Tag Archives: Health

Fitness and Health Centers Offer Convenient Wellness Resources for Employees

Though most people would agree that making healthy habits a priority is a goal they strive towards, finding the time and resources to adopt those habits is often more than a little challenging. Busy work schedules and ongoing family and personal commitments can make it nearly impossible to fit in exercise and general wellness practices.

Increasingly, companies realize that when wellness initiatives are offered in the workplace, it not only helps employees stay healthier, but also improves overall productivity. According to the Centers for Disease Control, companies that support workplace health have a greater percentage of employees at work every day and healthier employees are less likely to call in sick or use vacation time due to illness.

20140911_143355This week AstraZeneca reinforced its commitment to workplace wellness by welcoming employees to the newly renovated Fitness Center and Health and Wellness Center in Wilmington, Del., AstraZeneca’s North America Headquarters. A festive wellness fair featured tours of the new facilities, free massages, golf lessons, food tastings and opportunities to visit a range of local wellness suppliers. The YMCA, Weight Watchers, Delaware Running Club, Christiana Hospital and many others provided information about their services, free samples and discounts to those who attended the fair. The event was an effort to remind employees of all the programs and resources available that support health and fitness.

Laura Mably, Vice President, US Human Resources, cut the ceremonial ribbon for the new facilities, after announcing that the Fitness Center will be free of charge for employees to use. “We know that healthy and engaged employees are more productive employees,” said Mably. “Our wellness slogan is – my wellness. It starts with me! We’re taking steps to make it easier to get healthier.”

In its new location, the Fitness Center features more space, upgraded exercise equipment and locker rooms, and a beautiful outdoor view with a lot of natural light. With a dedicated spin room and separate studio, employees can take advantage of the newly expanded class schedule. The Health and Wellness Center saves employees valuable time by offering an on-site pharmacy, physical therapist, lab services, as well as preventive, acute and urgent care services.

Chris Kalina, Lead, Employee Health and Wellness added, “We want everyone who works on this campus to know about the many activities available in Wilmington that promote employee wellbeing. These programs are all about helping our employees stay productive and engaged by being healthy. We want to be a great place to work!”

US FDA Approves EPANOVA® (omega-3 carboxylic-acids)

By Rod Wooten, Executive Director, AstraZeneca



AstraZeneca recently announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved EPANOVA® (omega-3-carboxylic acids) as an adjunct to diet to lower triglyceride levels in adults with severe hypertriglyceridemia (triglyceride levels greater than or equal to 500 mg/dL).

Triglycerides are a type of lipid (fat) found in blood and an essential energy source for the body. Some people have severely high triglyceride levels, meaning they have too much fat in their blood, and that can lead to serious health complications.  Nearly four million American adults currently have severe hypertriglyceridemia and this figure continues to increase along with the incidence of associated conditions, such as obesity and diabetes.

EPANOVA is the first FDA-approved prescription omega-3 in free fatty acid form. The dosage of EPANOVA is 2 grams (2 capsules) or 4 grams (4 capsules), making it the first prescription omega-3 to have a dosing option as few as two capsules once a day. It can be taken with or without food.

EPANOVA strengthens AstraZeneca’s existing portfolio of medicines and aligns with our strategic focus on scientific leadership. It reflects our ongoing commitment to developing treatment options and supporting health care providers, patients and caregivers.

EPANOVA® (omega-3-carboxylic acids)
Indication and Important Safety Information

EPANOVA is a prescription medicine used along with a low fat and low cholesterol diet to lower very high triglyceride (fat) levels in adults.

It is not known if EPANOVA changes your risk of having inflammation of your pancreas (pancreatitis).

It is not known if EPANOVA prevents you from having a heart attack or stroke.

Important Safety Information for EPANOVA® (omega-3-carboxylic acids) Capsules

  • Do not take EPANOVA if you are allergic to omega-3-carboxylic acids or any of the ingredients in EPANOVA
  • Tell your doctor if you are allergic to fish or shellfish, or if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or plan to become pregnant or breastfeed, as EPANOVA may not be right for you
  • Talk to your doctor about any current medical conditions you have and any medications you are taking, including prescription and over the counter medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements
  • Take EPANOVA exactly as your doctor tells you to take it and do not change your dose or stop taking EPANOVA without talking to your doctor
  • Your doctor should do blood tests to check your triglycerides, bad cholesterol (LDL-C) and liver function while you take EPANOVA
  • EPANOVA may cause serious side effects including increases in blood tests for liver function (ALT and AST) and for bad cholesterol (LDL-C), and possible allergic reactions if you are also allergic to fish or shellfish
  • The most common side effects of EPANOVA are diarrhea, upset stomach, abdominal pain or discomfort, and burping

Please see full Prescribing Information

2985606 Last Updated 5/14


Editorial: Congress “should not dillydally” on PDUFA

We agree with the Washington Post: Congress should act quickly to reauthorize PDUFA

The Washington Post recently ran an editorial in support of the timely reauthorization of the Prescription Drug User Fee Act, also known as PDUFA. It’s worth a read:

FOR ABOUT 20 years, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has charged pharmaceutical companies “user fees” for reviewing drug-approval applications. The revenue allows the FDA to hire more evaluators, which allows useful drugs to reach patients faster. Now the Prescription Drug User Fee Act needs reauthorization, as it does every five years. Legislators should not dillydally.

The bill accounts for more than half of the FDA’s drug-approval budget. Critics fret that this dependence could make the FDA beholden to those it regulates. But there’s been no evidence of that, and the risk clearly does not outweigh the benefits of faster approval times — to patients and to companies motivated by profit to develop life-saving treatments.

Congressional reauthorization has been an occasion to renew the perennial debate over the balance between safety and speed, between ensuring that new drugs will have no unintended consequences and getting helpful treatments to sick people as quickly as possible. This time around, the balance appears to be tilting slightly toward faster approval. That’s good.

We agree.

As we have noted previously, PDUFA paid for $573 million in drug review costs in fiscal year 2010. That accounts for 62 percent of the review costs for that year, according to the FDA’s most recent PDUFA financial report.

The law, however, is set to expire and must be reauthorized by September.

Because AstraZeneca stands for programs that work and a strong, well-funded and well-managed FDA, we support a timely reauthorization of PDUFA that provides much needed resources to the agency.

We hope that the resulting legislation will lead to a more efficient, predictable, transparent and well coordinated drug review process within the FDA while strengthening the scientific base at the agency, supporting patient safety and promoting innovation.

Play a role in your health: clinical trials

Have you ever considered participating in a clinical trial? If you are like most people, probably not.  Clinical trials play a vital role in the evaluation of new drugs, and subsequently, the potential for development of new medicines to help treat patients affected by a variety of medical conditions.

“Opioid-induced constipation” is an example of a medical condition that affects many patients who take prescription opioid pain medicines, such as morphine. AstraZeneca is currently recruiting for a Phase III clinical trial as part of the KODIAC program to examine whether an investigational drug is safe and effective for patients suffering from constipation as a side effect of prescription opioids.

Participating in a clinical trial is an important decision. Clinicaltrials.gov, the largest clinical trial registry database run by the National Institutes of Health, is a great resource to learn more about clinical trials. The website offers information about standard clinical trial procedures and definitions, reasons to join, and specific trial availability. Those who choose to participate in clinical trials have an opportunity to play an active role in their own health care and help the community by contributing to medical research.

-by Chris Fleischmann, R.N., Study Leader, AstraZeneca

1142801 07/11