PHARMACY

NACDS mourns passing of its first president

BY DSN STAFF

ALEXANDRIA, Va. Drug Store News has learned of the passing of former—and first—NACDS president and chief executive officer Bob Bolger, who died early Monday morning. The following is from NACDS president Steve Anderson:

On the Passing of Robert J. Bolger 

I must share with the members and partners of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores the sad news that Bob Bolger passed away early in the morning on Monday, Oct. 8. Bob served NACDS honorably, energetically and successfully from 1962 to 1987, and was elected as NACDS’ first president and chief executive officer in 1967. Subsequently, he served as a member of the NACDS Honorary Board. 

NACDS remembers Bob as a committed family man, as the consummate trade association leader and as an effective advocate for the members whom NACDS represents. It is an appropriate reflection of Bob’s life first to offer condolences and warm remembrances to his wife, Helen, to their six children and their children’s spouses, and eight grandchildren.

Bob’s leadership forged both the philosophical identity and physical home of NACDS. He understood, and sought to address, the needs of a diverse membership in an evolving business and public policy environment. He led the initiative to secure the land and construct NACDS’ current headquarters offices in Alexandria, Va. Indeed, we owe much of who we are to Bob Bolger. 

Prior to joining NACDS, Bob worked with front-end and pharmaceutical suppliers, Kraft Foods Company and Smith Kline & French Laboratories. His keen recognition of the importance of bringing chains and suppliers together manifested itself, among other ways, in the creation of the NACDS Marketplace Conference. He also appreciated the changing composition and needs of regional and national chain members, as well as the increasing implications to the membership of government programs. He saw the changes, foresaw their implications, and knew how to work with other leaders through the Association to address them. 

Bob contributed valuably to the association community beyond NACDS, serving in leadership positions in several pharmacy, retail and business associations, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He is remembered by the NACDS staff as a leader who inspired excellence in association management, and who equipped his team with the professional development and resources necessary to do their jobs and advance their careers. To remember the vibrant life of Bob Bolger, and on behalf of his family, we invite you to participate as you are able in the following arrangements: 

Visitation Wednesday, October 10, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  Demaine Funeral Home 520 S. Washington Street, Alexandria, Virginia

Mass of Christian Burial 

 Thursday, October 11, at 10:30 a.m. St. Mary’s Catholic Church 310 S. Royal Street, Alexandria, Virginia Interment will follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery 

Memorial Contributions and Expressions of Sympathy In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Bob’s name to:  Office of University Development Villanova University

 800 Lancaster Avenue Villanova, PA 19085

Alternatively, contributions may be made in Bob’s name to: LaSalle College High School 8605 Cheltenham Avenue Wyndmoor, PA19038

Finally, expressions of sympathy can be sent to Helen and the family at: Helen Bolger 7705 Maid Marian Court Alexandria, VA 22306

Please join all of us in remembering fondly and appreciating fully the legacy of Bob Bolger.

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FluMist may be used in $2.5 billion federal program

BY Allison Cerra

GAITHERSBURG, Md. MedImmune’s nasal spray flu vaccine may be used in the $2.5 billion federal Vaccines for Children Program, the company said.

The Gaithersburg, Md.-based company has already begun shipping 4.5 million doses of refrigerated FluMist for the 2007-08 influenza season to customers in the United States and to U.S. military bases overseas.

In late September, the Food and Drug Administration approved expanding FluMist’s use to include children from 2 to 4 years old. The vaccine was previously approved for healthy people 5 to 49.

A Centers for Disease Control independent committee of 15 immunologists will decide whether to recommend FluMist for young children in the Vaccines for Children Program. That panel is scheduled to meet Oct. 28.

“The more we can do to vaccinate more children against this disease is very, very important,” said MedImmune spokeswoman Karen Lancaster.

Officials say 45 percent of children in the United States receive vaccines through the children’s program and the committee is the only body that determines what vaccines are included. It provides vaccines free to children without insurance and others.

The FDA approval for expanded use with younger children follows its OK in January of a refrigerated, rather than frozen, version of FluMist. While injected flu vaccines use a killed virus, FluMist uses a weakened live virus.

“It is a wonderful step in the evolution of FluMist that no longer do we have to have the frozen storage for the provider,” Lancaster said. “It opened some doors that may have been closed. With the approval of the refrigerated FluMist and expansion [to younger children], we have turned a corner with FluMist. We think there is an exciting future.”

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NIH funds study on patient comliance

BY Drew Buono

ATLANTA PharmaCentra, a marketing and services firm that provides customizable healthcare management programs for the pharmaceutical industry, the Rollins School of Public Health, and the Department of Ophthalmology at the School of Medicine at Emory University will conduct a study of new technology to increase patient adherence to prescribed treatment regimens.

The study, which be funded by the National Institutes of Health’s National Eye Institute will test the effectiveness of the WellTouch system, which will provide glaucoma patients with telephone and print messages to increase treatment.

“Our goal is to identify the causes of patients’ noncompliance with glaucoma treatment and then to provide an individually tailored, low cost and effective intervention to improve compliance,” said Dr. Karen Glanz, principal investigator on the project and professor at the Rollins School of Public Health.

Almost 30 percent of all patients stop taking prescribed medication within the first three months of treatment. The problem for glaucoma patients is that if they stop taking the medication, they are at a high risk to become blind.

250 people will be taking part in the study over an 18-month period.

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