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FDA approves Novo Nordisk’s drug for rare bleeding disorder

BY Ryan Chavis

PLAINSBORO, N.J. — Novo Nordisk on Monday announced that the Food and Drug Administration approved the company's NovoSeven RT (coagulation factor VIIa [recombinant]). The drug is the first recombinant treatment for bleeding episodes and perioperative management in patients with Glanzmann’s Thrombasthenia (GT) with refractoriness to platelet transfusions, with or without antibodies to platelets, the company said.

Glanzmann’s Thrombasthenia is a rare genetic bleeding disorder with limited treatment plans. It occurs when certain surface proteins on platelets are either missing or fail to work. This impacts the blood's ability to form an initial platelet "plug," which is the first step in building a strong blood clot, the company noted.

“Novo Nordisk is proud to build on our strong heritage of pioneering new therapies and indications for the bleeding disorders community by offering the only recombinant treatment for Glanzmann’s Thrombasthenia,” said Eddie Williams, senior vice president BioPharmaceuticals, Novo Nordisk. “We’re committed to keeping patients at the forefront of all we do, and this approval allows us to expand on this commitment.”

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Cardinal empowers pharmacists with legislative toolkit

BY Michael Johnsen

DUBLIN, Ohio — Cardinal Health recently introduced a legislative toolkit that makes it easy for community pharmacists to share their views about policies affecting the pharmacy industry.

The toolkit, available online at LegislativeToolkit.com, arms community pharmacists with knowledge so they can effectively communicate to elected officials the concerns of local pharmacists.

“Community pharmacists must raise their voices and participate in the legislative process,” said Steve Lawrence, SVP retail independent sales at Cardinal Health. "[Community pharmacists] can make a difference on the issues that affect our industry.”

The toolkit provides:

  • A database to learn which elected officials to contact;
  • Guides on how to make communications with elected officials effective, whether by phone call, letter or hosting a pharmacy tour;
  • An explanation of key legislative language; and
  • An overview of key pharmacy issues identified by both state associations and the National Community Pharmacist Association.

According to Lawrence, some of the issues that affect the more than 8,000 independent pharmacies that Cardinal Health serves include:

  • The need for pharmacists to receive provider status, so they can be reimbursed for delivering certain healthcare services to patients;
  • The impact that narrow insurance networks have on patient access to pharmacy care;
  • The need for community pharmacies to be fairly reimbursed for dispensing prescriptions; and
  • The ability to communicate how fair reimbursement helps ensure patients have reliable access to community pharmacies.
     

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Pharmacists educate patients on the National Mall

BY Antoinette Alexander

WASHINGTON — Community pharmacists play a vital role in helping patients live healthier lives, as well as in improving the cost-effectiveness of health care. That’s a key message that community pharmacists will convey during the upcoming Health on the National Mall event.

“Pharmacists are community educators on health, in the very broadest sense and, oftentimes, they’re a patient’s most trusted healthcare provider,” said Ron Clerico, VP of marketing strategies and solutions at Cardinal Health. “This event demonstrates the many ways pharmacists are leading change in communities across the country by helping their patients better manage their overall health so they can live longer, healthier lives.”

“Community pharmacists play a critical role in helping patients achieve better health outcomes,” said NCPA CEO Douglas Hoey. “This is particularly true in rural communities where the independent community pharmacist may be the only provider for many miles around. NCPA is proud to partner with Cardinal Health on this event to increase public awareness about how pharmacists help millions of Americans every day. In addition, we again urge Congress to enact H.R. 4190 to expand recognition of pharmacists as providers and to expand Medicare coverage of pharmacist-delivered healthcare services in medically underserved areas.”

The Health on the National Mall event, co-sponsored by Cardinal Health and the National Community Pharmacists Association, will be held July 23 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Washington, D.C., on the National Mall in front of the Capitol Building.

Visitors of the free event will be able to stop by 1-of-10 tents, which will be staffed by community pharmacists, to learn about health topics ranging from heart health and diabetes management, to weight management and asthma.

The event is part of Cardinal Health’s annual Retail Business Conference, aptly themed “Leading Change” this year. The theme further communicates the critical role that community pharmacists can play in improving patient health, as well as today’s fast-changing healthcare environment.

 

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