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Pfizer reports mixed results in late-stage clinical trial

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Pfizer reported mixed results this week in a late-stage clinical trial combining two drugs in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer.

The drug maker said the combination of Pfizer’s Sutent (sunitinib) and Tarceva (erlotinib), made by Genentech and OSI Pharmaceuticals, kept the disease from progressing, but did not improve patients’ overall survival, which was the trial’s primary goal. The company expects to present results at the European Society for Medical Oncology Congress in Milan in October.

“While this trial did not demonstrate a statistically significant improvement in overall survival for patients treated with sunitinib plus erlotinib, we believe that the statistically significant improvement in progression-free survival is an important finding,” Pfizer oncology business unit SVP clinical development and medical affairs Mace Rothenberg said in a statement.

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Target to provide flu immunizations in pharmacies and clinics

BY Jim Frederick

MINNEAPOLIS Gearing up for flu season, Target will launch its nationwide flu vaccination program at its more than 1,600 pharmacies and Target Clinic locations beginning Sept. 1.

Target pharmacists and clinicians will administer the flu shots, at a cost of $24, during regular pharmacy and in-store clinic hours, including weekday evenings and weekends. Target Clinic locations also will offer the nasal spray for $36.

No appointment will be necessary for flu shots, which will protect against both the seasonal flu and H1N1 virus. The company said it would “accept many major insurance plans, which may cover the full cost of the flu vaccine.”

Keri Jones, Target SVP merchandising, said the goal will be to make the 1,743-store chain “the complete prevention destination.”

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CDMA hires Fruth Pharmacy vet as SVP

BY Antoinette Alexander

NOVI, Mich. The Chain Drug Marketing Association last week named Bob Messick to the newly created position of SVP.

“Bob’s past retail experience with Fruth Pharmacy for 28 years will be a positive addition to our CDMA staff,” stated Jim Devine, president of CDMA. “Bob has also served on the CDMA board of directors and CDMA strategic planning committee. His knowledge from having served in these positions will be a great asset to CDMA.”

In the past two years, CDMA has experienced 25% growth in sales and membership.

Messick’s responsibilities at CDMA will include purchasing, marketing and advertising. He will report directly to Devine and will start Aug. 30. Messick has relocated from West Virginia to Brighton, Mich., with his wife, Julia, and their three sons.

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