PHARMACY

NACDS recognizes Sen. Patrick Leahy as “Pharmacy Great Communicator”

BY Adam Kraemer

ALEXANDRIA , Va. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores named U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., a “Pharmacy Great Communicator” for his support of legislation to combat illegal Internet pharmacies, while protecting legitimate retail drug stores with online websites.

The NACDS recognized Leahy due to his taking retail pharmacy into account during Senate floor debate of S. 980, the Ryan Haight Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act. On April 1, Sen. Leahy discussed the need to address the problem of obtaining controlled substances via the Internet without unduly burdening pharmacies. The legislation passed last week in the Senate—with the inclusion of new reporting, posting, and registration requirements for pharmacies that seek to dispense controlled substances via the Internet.

The “Pharmacy Great Communicator” program was created to honor those who publicly highlight the value of community pharmacy. “We appreciated your support of combating rogue Internet pharmacies, while protecting ‘legitimate retail drug chains with online websites for customers seeking refills on prescriptions,’” said NACDS president and chief executive officer Steve Anderson in a letter to Leahy. “In addition, we appreciate your acknowledgment of the ‘check and security’ provided by our local pharmacists in local pharmacies—those who have served Americans for generations and helped us get well and keep us well—[which] is not always replicated online.”

NACDS has strongly urged members of Congress to take into account that consumer access to prescription medications through legitimate pharmacies must be protected, even while protecting patient safety by shutting down illegal Internet entities. In May 2007, NACDS submitted testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Leahy, iterating the patient safety implications of prescription medications sold through these rogue sites.

The legislation now proceeds to the House. NACDS will continue to work to gain the support of members of Congress to ensure protections for legitimate pharmacies.

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GE introduces ChipCap humidity and temperature gauge

BY Diana Alickaj

BILLERICA, Mass. GE Sensing & Inspection Technologies has announced a new product; proven to lower the cost of humidity and temperature sensor integration by 50 percent or more, according to published reports.

The product is known as ChipCap, a sensor for relative humidity and temperature used for the HVAC, automotive, medical and appliance industries. It is the only device that offers digital and analog configurations on a single chip. According to published reports, it is also highly resistant to contaminants and is programmed to fully recover in condensing environments.

Bryan Conner, Global Product Manager of Gas and Moisture for GE Sensing & Inspection Technologies, says, “ChipCap offers a full factory calibrated solution. It doesn’t require further signal conditioning, therefore reducing the overall design time in integration and time to market for new products. By eliminating the need for calibration, end users increase throughput and lower cycle time once in production.” The new product is sad to save an estimated $30,000 to $50,000 in capital equipment costs and calibration labor, according to published reports.

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Oxycontin removed from Walgreens Tampa Bay locations

BY Diana Alickaj

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. As a response to recent pharmacy robberies in the Tampa Bay area, Walgreens has decided to remove the drug Oxycontin from some of its Tampa Bay stores, according to published reports.

Oxycontin, which is supposed to be used in treatment for severe pain or injuries, as well as cancer, has been identified as a street drug with names like OC, Ox, Kicker or Oxy. The most recent robbery occurred on March 27, according to published reports, during which a man pulled out a gun to obtain Oxycontin.

Carol Hively, a spokesperson from Walgreens, released the following statement in response to the news of the removal of Oxycontin:

“Walgreens is in the process of removing OxyContin from some of its stores in the Tampa area. This is a temporary measure we’re taking for the safety of our customers and employees, in response to local robberies. Signs are posted in our stores informing pharmacy patients of the change.”

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