PHARMACY

Brokaw reminds NACDS Annual attendees of uncertainty in the past

BY Antoinette Alexander

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. Offering attendees of NACDS Annual a look at the world and a glimpse back in time, was author and broadcast journalist Tom Brokaw, former NBC News anchorman and managing editor of the program NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw, who wrapped up Sunday’s Business Program I with an intriguing and inspirational presentation.

Americans today are faced with a myriad of uncertainties as the war rages on in Iraq, the economy wobbles, the housing market sinks and the global climate sparks concern. To top it off, the nation is going through what is the most important presidential election since 1968. However, in an effort to remind attendees that this isn’t the first time the nation has faced uncertainties, Brokaw took industry members on a trip back in time to the 1960s.

“I know it may seem as if this is a time of great trial and challenge, and it is. … There is probably an inclination to think, ‘Oh my God, times have never been worse. We have subprime mortgages, high gas prices, World War in two different countries. What is going to happen to us?’ Let me take you back 40 years ago,” said Brokaw, who has a distinguished record as a political reporter and has a series of “firsts,” including being the first and only anchor to report from the scene the night the Berlin Wall fell.

Throughout much of his presentation, Brokaw recounted many of the tribulations that took place during those years—including the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the Vietnam War and race riots—and shared stories he has carried with him throughout the years.

Brokaw also addressed the presidential election and stressed the need for Americans to get involved and to send a signal to the next generation.

“We need to get involved now. And most of all we need to send a signal to the next generation coming up. This is how we define ourselves and our country and the system every four years. We are not spectators in the process,” said Brokaw. “When we have gotten in trouble, as I believe that we have in the last 10 to 12 years in this country, it is because we have allowed ourselves to be shut out of the process.”

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PHARMACY

Anderson highlights NACDS achievements in annual speech

BY Drew Buono

PALM BEACH, Fla. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores president and chief executive officer Steve Anderson addressed the attendees yesterday at the association’s annual meeting with his “State of the Association” speech.

“I think the stakes are very high and we are ready to live and to thrive in this moment,” said Anderson. “In January 2009, we are going to have a new president in the White House, and a new administration that will be serving that president. We are going to have a new congress, new governors and state legislators, and the healthcare debate is going to rage and the response to economic conditions are going to dominate.”

Anderson highlighted some of the policy victories of the association over the past year. This includes a six-month delay of the tamper-resistant paper requirement for Medicaid prescriptions, the two-year delay of California’s e-pedigree requirement, the preservation of access to retail pharmacy for military families and veterans through the TRICARE program and the temporary injunction won by NACDS and the National Community Pharmacists Association to block the Medicaid pharmacy reimbursement cuts that would have gone into effect in January 2008.

“NACDS talked about the cost when patients don’t take their medications as prescribed—by one estimate, $177 billion annually,” said Anderson. “We talked about the seven most common chronic diseases. We cited there a $1.3 trillion annual drag on the economy, not to mention the human suffering. … We talked about the ability of retail pharmacy to make a difference if we are only given the chance.”

Anderson also talked about strengthening the presence of the pharmacy in the health care system. He called for the industry to take action, at this “defining age” in health care. Anderson said, “We have a vision for the future. We are branding pharmacies as the face of neighborhood healthcare.”

“The state of your association is very strong, in large part, because our staff team is working very well together,” said Anderson, who noted that results on issues are the best indicator of strength. “… No silos, no egos—that is way this is supposed to work.”

He also made reference to the economic impact that retail stores have on the economy. “Based on our analysis, retail stores with pharmacies have a total annual economic impact of $2.2 trillion,” said Anderson. This was after he noted that the stores had annual sales of $758 billion, so therefore the effect is almost tripled by pharmacies. For every $1 spent in these stores has a ripple effect of $2.93 throughout the entire economy.

“We do all those things that drive our nation’s economy and produces millions of jobs in this country,” said Anderson. “This is what you do and I think that is pretty amazing.”

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Mylan’s Digitek recalled by Actavis

BY Drew Buono

WASHINGTON Actavis Totowa has notified health care professionals of a Class I nationwide recall of all strengths of Mylan Pharmaceuticals’ drug Digitek.

The drug is used to treat heart failure and abnormal heart rhythms.

The product is being recalled due to the possibility that tablets with double the appropriate thickness may contain twice the approved level of active ingredient.

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