PHARMACY

FDA grants priority review for Benlysta

BY Alaric DeArment

LONDON The Food and Drug Administration has decided to expedite the review of an investigational drug made by GlaxoSmithKline and Human Genome Sciences for an autoimmune disorder, the two companies said Thursday. The companies submitted a regulatory approval application to the agency in early June.

The FDA granted priority review designation to Benlysta (belimumab) as a treatment for systemic lupus erythematosus, often simply called lupus, an inflammatory disorder that affects the internal organs, joints and skin, and can be fatal in its severest forms. The FDA grants the designation to drugs that address life-threatening conditions or provide therapeutic options where no adequate ones exist.

“We believe that the priority review designation speaks both to the significant medical need of people living with lupus and to the potential belimumab may hold as a new treatment option for these patients,” HGS president and CEO H. Thomas Watkins said.

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PHARMACY

New mobile application keeps pharmacy customers in touch

BY Alaric DeArment

FORT WORTH, Texas Pharmacy technology company PDX and mobile application maker Acclaim Telecom Services will integrate Acclaim’s Smart Mobile RX application with PDX pharmacy systems.

The integration will allow pharmacies to reach patients through text messages, emails and voice reminders regarding refills and other services. The product will be shown at the National Association of Chain Drug Stores’ Pharmacy and Technology Conference in San Diego later this month.

“By partnering with PDX, Acclaim’s Smart Mobile RX can be rapidly deployed by pharmacies across the spectrum of mobile phones in use by consumers,” Acclaim president James Davis said in a statement. “Pharmacy smart phone customers have the added benefit of downloading a branded mobile application from their respective phone providers’ application store.”

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PHARMACY

Richard Salazar joins Pharmacy First’s Rx$hare program

BY Allison Cerra

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. A national network of retail community pharmacies has named a new manufacturer contracting director for a retail program designed to generate significant, incremental revenue for such businesses.

Pharmacy First announced Monday that Richard Salazar would join its Rx$hare program. Salazar will be responsible for all manufacturer contracts and programs under the Rx$hare program banner, which include market share programs, awareness programs, launch programs and Compliance Services, a direct-mail, patient-focused adherence model.

Prior to joining Pharmacy First, Salazar was national director of Rx and business development for AmerisourceBergen for six years.

“Clearly, with the retail pharmacy arena changing so quickly, we needed a person who knows the terrain and has contacts throughout the pharma industry. Additionally, we needed a person who understands the value of making and maintaining solid business relationships,” said Brian Huckle, Wholesale Alliance/Pharmacy First CEO. “Our board of directors is excited about getting someone like Rick to join our team, and we remain extremely excited about the opportunities available for independent pharmacies, and the solutions Pharmacy First offers to them.”

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