PHARMACY

Drake pharmacy school seeks partners for entrepreneurial internship program

BY Jim Frederick

DES MOINES, Iowa Drake University’s school of pharmacy wants your help.

The school said today it is seeking community pharmacy partners for an internship program supported in part by a grant from the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation.

Under the new program, Drake will recruit for independent and/or chain community pharmacy partners to participate in the college’s entrepreneurial leadership internship program, which launches next summer.

The internship program, developed by Drake’s DELTA Rx Institute, will allow pharmacy partners to pair with Drake student pharmacists. The goal, according to Drake spokesperson Renae Chesnut, is to “help them develop entrepreneurial leadership skills needed to advance the profession of pharmacy by proactively identifying and pursuing new opportunities to create value for patients and society.”

Student pharmacists selected for the program will participate in a 10-week, 40-hour internship. Activities directed by Drake faculty include: the Shaping Your Pharmacy Future training program, online discussions, conference calls, special projects and student presentations, according to Chesnut.

Community pharmacies interested in participating can submit an e-mail letter of interest by Nov. 15, 2008, to the DELTA Rx Institute at deltarx@drake.edu. Letters should include examples of innovative/entrepreneurial endeavors on the part of the company, preceptors or contact persons, a description of how the intern would be utilized and other information.

Applicants will be notified by Dec. 1, 2008, of their participation along with further plans for recruitment and selection of students. Additional information is available online at http://www.deltarx.com. For more information, contact Renae Chesnut and the DELTA Rx Institute by sending an e-mail to deltarx@drake.edu or calling 515-271-3018.

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Rheumatoid arthritis drugs don’t affect cancer risk, researchers find

BY Alaric DeArment

CHICAGO Spanish researchers have found that drugs for rheumatoid arthritis called TNF blockers don’t appear to increase the risk of cancer, the researchers announced Saturday.

The drugs block a protein called the tumor necrosis factor, which is part of the immune system and is linked to arthritic inflammation. Some studies have shown that they increase the risk of cancer because they suppress the immune system, but the researchers did not find a statistical difference between the two groups of patients studied.

The research included one group of 4,500 people who took TNF blockers between 2001 and 2007, and another that included data from between 1999 and 2005 from almost 800 people who did not take the drugs.

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FDA approves Barr extended-cycle oral contraceptive

BY Alaric DeArment

MONTVALE, N.J. The Food and Drug Administration has approved a Barr Pharmaceuticals subsidiary’s application for a new oral contraceptive, Barr said Monday.

The FDA approved Duramed Pharmaceuticals’ drug LoSeasonique (levonorgestrel/ethinyl estradiol tablets and ethynyl estradiol tablets).

Barr said the drug is the first lower-dose, extended-cycle oral contraceptive. Under the extended-cycle regimen, women take combination tablets containing 0.1 mg of levonorgestrel and 0.02 mg of ethinyl estradiol for 84 consecutive days, followed by tablets containing 0.01 mg of ethinyl estradiol for seven days. The regimen is designed to reduce the number of withdrawal bleeding periods from 13 to four per year.

“As a leader in women’s health, Duramed is committed to continuing to develop new products that provide women a choice as they discuss birth control options with their healthcare providers,” Duramed chief executive officer Fred Wilkinson said.

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