PHARMACY

FDA approves Abilify for add-on antidepressant treatment

BY Drew Buono

PRINCETON, N.J. and TOKYO The Food and Drug Administration has approved the supplemental application for Abilify, made by Bristol-Myers Squibb and Otsuka Pharmaceutical, as an add-on treatment for antidepressant therapy in adults with major depressive disorder.

The approval is based on results from two six-week, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, multi-center studies. The results from both studies showed significant improvement in depressive symptoms in adult patients with a primary diagnosis of major depressive disorder who had experienced an inadequate response to monotherapy with one or more antidepressant therapies in the current episode and then added Abilify to their treatment regimens.

“The approval of this new add-on treatment option is critical for adults suffering from depression who cannot find sufficient relief for their symptoms with antidepressants alone,” said Madhukar Trivedi, professor and chief-division of mood disorders, University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Dallas, Texas. “Now physicians have a proven new option they can add to their patients’ antidepressant treatments to help them feel better and relieve unresolved depressive symptoms.”

Abilify is regularly indicated for the treatment of schizophrenia and manic episodes associated with Bipolar I Disorder.

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PHARMACY

Kerr Drug holds grand opening of second community care center

BY Allison Cerra

RALEIGH, N.C. Kerr Drug, the pharmacy chain “pioneering community pharmacy care” in 102 retail locations throughout The Carolinas, announces the opening of its second community health care center at 1050 South Horner Blvd in Sanford, N.C. The grand opening will take place today, beginning at 9 a.m.

“We made a conscious decision—a commitment—to provide North Carolinians with a comprehensive health care facility focused on their overall health,” said Anthony Civello, president and chief executive officer of Kerr Drug. ”To have developed this commitment into a new industry and life-changing center is a wonderful accomplishment for the entire Kerr Drug family.”

An industry-unique facility focused extensively on the complete health of its patients, the new center is set to revolutionize the way residents of North Carolina receive pharmacy and healthcare services. This new prototype combines the community health care center with a large, fully merchandised retail drug store and a Seattle’s Best cafe, offering beverages and foods in a relaxing environment.

The center will also offer expanded clinical pharmacy services, and provide a variety of private one-on-one patient services, intervention and education performed by health professionals, such as a physician’s assistant, clinical pharmacists, weight loss/nutritionists specialists and respiratory therapists.

Areas throughout the new center will be devoted to cardiac and lung health, women’s care, advanced skin and foot care, breast-feeding support and other specialty departments. A complete line of health screenings will be also available, including cholesterol, bone density, artery disease, glucose, respiratory and blood pressure.

For patients with otherwise limited access to these services, the new center represents a convenient and cost-effective way to receive professional preventative health care. It will also be equipped with a state-of-the-art “Healthy Living” durable medical equipment section for patients needing walkers, hospital beds, mobility and safety equipment, and home health care items.

“This center will set the standard for pharmacy care and will positively impact the health care landscape in North Carolina and the entire country,” said Civello.

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Schering-Plough completes buyout of Organon for more than $14 billion

BY Drew Buono

KENILWORTH, N.J. Schering-Plough has completed its buyout of the biopharmaceutical company Organon BioSciences NV for about $14.43 billion in cash.

This is the completion of a deal first announced on March 12, and now expands Schering-Plough’s late-stage product pipeline and human health business. The deal provides Schering-Plough with five additional Phase III projects and furthers its reach into pharmaceutical franchises for women’s health and the central nervous system. The experimental products include an oral contraceptive, an asthma treatment and an HIV drug.

Schering-Plough’s prescription products will now include Organon’s fertility treatment Follistim, muscle relaxant Zemuron and vaginal contraceptive ring NuvaRing.

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