PHARMACY

Wyeth to eliminate additional 1,200 positions

BY Drew Buono

MADISON, N.J. Wyeth has announced plans to eliminate 2 percent of its worldwide jobs, which equals about 1,200 positions, according to published reports. This is in addition to the 1,200 sales jobs the company eliminated last month.

Back in late January, it was reported that the company had planned on cutting up to 5,000 jobs over the next three years.

Company spokesman Doug Petkus said the latest job reductions will “affect all facilities worldwide” and “cut across a variety of job types.” Petkus declined to say how many workers would be affected in Massachusetts, but the company started to notify employees last Friday.

Petkus said the company is making the cuts to reduce expenses in response to declining revenue from its bestselling heartburn drug Protonix, which now faces competition from generic versions.

The company employees about 50,000 people.

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FDA approves first U.S. drug for IBS-C

BY Adam Kraemer

WASHINGTON Takeda and Sucampo Pharmaceuticals’ Amitiza, indicated for treatment of irritable bowel syndrome with constipation, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration for women over the age of 18, according to published reports.

IBS, an ailment characterized by cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, constipation and diarrhea, affects twice as many women as men, the FDA said. The reason for Amitiza’s approval for women only, however, was based on a lack of proof that the drug was effective for men.

“For some people IBS can be quite disabling, making it difficult for them to fully participate in everyday activities,” said Julie Beitz of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “This drug represents an important step in helping to provide medical relief from their symptoms.”

Amitiza (lubiprostone) is already approved for the treatment of chronic idiopathic constipation, though at a much higher dosage than for treatment of IBS-C.

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CDC says more than 25% of children not receiving recommended vaccinations

BY Drew Buono

WASHINGTON According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than a quarter of children in the U.S. are not meeting childhood vaccinations in accordance with government recommendation, according to Reuters. The study was of children between the ages of 18 months and 3-years-old.

The report went beyond studying if children were getting the recommended number of doses of various vaccines by, examining whether the children were getting them at the right time.

CDC researchers found that 28 percent did not meet vaccination recommendations. The results were based on a 2005 government survey involving 17,563 U.S. children in that age group.

Missed doses accounted for about two-thirds of those not in compliance. The rest of the children got them at the wrong age or too soon after a previous dose to be considered completely effective. Using the usual method of examining only whether children got the right number of doses, 81 percent of the children met government recommendations, according to the CDC.

The CDC recommends a number of vaccines to protect children against diseases like measles, polio, mumps, chicken pox and several others. Some require multiple doses.

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