PHARMACY

HEALS of the South seeks to educate patients about hepatitis

BY Alaric DeArment

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Hepatitis Education Awareness and Liver Support of the South is advocating for awareness about hepatitis and the importance of Medicare Part D as part of World Hepatitis Day, the organization said Thursday.

HEALS of the South said proper treatment and access to medicines is critical to patients with liver disease and also encouraged people to get vaccinated for hepatitis A and B and tested for hepatitis C, symptoms of which often don’t occur until the late stage of the disease. According to the World Health Organization, which is sponsoring its first World Hepatitis Day, 520 million people worldwide are infected with hepatitis B and C.

“While members of the House and Senate are fighting over a solution for the debt ceiling, we are educating many in the United States about hepatitis,” HEALS of the South executive director and Medicare Rx Access Network of Florida member Pam Langford said. “This week, we are in Washington, D.C., for World Hepatitis Day to raise awareness of this disease and promote the preservation of Medicare Part D, as it is critical to so many hepatitis patients.”

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APhA to present two new scholarships next year at annual meeting

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON — The American Pharmacists Association Foundation has created two new scholarships that will be presented at the APhA’s annual gathering next year.

The George F. Archambault Scholarship, created by the Archambault Foundation, and the Charlie Thomas Scholarship, created by Phi Lambda Sigma, will be presented at the 2012 APhA Annual Meeting and Convention in New Orleans during the Contributors’ Breakfast. Phi Lambda Sigma is the national Pharmacy Leadership Society.

The first scholarship honors George F. Archambault, former chief of the pharmacy branch of the Public Health Service Division of Hospitals and later, pharmacy liaison officer to the Office of the Surgeon General of the United States.

The second scholarship honors Charles C. Thomas, who founded Phi Lambda Sigma while a student at Auburn University and currently is pharmacy director for the Alabama Department of Public Health and supervisor for the state’s controlled substances database.

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NACDS outlines continued efforts in improving patient health to Senate committee

BY Antoinette Alexander

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores announced on Thursday that it submitted comments to the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which held a hearing Thursday titled "FDA User Fees: Advancing Public Health," outlining community pharmacy’s commitment to addressing drug safety and the appropriate use of prescription medications to help improve patient health.

In its comments, NACDS outlined its continued efforts in improving patient health through the use of medication therapy management services, targeting illegitimate drug sellers, improving the communication of patient medication information and working with law enforcement to return and dispose of unwanted prescription medications.

"NACDS and the chain pharmacy industry support the goals of providing consumers with safe medications and working to prevent illegitimate Internet drug sellers from targeting U.S. consumers with unsafe medications. We also support providing patients with a useful and understandable drug information document (the "one document solution"), and providing patients with a safe and legal means for disposal of their unused medications," NACDS stated in its comments.

"In addition, we are devoted to important initiatives to improve patients’ adherence to their prescribed medications. Chain pharmacies and their pharmacists work with their patients daily to provide them with information and counseling on the proper use of their prescription medications and the importance of adhering to their prescription drug treatment," NACDS stated.

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