PHARMACY

Walgreens announces internal exec shifts

BY DSN STAFF

DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreens today announced the promotion of Kenneth Amos from director to divisional vice president of loss prevention and named William “Tom” Grayson to the new position of vice president of pharmacy acquisitions. Grayson previously served as vice president of store operations.

“Ken’s new position recognizes the growing importance of loss prevention to our business,” stated chairman and chief executive officer Jeffrey Rein. “Under his direction, Walgreens has become a leader working with other retailers and law enforcement in fighting organized retail crime. Ken looks at loss prevention from a realistic, business view and trains our staffs to prevent problems, as opposed to reacting once they occur.”

Amos joined Walgreens in 1973 as a stock clerk when he was in high school and continued to work for the company after graduating college. He was named a store manager in 1981, was promoted to district manager in 1990 and was named director of loss prevention in 2002.

Grayson, as vice president of pharmacy acquisitions, will direct Walgreens pharmacy acquisitions through prescription file buyouts and purchases of smaller drugstore chains.

“These transactions work out well for both us and the local pharmacy owner,” stated Rein. “Tom’s pharmacy and operations background will help us find the right opportunities and ensure smooth transitions for these new patients and employees.”

Grayson joined the company in 1968 and became a store manager in 1972. He was promoted to district manager in 1989 and then to vice president of store operations in 2003.

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PHARMACY

Amgen, Wyeth revise labeling for Enbrel

BY Drew Buono

PHILADELPHIA and THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. Amgen and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals have informed health care professionals of revisions to prescribing information for their rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis medication Enbrel.

The revisions include a boxed warning about infections, including serious infections leading to hospitalization or death that have been observed in patients treated with Enbrel.

Infections have included bacterial sepsis and tuberculosis. The adverse reactions section of the label was updated to include information regarding global clinical studies and the rate of occurrence of tuberculosis in patients treated with Enbrel.

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FDA approves Advair for wider use with COPD patients

BY Drew Buono

WASHINGTON The Food and Drug Administration has approved GlaxoSmithKline’s asthma drug Advair to be used more widely to treat patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, according to published reports. The drug had been approved to prevent wheezing and control other symptoms in COPD patients.

GSK’s approval comes the same day as rival AstraZeneca said it also was seeking FDA approval to sell its drug Symbicort for COPD.

COPD, an often-fatal lung condition with no cure, is a major market with more than 12 million Americans suffering from the disease, and another 12 million who are likely not diagnosed, according to the National Institutes of Health.

The FDA’s approval allows GSK to promote its product to COPD patients who experience flare-ups of the disease, which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

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