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APhA Foundation announces officers for its 2014-2015 board

BY Antoinette Alexander

WASHINGTON —The American Pharmacists Association Foundation has announced the elected officers for its board of directors for the 2014-2015 term:  Ed Hamilton as president, Mark Cziraky as VP and Bruce Laughrey as treasurer.

The officers were officially installed during the APhA Foundation board meeting in conjunction with the APhA2014 Annual Meeting & Exposition in Orlando.

Hamilton is director of Pharmacy at the Regency Center for Women and Infants in Winter Haven, Fla. Over the course of his career, he has practiced in community, hospital and long-term care pharmacy. He joined the APhA Foundation board in 2012.

Cziraky is co-founder and VP of research at HealthCore in Wilmington, Del. He joined the APhA Foundation board in 2010, and served as treasurer for the 2012-2013 and 2013-14 terms.

Laughrey is chairman of TelSpan, a company specializing in interactive telecommunications services and a leading provider of teleconferencing services in the United States. He joined the APhA Foundation board in 2013.

 

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Frito-Lay debuts combo snack

BY Ryan Chavis

PLANO, TX — Cheetos and Doritos, two brands from PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay division, announced the introduction of Cheetos Flamin’ Hot/Doritos Dinamita Chile Limon Mix, which will bring a spicy-crunchy combo to consumers in a single bag. The debut marks the first time the two snacks have been available in the same package.

"The new Cheetos Flamin’ Hot / Doritos Dinamita Chile Limon Mix unites the much-loved spice and crunch offered by these two brands and packs layers of great flavor in every bite," said Ram Krishnan, VP marketing, Frito-Lay. "We found that fans of one product are often fans of the other — so we made it easier to enjoy them together as the ultimate spicy and crunchy snack combination."    

The new snack is available in stores nationwide for a suggested retail price of $3.49 for an 8-oz. bag, and $1.49 for a 3.25-oz. bag.

 

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NACDS to House panel: Transparency key to curbing Rx drug diversion

BY Antoinette Alexander

ARLINGTON, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores submitted a written statement in lead-up to Monday’s hearing of the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health urging transparency in how federal agencies conduct enforcement activities to help curb prescription drug diversion and abuse.

The hearing is titled “Improving Predictability and Transparency in DEA and FDA Regulation.”  

In its statement, the Association also emphasized the need for government agencies to work together to address this growing challenge, while ensuring that legitimate patient access to prescription drugs will not be harmed.

“Pharmacists are front-line healthcare providers and are one of the most accessible members of a healthcare team,” NACDS wrote in its statement.

In its statement, NACDS emphasized chain pharmacy’s commitment to partnering with federal and state agencies, law enforcement, policymakers and other stakeholders to work on viable strategies to prevent prescription drug diversion and abuse. The statement also cited pharmacy’s continuous support of the mission and efforts of the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Food and Drug Administration.

But NACDS also cited concerns with inconsistency and lack of transparency in DEA’s inspection processes.

“To help address the problems of DEA opaqueness and inconsistency, we support efforts to promote accountability and transparency with respect to DEA’s inspection and enforcement programs,” NACDS wrote in its statement.

NACDS urges specific actions to rectify transparency concerns, including development of an inspection manual and compliance guidelines, improving accountability and consistency among field offices and public disclosure of inspections.

“We believe these recommendations would greatly increase predictability and transparency in DEA regulation. The adoption of such recommendations would greatly enhance the compliance efforts of DEA registrants, thus leading to more effective DEA regulation and oversight,” NACDS wrote in its statement.

Pharmacists are required “to take on diverse and sometimes conflicting roles,” NACDS wrote in its statement. “On the one hand, pharmacists have a strong ethical duty to serve the medical needs of their patients in providing neighborhood care.  On the other hand, community pharmacists are also required to be evaluators of the legitimate medical use of controlled substances.”

In its statement, NACDS also recognized existing programs that are useful and enhancements can further help in combating prescription drug abuse, such as electronic prescribing, prescription monitoring programs and law enforcement-authorized programs for return and disposal of unwanted prescription drugs.

Monday’s hearing also examined the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2013 (H.R.4069), which NACDS has previously supported, citing the bill’s importance in establishing a collaborative effort with government and private sector experts to help curb prescription drug abuse and safeguard patients.

“We believe that bringing together stakeholders to address the problems associated with prescription drug abuse in this manner would provide better solutions than have been developed to date. Improved collaboration and coordination among federal agencies and other stakeholders would benefit all, including the patient, whose legitimate access to medication must be preserved in order for any potential solution to be successful,” NACDS wrote in its statement.

NACDS expressed appreciation for the panel’s attention to the problems of prescription drug diversion and abuse and safeguarding legitimate patient access to much-needed medications.

“We look forward to working with policy makers and stakeholders on these important issues,” NACDS concluded in its statement. 

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