PHARMACY

Calif. pharmacy board provides Rx support to wildfire evacuees

BY David Salazar

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — As both the Butte and Valley Fire raged in northern California, the state’s board of pharmacy held an emergency meeting to ensure that those affected by the blazes have access to medications. Last week, the board waived certain regulations for pharmacists in 18 counties containing and adjacent to the fire, allowing pharmacists to dispense medication to evacuees, even if their prescriptions aren’t on file with a particular pharmacy. 

The move came as the two fires — which are slowly being contained and have collectively destroyed nearly 2,000 structures, burned more than 146,000 acres and killed two — forced thousands of people out of their homes and California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency. 

The emergency waiver allows pharmacists to dispense a 30-day supply of medically necessary drugs to a patient or pet, even without a prescription or empty container, excepting sterile compounded prescriptions and controlled substances. The waiver will stay in place until the state of emergency is lifted, California’s board of pharmacy said.

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FDA approves Taiho Oncology’s Lonsurf

BY David Salazar

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday announced the approval of Taiho Oncology’s Lonsurf (trifluridine and tipiracil). The pill, a combination of two drugs, is intended to treat metastatic colorectal cancer that has stopped responding to other therapies. 

“The past decade has brought a new understanding around colorectal cancer, in how we can both detect and treat this often devastating disease,” said Dr. Richard Pazdur, director of the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “But there are many patients who still need additional options, and today’s approval is a testament to the FDA’s commitment to work with companies to develop new drugs in disease areas where unmet needs remain.” 

Lonsurf marks the first FDA approval for Taiho Oncology.

“Patients with metastatic colorectal cancer, whose disease has progressed after treatment with standard therapies, have had limited therapeutic options to treat their disease,” Taiho president and CEO Eric Benn said. “Lonsurf helps address this unmet medical need by providing patients with a new therapeutic option that can help extend their overall survival.”

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Ritzman Pharmacy partners on ‘pharmacy of the future’ prototype

BY Michael Johnsen

WADSWORTH, Ohio — Ritzman Pharmacy has entered into an agreement with Pharmacy Innovations, an affiliate of Northeast Ohio Medical University, to create a “Pharmacy of the Future” with a planned opening in January 2016. The pharmacy will be located in the NEOMED Education and Wellness Center.
 
At the pharmacy patients will have access to a medical fitness facility, primary care services, physical therapy, medication management, all informed by a holistic approach to wellness.
 
“The pharmacy will serve as an incubator of innovation, bringing elements such as telemedicine and mobile health apps and devices, to our pharmacy that are not commonly seen,” Charles Taylor, dean of the College of Pharmacy at NEOMED and president of Pharmacy Innovations, said. “It will be an extraordinary model for educating pharmacy students.”
 
The College of Pharmacy at NEOMED formed Pharmacy Innovations to leverage interprofessional education, collaborative partnerships and the unversity’s expertise to improve the health of urban and rural communities through advanced pharmacist services.
 
“Education is important to personal health, and it’s a driving principle for Pharmacy Innovations and NEOMED,” Taylor said. “By building a place that allows our patients and customers to better adhere to their prescriptions and have access to services that promote better health outcomes, we’re furthering our mission with the help of a trusted community pillar in Ritzman Pharmacy.”
 
The partnership was spurred by Ritzman Pharmacy, which wanted to build a practice site that is more community-oriented and pharmacist-accessible.
 
“Emerging health care philosophies are increasingly focused on wellness and we couldn’t be more thrilled to lead in the pharmacy experience,” George Glatcz, Ritzman Pharmacy COO, said. “We believe this pharmacy will serve as a catalyst to advance pharmacy and primary care in the community, and it wouldn’t be possible without our partners at NEOMED.”
 
“This will be a pharmacy of the future,” Ritzman Pharmacy CEO Eric Graf said. “We are using this model in all of our pharmacy practices, where the pharmacist will be front and center, contributing to more engaged and impactful patient-centered care.”
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