PHARMACY

NCPA Foundation announces Pruitt-Schutte business plan competition winners

BY David Salazar

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — The National Community Pharmacists Association this week announced the winners of its 2015 Good Neighbor Pharmacy NCPA Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition.

The top honor went to a team of pharmacy students from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Pharmacy. The runner-up was the team from South Carolina School of Pharmacy –USC, and the second runner-up was the team from University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy.

The competition, named for to longtime champions of independent pharmacy — Neil Pruitt, Sr. and H. Joseph Schutte, is aimed at motivating pharmacy students to create a business model for either buying an existing community pharmacy or opening a new one. 

“The [competition] empowers aspiring pharmacy owners to have carefully-crafted plans evaluated by a panel of experts,” NCPA President John T. Sherrer said. “Many past participants have become pharmacy owners and often cite the competition as being indispensable to their success.”

The three finalists made live presentations of their business plans at the NCPA’s annual convention, and the winner was announced at the NCPA Foundation’s Award Ceremony on Sunday afternoon. The winners received $3,000 and $3,000 was donated to the school in the dean’s name. The first and second runners-up received $2,000 and $1,000, respectively, and donations of $2,000 and $1,000, respectively, were donated in the deans’ names. 

“The NCPA Foundation mission is to ensure the next generation of independent community pharmacists has the tools to realize their dreams, and nothing better encapsulates that commitment than the … competition," NCPA Foundation president Sharlea Leatherwood said. “The participants work extraordinarily hard to produce the best business plans possible and the judges always have a challenge picking a winning team. This year’s winner the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Pharmacy submitted a brilliant plan and gave an extraordinary live presentation.” 

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DNA4Life announces U.S. launch of its pharmacogenetics report

BY David Salazar

MANDEVILLE, La. — DNA4Life announced the U.S. launch of its Pharmacogenetic Report, which will be available directly to patients, on Tuesday. DNA4Life’s test analyzes a person’s DNA to predict how they will respond to 120 commonly prescribed medication. One of the main goals of pharmacogenetics is avoiding adverse drug reaction, which the Food and Drug Administration says is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S.

“By securely and responsibly making access to personalized, quality data — and care — an affordable reality, DNA4Life has the potential to revolutionize drug therapy for the most common health conditions that are managed with medication," DNA4Life CEO and co-founder Richard Zimmer III said. “Our differentiated and more comprehensive analysis will assist healthcare professionals in customizing a personalized treatment plan for their patients of all ages, ethnicities and genders — particularly those being treated for chronic conditions, like high cholesterol, depression, ADHD or pain.”

Rather than comparing one gene to one drug, DNA4Life’s report looks at 12 common genes that can have an affect on how a patient responds to drugs. Patients use the company’s physician-integrated ordering system that requires them to share results with their doctors.

The test will cost $249. 

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FDA approves Aurobindo’s Abilify generic

BY David Salazar

DAYTON, N.J. — Aurobindo Pharmma on Monday announced that it had received FDA approval for its generic version of Otsuka Pharmaceuticals’ Abilify (aripiprazole) tablets. The drug is an atypical anipsychotic intended to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Aurobindo’s aripiprazole will be available in 2-, 5-, 10-, 15-, 20-, and 30-mg tablets. Abilify had U.S. sales in the twelve months ended August 2015 of $7.3 billion, according to IMS Health Data. 

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