Apotex Founder Barry Sherman and Spouse Found Dead In Their Home

Dec 17, 2017Posted By: igorUnder: General News, Pharmacy Industry News

Police are investigating the suspicious deaths of Barry Sherman and his wife Honey, whose bodies were found just before noon on Friday, December 15th.  Police said circumstances of the deaths "appear to be suspicious", but no suspects are being sought at this time and there was no evidence of forced entry.

Condolences were being offered by many high profile politicians, industry leaders and philanthropists.   Barry Sherman, the 75-year-old founder of the generic drug company Apotex, was one of the richest men in the country, with an estimated net worth of $4.6 billion.  The couple had donated millions across North York.   A charitable arm of Apotex has shipped millions of dollars worth of medicine to disaster zones.

Friends and colleagues have long said that Mr. Sherman was consumed with work and that he devoted almost all of his time and energy to Apotex, frequently sleeping for only a few hours a night. He had almost no outside interests and no taste for luxury, once driving an old car into such disrepair that Ms. Sherman went out and bought him a new Mercedes.

"Barry liked to do one thing: work. He worked seven days a week and he loved it," says Murray Rubin, 87, a retired pharmaceutical industry colleague.

"He loved the action—the modus operandi of the pharmaceutical business," he says.

Barry Sherman founded Toronto-based Apotex Inc. in 1974 with two employees and gradually turned it into the largest Canadian-owned pharmaceutical company.

Sherman...

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GSK Shingles Vaccine Shingrix Approved for Canada

Oct 16, 2017Posted By: igorUnder: Ask the Pharmacist, General News, Your Health

GlaxoSmithKline's recombinant zoster vaccine (adjuvanted) (Shingrix) has been approved in Canada for the prevention of herpes zoster (shingles) in people aged 50 years and older.
"The vaccine combines an antigen, glycoprotein E, and an adjuvant system, AS01B, intended to generate a strong and long-lasting immune response that can help overcome the decline in immunity as people age," the company explained in a news release.
Shingrix is given intramuscularly in two doses, with a 2- to 6-month interval between doses. It's the only shingles vaccine to achieve greater than 90% efficacy in adults aged 50 and older, the company said.
Canada is the first country to approve the vaccine. Regulatory reviews of Shingrix are underway in the United States, the European Union, Australia, and Japan. Last month, a US Food and Drug Administration panel unanimously voted in favor of the vaccine, as reported by Medscape Medical News.
The approval of Shingrix in Canada was based on a phase 3 clinical trial program that evaluated the drug's efficacy, safety, and immunogenicity in more than 37,000 people. In a pooled analysis of these studies, the vaccine demonstrated efficacy against herpes zoster of greater than 90% in adults aged 50 and older and in those aged 70 and older. Efficacy was sustained during the 4-year follow-up period.
The most common side effects reported in the clinical trials were pain, redness, and swelling at the injection site. Most reactions were transient and were mild ...

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Time To Get Fit

Sep 6, 2017Posted By: igorUnder: Ask the Pharmacist, Health Advisory, PharmaChoice, Your Health

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June is Brain Injury Awareness Month

Jun 15, 2017Posted By: igorUnder: Health News, Your Health, Your Pharmacist

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Robot Pharmacist

Feb 12, 2017Posted By: igorUnder: Health Comment, Pharmacy Profession, The Internet, Your Pharmacist

Xerox: Innovation at Work/19 jobs for 'bots (and why that's not such a a bad thing)

This morning I stumbled on this posting which was sent to me via Quartz Daily Brief, a subscription I have that drops a collection of links to topics on politics, technology, global affairs, science and economics just to name a few.   One of the articles that caught my eye was the link to an article posted on the Xerox website (hyperlink posted above), under the subsection 'Xerox Innovation at Work > Jobs for Robots".

Just take a look at No. 1 in this list of 19 jobs that will be done by robots by the year 2025.  Drum roll please.....The Pharmacist!  This article is based on the McKinsey Global Institute's Report that the current pace of machine learning and natural-user interfaces (such as speech recognition) will be responsible for transforming knowledge work which years ago were certainly thought to be aided by this technology but the last to be replaced, ahead of say the technical tasks of pharmacy technician (for example).  Not so according to this article.  I'll add that I have run across several papers, books and talks on this topic.  In fact, this replacement of knowledge workers will see the real engine for this change to be Artificial Intelligence (AI) which is even predicted to have physicians replaced by robots infused with AI that will replicate the reasoning, the logic and even some of the 'fuzzy' logic related to intuition, previously a purely human activity.  ...

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Health Canada Advises Not To Use Boric Acid: Here’s Why

Jan 7, 2017Posted By: igorUnder: General News, Health Advisory

Health Canada is advising Canadians to avoid using boric acid for arts and crafts projects, such as homemade slime, or modelling clay. Health Canada is also advising against making homemade pesticides with boric acid.

Boric acid, sometimes also called boron or borax, is found in the environment and Canadians are exposed to it naturally through food (such as fruit and vegetables) and drinking water. Canadians can also be exposed to boric acid through a variety of commonly used products, such as pesticides, cleaning products, homemade arts and craft materials, cosmetics, swimming pool and spa chemicals, and drugs and natural health products.

A recent draft risk assessment by Health Canada has found that overexposure to boric acid has the potential to cause developmental and reproductive health effects. Since Canadians are already exposed to boric acid naturally through their diets and water, Health Canada is advising that exposure from other sources should be reduced as much as possible, especially for children and pregnant women. The concern is not with any one product, but rather multiple exposures from a variety of sources.

With this in mind, the department has also announced that many existing products containing boric acid will be removed from the marketplace.

What you should do

Canadians can minimize their exposure to boric acid from sources other than food and water. Here are some steps you can take.

Use recipes to make children’s arts and craft...

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Zostavax: The Shingles Vaccine & Shingles Protection

Dec 22, 2016Posted By: jaclynUnder: Health Comment, Health News, Product News, Your Health, Your Pharmacist

Since its approval by Health Canada in 2008, the shingles vaccine (Zostavax®) has been in very high demand even at times becoming unavailable due to manufacturing delays in combination with a demand that may not have been anticipated.  Merck, the company producing Zostavax®, has finally produced enough of the vaccine to fill back orders and has managed to continue meeting the demand.

In addition, since it's original introduction the vaccine has seen a formulation change - an improvement in fact.   The original vaccine had to be kept frozen until reconstituted and once reconstituted remained stable only long enough to allow for the immediate administration.    The new product Zostavax II only requires refrigeration, as do all vaccinations which means our access to the vaccine is much easier making it much simpler to maintain some minimum inventory at all times and gaining additional inventory is next day during weekdays (Monday to Thursday).

When the vaccination was first approved it was only indicated for adults aged 60 or older. Now it is recommended for those who are 50 or older. If you are over 50, you should consider being vaccinated against shingles.  Here is why.

What is shingles?

Shingles is a viral infection resulting in a painful blistering rash potentially lasting several weeks.   It can cause skin infections, scarring and nerve pain.   Shingles can appear anywhere on the body and the severity of the outbreak varies depending on the locati...

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Our 2016/17 Flu Clinics Begin, Monday, October 24th, 2016

Oct 8, 2016Posted By: igorUnder: Ask the Pharmacist, General News, Infectious Disease, Your Health, Your Pharmacist

It's that time of year again and yes we will be participating in the Alberta Health sponsored Flu Vaccination program beginning with our first day Monday October 24th, 2016 at 1:30pm.   This is a no charge, come as you are, just walk in flu shot clinic.   All you need to bring is your Personal Health Card (Alberta Health Card), one bare arm (left or right will do) and a big smile for our pharmacists who will be administering the flu shots. By the way, you have to be 9 years of age and older.   We will have the appropriate flu vaccination for all ages from 9 years old and up.   Seniors are recommended to receive Fluad this year which is a trivalent vaccine with an adjuvant, which improves the immune response gained from the vaccination.   All others will receive Fluzone or Flumist if that is preferred for our younger crowd.   The Flumist is administered as a nasal mist and is an alternative to the injection for those who prefer this over the injection.   All of this will be discussed with you when you arrive for your flu shot.   Give yourself some extra time if you have some questions.   The pharmacy staff will be glad to help you with any questions related to your vaccination. See you soon.  

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New PharmaChoice Health Advice Pages

May 6, 2016Posted By: igorUnder: Ask the Pharmacist, Your Health, Your Pharmacist

You've received a new medication and maybe wanted to review: how it works or what dosage forms, strengths that are available, how should you use the medication, what is the medication used to treat or who will best benefit from the medication, who should not be taking the medication, known side effects that are possible, precautions, drug interactions All of this information is now available on our new page "PharmaChoice Health Advice" that offers you links to a new medication search page provided by your PharmaChoice pharmacist.  Always here,  ready to offer reliable    'Advice for Life'! Visit the new page and be sure to browse our website additional information you need to keep you informed when health problems arise as well as those tips and products to help keep you on track to good health.    We appreciate the fact that research and clinical experience helps pharmacists, physicians and healthcare professionals of every type, improve their knowledge, their skills and also delivers new, improved medications (prescription and non-prescription) to better treat health related problems.  The new knowledge now comes at a rate that makes it difficult to keep on top of the new as well as to keep focused on the true advances We are Pharmacists first!  Here to help with whatever it takes to achieve positive health outcomes for you and your family.                            

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Scarlet Fever on the Rise in United Kingdom

Apr 4, 2016Posted By: igorUnder: Disease Information, Health News

Yes, Scarlet Fever is on the rise in the UK and researchers currently have no explanation for the increase in incidence.  The only good news is that the Victorian infection has not resulted in the fatal fevers that previously meant a certain finality to the disease in Victorian times.   The disease was the leading cause of death in children in the late 19th Century with the greatest threat in North America experienced between 1840 and 1910.   The drop in incidence coincided with the introduction of antibiotics in the early 20th Century when Sulfonamides and Penicillins saw a drop in many previously fatal infections including Scarlet Fever. The disease seen recently is caused by a Streptococcus which is not any different than the causative bacteria in those previous years and so far, none of the bacteria cultured have shown any strains to be more dominant.  The Public Health England (PHE) will continue to monitor the strains for antibiotic resistance. See full article on Quartz

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