PHARMACY

NCPA announces finalists for 2009 Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan competition

BY Allison Cerra

ALEXANDRIA, Va. Teams of pharmacy students from three universities were named finalists in the National Community Pharmacists Association’s Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition at the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy annual meeting in Boston, Mass.

This is the sixth year of the competition, which is the first of its kind, drawing entries from 29 schools and colleges of pharmacy this year. The competition is named in honor of two champions of independent community pharmacy, the late Neil Pruitt, Sr., and H. Joseph Schutte, and is supported by the Pruitt and Schutte families, the NCPA Foundation, Pharmacists Mutual, and Covidien.

The finalists are the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy, the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy, and the University of Washington School of Pharmacy.

“The competition gives pharmacy students the invaluable experience of creating business plans for independent community pharmacy ownership that are judged by a distinguished panel of pharmacy professionals. Numerous past participants have gone on to become successful owners as a result of the expertise they gained, which is why NCPA remains committed to providing pharmacy students with tangible ways to learn about the entrepreneurial side of the profession,” said NCPA president Holly Whitcomb Henry.

Team members and the advisor for the three finalists will receive complimentary registration, travel, and lodging to NCPA’s 111th Annual Convention and Trade Exposition in New Orleans, La., October 17 to 21, where they will compete live. After the live presentations have been evaluated and scored, the following awards will be presented:

  • First Place—$3,000 to the NCPA student chapter, and $3,000 contributed to the school in the dean’s name to promote independent pharmacy. The team members, team advisor, and the dean will receive complimentary registration, travel, and lodging to NCPA’s 2010 Multiple Locations Conference.
  • Second Place—$2,000 to the NCPA student chapter, and $2,000 contributed to the school in the dean’s name to promote independent pharmacy.
  • Third Place—$1,000 to the NCPA student chapter, and $1,000 contributed to the school in the dean’s name to promote independent pharmacy.

The remaining seven teams will receive $300 dollars for each person from the school who registers for the NCPA 111th Annual Convention. All participating schools receive a plaque commemorating their participation in the competition. Each year, competing schools receive an engraved plate to add to their plaque, and teams placing in the top 10 receive a special plate acknowledging this distinction.

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Letter urges Waxman to push for provisions in H.R. 1427 for biosimilars regulatory pathway

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON In a letter Friday, a group of organizations urged a Congressman to push for provisions contained in a bill he introduced that would create a regulatory pathway for biosimilars if a House committee calls for a pathway as part of healthcare reform legislation.

The Generic Pharmaceutical Association, AARP, the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, labor unions and other groups asked Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., to try and insert provisions from his Promoting Innovation and Life Saving Medicines Act in health reform legislation, if the legislation includes a pathway for biosimilars.

Waxman’s bill, introduced on March 11, would grant biotech drugs five years of market exclusivity, much like the Hatch-Waxman Act he co-sponsored in 1984, which created an approval pathway for generic pharmaceutical drugs.

Nevertheless, the bill has garnered only 14 co-sponsors, compared to 137 for the Pathway for Biosimilars Act, a competing bill introduced days after Waxman’s by Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., which would allow 12 to 14 years of exclusivity. Earlier this month, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee voted to amend the healthcare reform bill to allow 12 years of exclusivity for biotech drugs.

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Oramed announces mid-stage trial results for Type 1 diabetes treatment

BY Alaric DeArment

JERUSALEM A company that develops alternative drug delivery systems said it achieved positive results in a mid-stage clinical trial of an orally administered insulin for treating Type 1 diabetes.

Oramed Pharmaceuticals said the phase 2a trial of its insulin capsules, ORMD-0801, showed the capsules was well-tolerated and produced no serious harmful side effects.

“These results demonstrate that Oramed’s oral insulin capsule had a good safety profile and was effective on patients with Type 1 diabetes when taken prior to a meal,” Oramed chief scientific officer Miriam Kidron said in a statement.

The company said it is conducting a phase 2b trial in South Africa, evaluating the insulin’s effects on patients with Type 2 diabetes.

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