McKesson to raise awareness around Earth Day with fourth annual Green Week
SAN FRANCISCO — McKesson Corp. on Tuesday announced that in observance of Earth Day, the company will celebrate its fourth annual Green Week April 21-25. McKesson’s Green Week will focus on raising awareness and inspiring action. While informing employees about McKesson’s efforts to reduce its environmental footprint, the campaign will also provide ways that employees can make a difference. Each day of McKesson’s Green Week 2014 is organized around a theme, such as Meat Free Monday or Fossil Free Friday.
“McKesson aims to create better health for our customers, our employees, our communities and our planet," stated Carrie Varoquiers, VP corporate citizenship. "Engaging our employees in environmental efforts only strengthens our commitment to maintaining a healthy, vibrant and sustainable company.”
McKesson will also encourage participation in an online pledge prompting all its employees to think about how they might change their habits and celebrate Earth Day every day. McKesson will be donating one tree to the National Forest Foundation for each employee who submits their pledge.
McKesson’s employee-led Environmental Councils drive awareness of local environmental initiatives and help scale enterprise-wide sustainability programs. The Councils represent a variety of locations, from offices of 2,000 employees to distribution centers to call centers. Environmental Councils host events, speakers, vendor fairs and volunteer activities.
McKesson’s business practices promoting better health include:
- Fleet Efficiency: Since 2010, McKesson has focused on reducing fleet emissions by replacing unleaded gasoline and diesel engines with more fuel-efficient compressed natural gas engines in its U.S. Pharma sales fleet. Between fiscal years 2012 and 2013 alone, fleet CO2 emissions (in pounds) decreased 24%, and average CO2 emissions per vehicle decreased 30%;
- Building Efficiency: McKesson uses the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star Portfolio Manager to benchmark its facilities. In its U.S. portfolio, 25 facilities qualify as Energy Star, totaling 2.4 million square feet; and
- Supply Chain Efficiency: To analyze McKesson's distribution operations, the company developed the Supply Chain Sustainability Model in partnership with IBM Research. SCSM collects energy use and carbon emissions from fleet vehicles and every piece of equipment in the distribution center. It allows McKesson the agility to adjust operations, which drives decreased carbon emissions and reduced fuel consumption.
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PTCB makes patient safety CE required for pharmacy technician recertification
WASHINGTON — The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board on Monday announced that Certified Pharmacy Technicians eligible to recertify are now required to complete one hour of continuing education in patient safety, in addition to the already required hour of law CE, as part of 20 hours of CE needed for recertification. The new requirement is one of the planned Certification Program changes PTCB announced early last year to advance CPhT qualifications.
"Certified pharmacy technicians are essential members of the pharmacy practice team," stated Everett McAllister, PTCB executive director and CEO. "By continually learning more about how to prevent harm, CPhTs can have a positive impact on advancing the patient safety culture within pharmacies and the entire continuum of care."
PTCB has adopted the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education definition of patient safety described in the ACPE Policy and Procedures Manual. While PTCB-acceptable patient safety CE courses must be based on ACPE’s patient safety definition, PTCB will not require CE credits to be earned only from ACPE-accredited providers. All CPhTs applying to renew certification must fulfill the new patient safety CE requirement.
As many as 89% of respondents to a profession-wide online survey conducted by PTCB in March 2012 supported adding a medication safety (equivalent to patient safety) CE requirement for recertification. "Pharmacy technicians assist pharmacists with duties that greatly affect patient care and safety, so it is important for CPhTs to be educated on how their daily responsibilities shape the medication distribution system," commented Scott Meyers, chair of the PTCB Board of Governors. "Adding the required hour in patient safety will help ensure CPhTs are prepared to safely assist with the practice of pharmacy."
Other planned Certification Program changes include American Society of Health-System Pharmacists-accredited education requirements for certification by 2020, and additional changes in acceptable CE programs for recertification, including requiring all 20 CE hours to be pharmacy technician-specific in 2015. Allowable CE hours from college courses will be reduced from 15 to 10 by 2016, and allowable in-service CE hours will be phased out by 2018.
PTCB’s program changes elevate PTCB’s certification standards and thereby support and advance improved patient care and safety throughout pharmacy practice. The changes are the result of a PTCB initiative which began with a 2011 summit on future directions for pharmacy technicians. Summit findings, combined with results from two profession-wide surveys, called for decisive changes in certification standards.
Always need more education I will always continue to learn more
FDA approves Eli Lilly orphan drug for gastric cancer
INDIANAPOLIS — Eli Lilly on Monday announced that the Food and Drug Administration has approved Cyramza (ramucirumab) as a single-agent treatment for patients with advanced or metastatic gastric cancer or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma with disease progression on or after prior fluoropyrimidine- or platinum-containing chemotherapy. With this approval, Cyramza becomes the first FDA-approved treatment for patients in this setting.
"Lilly Oncology is committed to delivering innovative medicines that extend the lives of people with cancer," stated Richard Gaynor, SVP product development and medical affairs for Lilly Oncology. "Until now, there were no FDA-approved options for patients in this indication. We are pleased that the FDA has approved Cyramza for these patients. This is an aggressive disease that is difficult to treat, and the prognosis has typically been very poor."
"There is a high unmet medical need in patients with this disease," added Charles Fuchs, principal investigator of the REGARD trial and director, Gastrointestinal Malignancy Program, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. "This approval represents a meaningful advance for patients and gives those of us who treat them an important new second-line treatment option."
FDA approval of Cyramza marks a pivotal regulatory milestone in Lilly’s research and development program for the molecule, which it acquired when it purchased ImClone Systems in 2008. Cyramza has been granted Orphan Drug Designation by the FDA for this indication. Orphan drug status is given in the U.S. by the FDA’s Office of Orphan Products Development to medicines that show promise for the treatment of rare diseases. Lilly expects to make Cyramza available in the coming weeks and is committed to offering patient assistance programs for eligible patients receiving Cyramza treatment.
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