PHARMACY

Independence Blue Cross challenges business leaders to ‘Step Out’ and fight diabetes

BY Allison Cerra

PHILADELPHIA Independence Blue Cross is continuing its role as a presenting sponsor of Step Out: Walk to Fight Diabetes for the third consecutive year.

At a corporate kickoff breakfast held Wednesday, hosted with the American Diabetes Association, IBC president and CEO Joseph Frick — this year’s walk chair — urged business leaders to get involved in fundraising efforts for the upcoming annual walk on Oct. 2.

“At IBC, we’re committed to helping our members with diabetes live healthier lives and preventing the onset of this devastating disease among those who are at risk,” said Frick. “This is one of the many reasons we continue to make meaningful investments in prevention, wellness and health management programs for diabetes and other chronic conditions. Participating in Step Out is a great way to remind each other that our health should be a top priority. Equally important is our partnership with organizations like the ADA that are focused on diabetes prevention through education programs that reach our members and the community and help them understand the devastating effects of diabetes.”

Last year while Step Out walks took place in 166 other cities across the country, the Philadelphia walk broke national records as the largest in participation and fundraising. More than 3,500 people were in attendance and with the help of IBC and a number of local corporate and family-and-friend teams the ADA was able to raise more than $550,000.

“IBC’s presenting sponsorship of Step Out continues to demonstrate their care and concern for those in our community  who suffer from diabetes and other chronic diseases,” said Russell Moore, ADA executive director of the southeastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey region. “Together we hope to communicate the importance of events like Step Out that bring people together in support of a good cause. Every year, each walker and every dollar raised brings us one step closer to a cure.”

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PHARMACY

Drake University’s pharmacy college honors PTCB executive director, CEO

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON Drake University’s College of Pharmacy has given its 2010 Lawrence C. and Delores M. Weaver Medal of Honor to the leader of a pharmacy technician group.

The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board announced Tuesday that executive director and CEO Melissa Murer Corrigan had received the medal, which the college, in Des Moines, Iowa, gives to individuals whom it considers to show dedication to the pharmacy profession. Murer Corrigan has served in her position at the PTCB since its 1995 inception.

“Under Melissa’s guidance and leadership, PTCB has positioned pharmacy technicians as an integral part of enhanced pharmacy practice and improved patient care,” American Pharmacists Association EVP and CEO Thomas Menighan said. “Trained, skilled pharmacy technicians empower pharmacists to spend time with patients to optimize their drug therapy and achieve the most positive outcomes possible.”

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FDA adds boxed warning to propylthiouracil label

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. The Food and Drug Administration has added its strongest possible warning to a drug used to treat thyroid conditions amid reports of severe liver problems in patients using it, the agency announced Wednesday.

The FDA said it added a boxed warning to the label for propylthiouracil, a drug used to treat hyperthyroidism and Graves’ disease, conditions that cause goiters. The agency said it had received numerous reports of severe liver injury and acute liver failure, sometimes resulting in death, in adults and children.

The FDA approved the drug in 1947, and it is marketed as a generic. Pregnant women often use propylthiouracil during the first trimester due to possible risk of birth defects during that time from use of another drug for hyperthyroidism, methimazole, the FDA said. King Pharmaceuticals markets methimazole as Tapazole, though the drug also is available as a generic.

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