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Canadian article explores benefits, implications of expanding pharmacists’ practice scope

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — A new article published by researchers in Canada explains how expanding the kinds of services pharmacists can offer could improve patient care, but also have various implications for physicians.

The article, published in the the journal of the Canadian Medical Association, CMAJ (subscription required), and reported by HealthDay News, came from University of Montreal researcher Cara Tannenbaum and the University of Alberta’s Ross Tsuyuki.

In it, the researchers noted that pharmacists in Canada can renew, refuse to fill, adjust, initiate or substitute prescriptions, as well as order and interpret lab tests and administer injections and vaccines. While this could improve care for patients, it could also mean ethical, legal, financial and professional implications for physicians, and the authors advocated effective communication to ensure patient safety.

 

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CareMed receives URAC specialty, mail-order accreditation

BY Alaric DeArment

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y. — Specialty pharmacy CareMed Pharmaceutical Services has received specialty pharmacy and mail-order pharmacy accreditations from URAC, the company said Wednesday.

URAC is a non-profit group that uses accreditation, education and measurement programs to promote healthcare quality. CareMed also received accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Health Care in 2009.

"CareMed’s dual accreditation is a testament to our commitment to excellence," CareMed SVP sales and marketing John Witkowski said. "We take meeting the high standards and scrutiny of the URAC and ACHC very seriously, and we are honored to have earned dual accreditation."

 

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FDA clears Novo Nordisk insulin pen for children

BY Alaric DeArment

PLAINSBORO, N.J. — The Food and Drug Administration has given the green light to an insulin pen made by Novo Nordisk for half-unit dosing, the drug maker said Wednesday.

The Denmark-based drug maker announced the clearance of the NovoPen Echo, saying it marked the first and only pen device in the United States with half-unit dosing and a memory function that records the dose and time passed since the last injection. The system will be available for patients using NovoLog (insulin aspart [rDNA origin]) PenFill cartridges. Half-unit dose increments allow for finer adjustments, which can be important for children.

"The U.S. approval of NovoPen Echo represents a significant milestone in insulin delivery, especially for children with diabetes and their caregivers," Novo Nordisk SVP diabetes marketing Camille Lee said. "The pen can offer caregivers increased confidence that their children are managing their diabetes appropriately away from home by allowing them to see the amount and time passed since their last dose."

The pen is scheduled to become available in the United States early next year and is already on the market in Canada, Europe and Israel.

 

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