PHARMACY

First-ever Senate Community Pharmacy Caucus established

BY Michael Johnsen

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Sens. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., and Jon Tester, D-Mont., have established the first-ever Senate Community Pharmacy Caucus, an effort endorsed Wednesday by the National Community Pharmacists Association.

NCPA’s efforts to help establish a Senate Pharmacy Caucus were reported one month ago here.

The new Senate caucus is intended to complement the Congressional Community Pharmacy Caucus in the House, founded in 2007, and currently co-chaired by Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., and Mike Ross, D-Ark. That caucus now features 30 House members.

"Sens. Jerry Moran and Jon Tester are terrific leaders for the inaugural Senate Community Pharmacy Caucus," NCPA’s EVP and CEO Douglas Hoey said. "They have long advocated common-sense solutions for the challenges facing community pharmacists and their patients. These have included increasing patient choice and reducing wasteful pharmaceutical spending by reforming pharmacy benefit management business practices and preserving patient access to durable medical equipment and in-person counseling on its proper use. Indeed, greater utilization of clinically trained community pharmacists in federal programs like Medicare and Medicaid can produce improvements in all metrics of success."

Sen. Moran was one of the original founders of the Congressional Community Pharmacy Caucus in 2007 when he was a member of the House. He was the lead sponsor of several pieces of legislation in the House, including the Community Pharmacy Fairness Act of 2009 and legislation which provided an accreditation exemption for small pharmacies supplying durable medical equipment.

"Community pharmacists are vital to our health care delivery system," Moran said. "In many Kansas communities and throughout the country, the local pharmacist is a patient’s most direct link to health care. The access to medications, health care supplies, and counsel pharmacists provide matters greatly to the health and well-being of every American. This caucus will provide valuable resources to senators as we work to see that all Americans have better access to affordable health care."

"Community pharmacies provide essential services for Montana’s rural communities," Tester added. "These small businesses are a critical part of what keeps rural America strong and healthy. If folks in rural America don’t have access to life-saving medicine and medical supplies, rural America will disappear. That’s why I’m proud to champion Montana’s community pharmacies and the good-paying jobs they support."

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Adding dapagliflozin to diabetes regimen may help reduce blood sugar, weight among patients

BY Alaric DeArment

SAN DIEGO — Adding an investigational drug for Type 2 diabetes to the common generic drug metformin helped control blood sugar in patients who could not control their blood sugar with metformin alone, according to results of a late-stage clinical study.

AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers Squibb announced results of an extension to a phase-3 study in which patients took either metformin with dapagliflozin or metformin with a placebo over nearly two years. The study found that patients in the treatment group reduced blood sugar by between 0.48% and 0.78%, while those taking metformin with placebo saw increases of 0.02%.

Patients in the dapagliflozin group also achieved better weight reduction than those in the placebo group.

Results of the study were presented at the 71st scientific sessions of the American Diabetes Association.

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Sam’s Club to offer free children’s health, ID screenings

BY Allison Cerra

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Sam’s Club is helping parents prepare for the back-to-school season by offering free children’s health and ID screenings at stores nationwide on July 9.

From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., shoppers can take advantage of the screenings, which will include blood pressure, body mass index and vision checks, as well as fingerprint kits and DNA swabs. The tests, valued at $100, will be conducted by certified technicians from Carmen Ingle and Associates. Additionally, fingerprint kits will be administered by the in-club technician, while the DNA swab kit can be administered in Sam’s Club or taken home by a parent.

The in-club children’s health and ID screenings are sponsored by Band-Aid, Clif Kid, Dial, G2, L’il Critters, Neosporin and Neo To Go! The brands will provide samples on site, Sam’s Club said.

"Summer is the perfect time to take advantage of children’s extra free time by scheduling health checkups," Sam’s Club SVP Jill Turner-Mitchael said. "As the summer continues and kids are out playing, we know that safety is also important to parents, so Sam’s Club is offering a special joint health and safety screening to help protect children in the event they are ever lost. At Sam’s Club, we are proud to provide our members with quality health solutions for the entire family."

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