NASP launches medical marijuana task force
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Specialty Pharmacy has launched a task force to investigate pharmacological management of medical marijuana, the group said.
Currently, according to NASP, there are no national standards of practice for the management of medical marijuana, though according to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, 21 states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for medical purposes. Two of those states, Washington and Colorado, have legalized recreational use as well.
The NASP’s professional practice committee will oversee a group of volunteers representing various stakeholders to develop a framework for educational content, practice parameters and other standards of care.
"Medical marijuana has come to the forefront of patient care in many of the diseases that specialty pharmacists treat, including multiple sclerosis, cancer, HIV and others," NASP CEO Gary Cohen said. "More education for physicians, pharmacists and patients is needed to ensure individuals receive the correct product with the correct efficacy and drug delivery system to fit their disease. As an organization, NASP believes that it has the responsibility, intellectual advisers and obligation to take the lead on this emerging area of medical care."
Expect more retail pharmacy operators and wholesalers to accumulate significant transglobal frequent flyer miles
With is proposed acquisition of German wholesaler Celesio, McKesson creates a global distribution enterprise on the scale of Walgreens, Alliance Boots and AmerisourceBergen before them. In addition to wholesaling, Celesio operates about 2,200 pharmacies across six countries and is the No. 2 operator in the United Kingdom.
Retail pharmacy and drug sourcing both are more and more becoming a global business. Just last week, the head of the second-biggest drug chain in Brazil announced he would be open to a buyout. So expect more of these headlines in the months to come.
Walgreens and Alliance Boots have really established the utility in global sourcing by exceeding expectations on the synergies generated out of their deal. And AmerisourceBergen becomes a part of that enterprise in 2014.
To be sure, now that two of the three largest U.S. wholesalers have brokered deals that places their drug procurement on a global scale, Cardinal Health may be the next company announcing a major deal.
According to Drug Channels’ Adam Fein, who broke down the deal in detail as part of his latest blog, Cardinal may be inclined to join with Econdisc Contracting Solutions, the group purchasing organization with Express Scripts, Kroger and Supervalu. Or they could deepen ties with CVS Caremark.
FDA approves first single-entity, extended-release hydrocodone drug
SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new opioid painkiller made by Zogenix, the agency said Friday.
The FDA announced the approval of Zohydro ER (hydrocodone) extended-release capsules for the management of pain severe enough to require daily, around-the-clock, long-term treatment. The agency said the drug was the first extended-release hydrocodone product not combined with another drug, such as acetaminophen, to be approved by the agency.
Because it is a so-called single-entity hydrocodone product, Zohydro ER is listed as a Schedule II controlled substance. Drugs that combine no more than 15 mg of hydrocodone with another analgesic, such as AbbVie’s Vicodin, are Schedule III drugs, though the FDA said this week that it would recommend those products for CII scheduling as well.