PHARMACY

NAMI releases PSA initiative regarding psychological disorders

BY Alaric DeArment

ARLINGTON, Va. A nonprofit organization hopes that a new series of public service announcements it has released will encourage people to connect with each other to help themselves, their families and friends who live with psychological disorders.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness announced this week that it had released a PSA initiative called “Puzzle Pieces” that includes four 60-second and three 30-second radio PSAs featuring testimonials from individuals and families that describe their experiences with mental illnesses and the role NAMI played in their recovery.

“We know that with early detection, appropriate treatment and support from family and friends, people with mental illness can lead healthy, rewarding lives,” NAMI executive director Michael Fitzpatrick said. “NAMI members connect to educate each other and encourage their loved ones during their personal journeys to wellness.”

The organization said that an estimated 1-in-5 American families is affected by mental illnesses, including major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder.

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FTC clears J&J acquisition of Cougar Biotechnology

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. The Federal Trade Commission has given clearance to the acquisition of a biotechnology company by drug maker Johnson & Johnson.

J&J announced that the FTC had granted early termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act with respect to J&J’s acquisition of Los Angeles-based Cougar Biotechnology.

J&J made a tender offer last month to acquire Cougar for $1 billion, or $43 per share, and Cougar’s board recommended that stockholders accept the offer. If J&J manages to acquire a majority of tendered shares, and fulfills other customary conditions, Cougar will become a subsidiary, working with J&J’s biotech division. The tender offer expires at midnight July 2.

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NCPA presents drug disposal advocacy to Congress

BY Alaric DeArment

ALEXANDRIA, Va. An organization representing the country’s independent pharmacies took its advocacy of drug disposal programs to Congress Thursday.

Speaking on behalf of the National Community Pharmacy Association, pharmacist Cheri Garvin testified before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security’s “Safe and Responsible Drug Disposal” hearing.

Garvin, CEO of Leesburg Pharmacy in Leesburg, Va., developed a drug disposal program for her pharmacy that the NCPA said serves as a business model that its 23,000 members can use. The organization said safe drug disposal helps prevent diversion and the contamination of drinking water that results from patients flushing unused medications down toilets.

“Patients need viable, convenient solutions when seeking to dispose of their unused medications,” Garvin said in her testimony. “Programs that allow for drop-off at multiple public locations, as well as programs that allow for patients to utilize prepaid mailers to dispose of medications, should be encouraged.”

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