Maryland grants $62 million for expansion of university Pharmacy Hall
BALTIMORE, Md. Governor Martin O’Malley along with the state legislature of Maryland, has granted $62 million for the addition to Pharmacy Hall in the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, according to published reports.
The students and faculty of University of Maryland School of Pharmacy have been rallying for government support of the decade-long plan since Feb. 14, demanding that there would be an accommodation to the increased enrollment of an extra 120 students. Since there has been a shortage of pharmacists in America, the university has been calling for more room to accommodate its students, and to allow more students interested in pharmacy to enroll.
David J. Ramsay, DM, DPhil, president of the University of Maryland said of the funding, “In securing more than $62 million for the construction of the Pharmacy Hall addition, Gov. Martin O’Malley and the Maryland General Assembly have recognized the need to educate more pharmacists, carry out more cutting-edge research and deepen our commitment to serve the community. We are thankful for their leadership and their vision in helping us move forward with this desperately needed expansion.”
According to published reports, the building will be 92,635-square-feet, and seven stories high. It will include lecture halls with wiring for computers and distance-learning technology. The university also will build a patient interaction laboratory, which would be dedicated to research and the testing of new drugs.
The addition, slated to open for students in the fall of 2010, also will include such environmentally friendly features as energy-efficient lights and heat recovery air landing systems.
Kaiser grows My Health Manager personal health records program
Oakland, Calif. Kaiser Permanente, an integrated health plan has announced that is has more than two million members using its personal health record, My Health Manager
My Health Manager provides features including online appointment scheduling and prescription refills. In addition, users have 24/7 online access to lab test results, eligibility and benefits information, and even their children’s immunization records. With secure e-mail messaging, members can also communicate with their doctors at anytime from anywhere.
“My health manager is strengthening the doctor-patient relationship by allowing them to more frequently communicate with one another and do so through multiple channels,” said Anna-Lisa Silvestre, vice president for online services. “Despite the fact that it involves sitting behind a computer, consumers feel like their providers are more available to them than ever.”
Authorities seize over $100,000 in unapproved drugs marketed as natural supplements
Washington U.S. Marshals seized more than 14,000 dosage units of natural supplements, valued at more than $100,000, titled: Shangai Regular, Shangai Ultra, Super Shangai, Naturale Super Plus and Lady Shangai at the request of the Food and Drug Administration. The products were marketed as treatments for erectile dysfunction, impotency and/or sexual enhancement, which caused them to be drugs under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
The packages of these products did not list the drug ingredients on the label and when tested by the FDA, it was discovered that the ingredients were FDA-approved drugs for ED. The agency started looking into the supplements after receiving a consumer complaint.
The undeclared ingredients in these products may interact with nitrates found in some prescription drugs (such as nitroglycerin, according to the FDA, and can lower blood pressure to dangerous levels. Consumers with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or heart disease often take nitrates. ED is a common problem in men with these medical conditions. Because they may have been advised against taking ED drugs, they may seek out products like these because they are marketed as “all natural” or as not containing the active ingredients in approved, prescribed ED drugs.
Despite being advised of the findings and the potential adverse health risk posed by the seized products and that regulatory action was possible, the company, Shangai Distributors, did not take any action to correct the violations, according to the FDA.
The FDA issued a press release on Dec. 28, 2007 advising consumers not to buy or use the products. Prior to the seizure, the Puerto Rico Department of Health embargoed the seized products to protect the citizens of Puerto Rico and to support the FDA’s enforcement actions.