NC State University

North Carolina State University recently beefed up its toxicology database, which could help revolutionize pharmaceutical research.

NC State's Comparitive Toxicogenomics Database already cataloged the harmful health impacts of environmental chemicals, like arsenic. Then pharmaceutical giant Pfizer collaborated with the CTD to add unintended side effects of therapeutic drugs.

The state's nursing homes and elder care facilities are improving, according to a new study.
SalFalko / Flickr

North Carolina has reduced its rate of antipsychotic drug use in nursing homes by 23 percent over the last year-- that's the highest such improvement rate in the country.

Many nursing homes and adult care homes have been known to use antipsychotic drugs to help calm and control residents who have dementia. But overmedication can cause all sorts of problems for patients who are so drugged they can't participate in activities and who might fall because the drugs impair their coordination. Bob Konrad is a professor in health policy at UNC-Chapel Hill's School of Public Health.

Kerr Drug

The largest drugstore chain in the United States is buying out North Carolina-based Kerr Drug.

The banner on the Kerr Drug website says it’s North Carolina’s only hometown pharmacy.  But after more than 60 years, Kerr Drug is losing that designation. Walgreens announced today it’s acquiring Kerr’s drugstores and its specialty pharmacy business that fills prescriptions for chronic, complex treatments like cancer.

Michael Polzin is a spokesman for Walgreens, based in Illinois.

Quintiles logo

The Durham-based pharmaceutical company Quintiles is acquiring a Triangle research organization. 

Quintiles announced Wednesday it reached a deal with Novella Clinical in Morrisville.  Novella is an oncology and medical device research group with nearly 300 employees in the Triangle.  The companies did not release the terms of the deal. 

RTP headquarters.
Ildar Sagdejev

GlaxoSmithKline hosted a gathering today in RTP for policy, non-profit and business leaders in the biopharmaceutical industry.

Jack Bailey, a Senior Vice President at GSK, says there are well over 100,000 North Carolinians working in the Life Sciences, 5,000 of them at his company.

“So it’s a very big important industry, it’s created a lot of jobs," Bailey says. "And really what we want to do today is start a discussion on how, at this great change in health care, we can make sure both federal, state and local policy decisions get made that continue to accelerate that innovation that comes out of companies like GSK.”


Authorities in China say a number of senior executives working for GlaxoSmithKline in that country have been placed under criminal investigation for suspected bribery and tax related violations.  The British pharmaceutical company's US headquarters are in Research Triangle Park. 

In an interview broadcast on WUNC, the BBC’s John Sudworth reported that the ministry of public security said the employees offered large bribes to officials, medical associations, hospitals and doctors to boost drug sales.

Quintiles logo

Trading on the New York Stock Exchange begins Thursday for North Carolina-based Quintiles.

The company announced late Wednesday that it is selling about 23.7 million shares of its common stock to the public at $40 a share. That would raise nearly $950 million in this initial public offering for the bio-pharmaceutical services company.

a pharmacist
NC Department of Health and Human Services

Prescription drug overdose kills an average of three people per day in North Carolina. 

Researchers at UNC Chapel Hill say a statewide system designed to reduce those numbers – North Carolina Controlled Substances Reporting System (CSRS) – is effective - but grossly underused.

CSRS went into effect in 2007, following a legislative mandate, but of the 34,000 providers authorized to prescribe controlled substances, only a third have registered with the CSRS, and fewer than half of those actually use it.

State health officials want to know if low use of a prescription drug database is leading to more deaths in North Carolina.

A majority of state pharmacists and doctors are not checking a drug registry that every pharmacy must report to. Some lawmakers say that can enable some people to abuse highly addictive drugs. Last year, more than one thousand North Carolinians died of pharmaceutical overdoses. William Bronson runs the database for the state Department of Health and Human Services. He says it may not be fair to blame pharmacists for not monitoring their patients' drugs.

GSK Recycling Inhalers

Oct 25, 2012

Drug maker GlaxoSmithKline is beginning a program to recycle spent respiratory inhalers. The company is signing up pharmacies in the Raleigh-Durham area and 30 other cities to collect the breathing aids. The company tested the program in a few of the selected cities and collected about 27-hundred inhalers. GSK's vice presider for respiratory business Jorge Bartolome says the "Complete the Cycle" program will break down the inhalers for multiple uses.