PHARMACY

Critical Care Systems announces the launch of its pharmacy residency program

BY Jenna Duncan

NASHUA, New Hampshire Critical Care Systems today has announced the launch of a new one-year, postgraduate residency program for pharmacy training. Critical Care Systems is an infusion provider that offers services to pediatric and adult patients.

Pharmacists with field experience will train residents in the care of home and specialty infusion patients. Residents will also have hands-on training in infusion pharmacy services, covering clinical, managerial and operational skills.

The program, dubbed Critical Care Systems Clinical University, will also offer opportunites for learning on the job in rotations with academic and corporate pharmacy preceptors giving training in drug information services, nutrition support, performance improvement, reimbursement and risk management.

At present, Critical Care Systems is seeking accreditation from the American Society of Health Systems Pharmacists Residency Accreditation Services for its newly named residency program.  Only around 1,500 pharmacists complete residencies each year, Critical Care Systems has said, and there is a need for specialized training in infusion systems.

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Ligand releases details of plan to purchase Pharmacopeia

BY Alaric DeArment

SAN DIEGO Ligand Pharmaceutical plans to buy New Jersey biotech Pharmacopeia for as much as $70 million, the San Diego drug maker has announced.

Ligand’s shareholders will get an 84 percent stake in the new company, while Pharmacopeia shareholders would get a little more than half a share in Ligand for every Pharmacopeia share they own. That makes the deal worth $1.81 per share.

The deal will probably close in the first three months of next year, depending on regulatory and shareholder approvals.

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Ontario pharmacies severely underpaid, new study of reimbursements reveals

BY Jim Frederick

TORONTO Retail pharmacies in Ontario are being paid far less for prescriptions dispensed under Canada’s healthcare system than what it costs them to provide those prescriptions to patients, a new study reveals.

In partnership with the Ontario Pharmacists’ Association, the Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores announced the results of the province-wide study Wednesday at a meeting of the Economic Club of Toronto. Those results, based on an independent survey of 505 community pharmacies across Ontario, show a striking discrepancy between what pharmacies are paid for dispensing medications and what they can recoup for their services.

The independent study found the median cost to provide dispensing and related pharmacy services was $13.77 per prescription. The estimated average payment the provincial government provides to pharmacies for those services, however is far less: approximately $8.70 and declining, according to CACDS president and CEO Nadine Saby, who presented the findings.

“We need to work closely with government to find the innovative and alternative solutions that will ensure the sustainability of patient care and community pharmacy in Canada,” said Saby.

The study was conducted by MENTORx, a consulting firm that specializes in pharmacy-based research. Its aim: to assess the operating costs incurred by Ontario community pharmacies to dispense prescription drugs and deliver related pharmacy services to patients.

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