PHARMACY

FDA introduces e-learning program about untruthful, misleading drug ads

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has launched an online learning course aimed at healthcare professionals to educate them about potentially untruthful or misleading drug ads and promotional materials.

The FDA’s Office of Prescription Drug Promotion announced Monday the launch, with MedScape, of the e-learning course, which offers continuing education credits for healthcare professionals. The course is part of Bad Ad, a program designed in 2010 to raise awareness about misleading and untruthful drug ads. It’s aimed at healthcare professionals, but anyone can take it, the agency said. The office has developed several case studies based on warning letters the FDA has sent to drug companies, representing common problems.

"We encourage medical, pharmacy, nursing and other healthcare-related schools to incorporate these cases into their coursework," Office of Prescription Drug Promotion director Thomas Abrams wrote in a blog entry on the FDA’s website. "The cases cover a range of promotional materials including a website, journal ad and TV ad, and touch upon numerous promotional practices that don’t comply with our regulations."

 

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Walgreens collects donations for Susan G. Komen

BY Alaric DeArment

DALLAS — Walgreens is collecting donations for breast cancer treatment through a partnership with Susan G. Komen to mark National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which takes place this month.

The retail pharmacy chain and its customers raised more than $8.5 million last year to support community health and education programs, and Komen and affiliates were able to provide funding for more than 15,000 mammograms to uninsured and underinsured people and for education and patient navigation services to another 222,000, as well as for expansion of its national breast care helpline.

"We were so delighted with the outpouring of support from Walgreens and Walgreens customers last year," Susan G. Komen chief mission officer Chandini Portteus said. "These funds are making a significant impact in communities across the country, providing access to screening mammograms, treatment assistance and other services that otherwise would go unfunded."

For the donation drive, Walgreens is collecting money at its more than 8,000 stores through Thursday.

 

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Albertson’s LLC opens pharmacy inside California hospital

BY Antoinette Alexander

FULLERTON, Calif. — Albertson’s LLC, which operates Sav-On Pharmacies, opened last week a Sav-On Pharmacy by Albertsons inside Palomar Medical Center.

Located just inside the lobby of the new medical center, the 2,200 sq-ft Sav-On Pharmacy, which includes a Starbucks, is the first location of its kind to be built in a hospital in California.

Patients can have their prescriptions filled before going home, and visitors can peruse and purchase a variety of gifts, including jewelry and reading materials, or even pick up last-minute grocery items. The gift shop also carries fresh floral arrangements, greeting cards and an assortment of restaurant and retail gift cards.

The attached Starbucks bistro-style location serves as the ideal place for some quiet time in a tranquil setting that overlooks a healing garden.

“At Palomar Health, the patient experience extends well beyond the walls of the hospital room,” stated chief administrative officer Gerald Bracht. “Partnering with our friends at Albertsons was a natural fit because they embody customer service and offer the added comfort and convenience our patients and guests deserve.  These services will simply enhance the total experience at Palomar Medical Center.”

“As the grand opening nears, we’re even more excited to welcome our customers. This is a new business opportunity for us and unlike any conventional store we’ve ever operated,” added Sav-On divisional pharmacy manager Perry Brown.

In celebration of the partnership forged with Palomar Medical Center, a donation will be pledged to the Palomar Health Foundation.

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