Research Group, the original phase III pivotal trial from which Avonex (interferon beta-1a IM) was approved.

“As a physician, my goal in treating my MS patients is to delay disability progression and help them maintain their normal lifestyle for as long as possible,” said Robert Bermel of the Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis Treatment and Research at the Cleveland Clinic. “This follow-up study identifies a group of patients who achieved benefits from long-term treatment and underscores the importance of starting on and continuing an effective therapy for MS.”

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