Content about Maryland

November 8, 2011

The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday launched a website for patients and caregivers on the safe disposal of needles and other “sharps” that are used at home, at work and while traveling.

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday launched a website for patients and caregivers on the safe disposal of needles and other “sharps” that are used at home, at work and while traveling.

November 7, 2011

The Food and Drug Administration has appointed a new chief of staff for commissioner Margaret Hamburg, according to a letter sent to agency employees Monday.

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has appointed a new chief of staff for commissioner Margaret Hamburg, according to a letter sent to agency employees Monday.

In the letter, Hamburg announced the appointment of Lisa Barclay. Barclay, currently a partner at the Washington law firm Zuckerman Spaeder, will replace Molly Muldoon, who was previously chief of staff and more recently the agency's acting COO.

November 7, 2011

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug made by Johnson & Johnson for preventing stroke in patients with abnormal heart rhythm, the agency said.

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug made by Johnson & Johnson for preventing stroke in patients with abnormal heart rhythm, the agency said.

The agency announced Friday the approval of Xarelto (rivaroxaban), an anti-clotting made by J&J subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals, in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation. The FDA approved the drug in the 10-mg strength in July for deep-vein thrombosis in patients receiving knee and hip replacement surgery. The latest approval includes 15-mg and 20-mg strengths.

November 7, 2011

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug made by Bristol-Myers Squibb for treating head and neck cancer, the agency said Monday.

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug made by Bristol-Myers Squibb and Eli Lilly & Co. for treating head and neck cancer, the agency said Monday.

The FDA announced the approval of Erbitux (cetuximab) for use with chemotherapy in treating head and neck cancer that had spread to other parts of the body. The drug originally was approved in 2004 for treating certain cases of late-stage colon cancer in patients who had stopped responding to chemotherapy.

November 3, 2011

The Food and Drug Administration has approved 35 new drugs over the past 12 months, the agency said Thursday.

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved 35 new drugs over the past 12 months, the agency said Thursday.

November 2, 2011

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield and Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions on Tuesday launched the nation's first clinical pathways program for rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic disease that leads to inflammation of the joints and surrounding tissue and affects nearly 2.1 million Americans each year.

BALTIMORE — CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield and Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions on Tuesday launched the nation's first clinical pathways program for rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic disease that leads to inflammation of the joints and surrounding tissue and affects nearly 2.1 million Americans each year.

November 2, 2011

There has been a sharp increase in sales of pseudoephedrine products just outside St. Charles County, Mo., which implemented a prescription requirement on the sale of PSE beginning Aug. 30, according to an article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch published Monday.

ST. LOUIS — There has been a sharp increase in sales of pseudoephedrine products just outside St. Charles County, Mo., which implemented a prescription requirement on the sale of PSE beginning Aug. 30, according to an article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch published Monday that cited data from Det. Sgt. Jason Grellner, past president of the Missouri Narcotics Officers Association.

According to that data, sales of PSE products were up 81% in September versus August in Bridgeton, Mo., and increases in Maryland Heights and Chesterfield were 59% and 51%, respectively.

October 31, 2011

Catalyst Rx, the pharmacy benefits management subsidiary of Catalyst Health Solutions, on Friday took out a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal touting the value of a Walgreens pharmacy to a large healthcare payer. Catalyst also released a case study touting that value, according to a DrugChannels.net report.

ROCKVILLE, Md. — Catalyst Rx, the pharmacy benefits management subsidiary of Catalyst Health Solutions, on Friday took out a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal touting the value of a Walgreens pharmacy to a large healthcare payer. Catalyst also released a case study touting that value, according to a DrugChannels.net report.

October 24, 2011

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new drug for treating a severe form of epilepsy, the agency said Monday.

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new drug for treating a severe form of epilepsy, the agency said Monday.

The FDA announced the approval of Onfi (clobazam) tablets, made by Catalent Pharma Solutions and Lundbeck, as an add-on treatment for seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome in patients ages 2 years and older. The agency gave the drug orphan drug designation because the disease affects fewer than 200,000 people in the United States.

October 24, 2011

The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first generic versions of two drugs made by Eli Lilly for treating schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, the agency said Monday.

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first generic versions of two drugs made by Eli Lilly for treating schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, the agency said Monday.

The FDA announced the approval of generic olanzapine tablets and olanzapine orally disintegrating tablets, respectively generic versions of Lilly's Zyprexa and Zyprexa Zydus. Dr. Reddy's Labs and Teva Pharmaceuticals USA will manufacture olanzapine tablets, while Dr. Reddy's, Apotex and Par Pharmaceuticals will manufacture the orally disintegrating version.

October 14, 2011

Patients with diabetes may benefit from a system that provides continuous, real-time glucose readings, according to new clinical practice guidelines released by the Endocrine Society.

CHEVY CHASE, Md. — Patients with diabetes may benefit from a system that provides continuous, real-time glucose readings, according to new clinical practice guidelines released by the Endocrine Society.

While most patients with diabetes measure blood glucose by pricking their skin to get a drop of blood and then measuring it with a glucose meter, continuous glucose monitoring measures glucose in the interstitial fluid, the fluid between cells just under the skin.

October 14, 2011

The Food and Drug Adminsitration has approved a drug made by ApoPharma for a complication resulting from treatments for a genetic condition that causes anemia, the agency said Friday.

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Adminsitration has approved a drug made by ApoPharma for a complication resulting from treatments for a genetic condition that causes anemia, the agency said Friday.

The FDA announced the approval of Ferriprox (deferiprone), used to treat patients with iron overload due to blood transfusions for thalassemia, a blood disorder. Patients with the disease have excess iron in their bodies because of the frequent blood transfusions they must receive that can lead to iron overload, a condition that can be fatal.

October 12, 2011

A National Institutes of Health study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association established a link between vitamin E supplementation and prostate cancer.

BETHESDA, Md. — A National Institutes of Health study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association established a link between vitamin E supplementation and prostate cancer. Men who took 400 international units of vitamin E daily had more prostate cancers compared with men who took a placebo, according to an updated review of data from the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial, the NIH stated.

October 10, 2011

Giant Food Stores is marking National Breast Cancer Awareness Month by donating more than $25,000 to organizations that address the disease, the Royal Ahold-owned supermarket chain said.

CARLISLE, Pa. — Giant Food Stores is marking National Breast Cancer Awareness Month by donating more than $25,000 to organizations that address the disease, the Royal Ahold-owned supermarket chain said.

October 7, 2011

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug that it called the first single-pill combination treatment for Type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol.

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug that it called the first single-pill combination treatment for Type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol.

The FDA approved Merck's Juvisync (sitagliptin and simvastatin), manufactured by Merck subsidiary MSD International GmbH Clonmel Co., based in Tipperary, Ireland. Merck operates under the name MSD outside the United States and Canada in order to avoid confusion with Germany-based Merck KGaA.

October 3, 2011

Coventry Health Care on Saturday announced that it has partnered with Walgreens, Walmart and Target for 2012 to offer a Medicare prescription drug plan known as First Health Value Plus.

BETHESDA, Md. — Coventry Health Care on Saturday announced that it has partnered with Walgreens, Walmart and Target for 2012 to offer a Medicare prescription drug plan known as First Health Value Plus.

As Coventry’s newest Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, First Health Value Plus is the lowest premium, zero-dollar deductible Part D plan in the United States, the company stated.

September 30, 2011

Giant Eagle this past week introduced the NuVal nutritional scoring system throughout locations in Columbus, Ohio, and Frederick, Md.

PITTSBURGH — Giant Eagle this past week introduced the NuVal nutritional scoring system throughout locations in Columbus, Ohio, and Frederick, Md.

Intended to help customers make quick, informed food choices, the NuVal nutritional scoring system gives more than 20,000 food and beverages a score ranging from 1 to 100 — the higher the score, the better the nutrition. Scores are posted right on the shelf tag, along with nutritional attributes like “gluten free” and “good source of fiber.”

September 29, 2011

The second season of "Extreme Couponing" debuted on TLC Wednesday evening, and with the new season came a renewed concern as to how extreme couponers will impact value promotions at retail.

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The second season of "Extreme Couponing" debuted on TLC Wednesday evening, and with the new season came a renewed concern as to how extreme couponers will impact value promotions at retail.

That may be one of the more significant concerns for retailers, according to a Bloomberg report published Wednesday — that promotions are attracting one-time buyers who cherry-pick their way through the weekly shopping trip in place of loyal consumers.

September 28, 2011

A new report from the Department of Health and Human Services' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality found little evidence to support the use of atypical antipsychotic drugs for uses other than those for which they have official approval.

ROCKVILLE, Md. — A new report from the Department of Health and Human Services' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality found little evidence to support the use of atypical antipsychotic drugs for uses other than those for which they have official approval.

September 23, 2011

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a treatment made by Alexion Pharmaceuticals for a rare blood disorder that affects children.

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a treatment made by Alexion Pharmaceuticals for a rare blood disorder that affects children.

The FDA announced the approval of Soliris (eculizumab) for atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome, a rare and chronic disease that can lead to kidney failure, stroke and death. According to the FDA, aHUS accounts for 5% to 10% of all cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome.

September 22, 2011

Epinephrine inhalers will not be made or sold after Dec. 31, and patients using them should get new prescriptions to replace them, the Food and Drug Administration said Thursday.

SILVER SPRING, Md. — Epinephrine inhalers will not be made or sold after Dec. 31, and patients using them should get new prescriptions to replace them, the Food and Drug Administration said Thursday.

Epinephrine inhalers, which Armstrong Pharmaceutical markets under the brand name Primatene Mist, are used to relieve symptoms of mild asthma and are sold over-the-counter.

September 19, 2011

The industry has lost a true “patriot of pharmacy practice.”

NORTH BETHESDA, Md. — The industry has lost a true “patriot of pharmacy practice.”

Drug Store News is saddened to report the passing Friday evening of longtime industry veteran Leonard “Len” DeMino. DeMino was 81.

September 13, 2011

Ahold USA has appointed a former Walmart executive to head its Landover, Md.-based Giant Food division, the supermarket operator said Tuesday.

CARLISLE, Pa. — Ahold USA has appointed a former Walmart executive to head its Landover, Md.-based Giant Food division, the supermarket operator said Tuesday.

September 13, 2011

Methamphetamine use is down by 50%, even as use of illicit drugs continued to climb between 2008 and 2010, according to a national survey conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration that was released last week.

ROCKVILLE, Md. — Methamphetamine use is down by 50%, even as use of illicit drugs continued to climb between 2008 and 2010, according to a national survey conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration that was released last week.

The number of current methamphetamine users decreased from 731,000 people ages 12 years and older (0.3% of the population) in 2006  to 353,000 (0.1%) in 2010.

September 12, 2011

The Food and Drug Administration is reorganizing its division for regulating cancer drugs, the agency said Monday.

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration is reorganizing its division for regulating cancer drugs, the agency said Monday.

The FDA said it would rename the Office of Oncology Products the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products. The office, which is responsible for reviewing regulatory applications for pharmaceutical and biotech drugs for cancer, is overseen by the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Office of Oncology Products director Richard Pazdur will continue as director of the OHOP.