PHARMACY

NCPA launches Student Ambassador Program

BY Allison Cerra

ALEXANDRIA, Va. The National Community Pharmacists Association has launched its Student Ambassador Program, which recruits independent community pharmacy owners to visit pharmacy students to discuss the benefits of ownership and offer advice on how to navigate the process.

“The next generation of pharmacy owners are today’s pharmacy students,” said Holly Whitcomb Henry, RPh, NCPA pesident and pharmacy owner in Seattle. “NCPA has many tools to help students become successful owners. The NCPA Student Ambassador Program brings our current and future community pharmacy owners together, educating students about why community pharmacy is their best career option.”

So far, NCPA said, over 200 community pharmacists have signed up to become NCPA Student Ambassadors. They will visit pharmacy schools in their area, including the 80 pharmacy schools that have NCPA Student Chapters, as well as schools without chapters. The goal is to have the Ambassadors conduct at least one visit during the 2009 – 2010 calendar school year.

Henry added, “So far the response from our pharmacy-owner members has been overwhelming. They understand the quality patient care services that are a hallmark of independent community pharmacies will only continue if pharmacy students are willing to explore their entrepreneurial side and become owners. There is no reason why students’ professional plans should be confined to working in a chain, mass-merchandiser, or hospital setting.”

Once students become NCPA members they can take advantage of other programs. Each chapter works in conjunction with a faculty liaison to expand their entrepreneurial learning opportunities. Students can learn about Junior Partnerships, which allow them to work in an independent community pharmacy and have a growing ownership stake. Students can also participate in the annual NCPA Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition, which provides first-hand experience about how to establish their own businesses.

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Asteres to debut new automated pharmacy kiosk at NACDS Pharmacy & Technology Conference

BY Alaric DeArment

SAN DIEGO A company that makes automated pharmacy kiosks plans to unveil its latest products at an upcoming conference.

Asteres, which makes the ScriptCenter kiosk, announced this week that it would debut ScriptCenter 24/7 Automated Pharmacy Services at the 2009 National Association of Chain Drug Stores Pharmacy & Technology Conference in Boston, which begins Saturday.

“To date, ScriptCenter has enabled retailers to reduce pharmacy hours and increase customer services,” Asteres CEO Mark de Bruin said in a statement. “The addition of 24/7 Automated Pharmacy Services will expand customer engagement opportunities and drive incremental store sales leveraging kiosk, online and cell technologies.”

The services include the Express Prescription Pickup, Prescription Drop Off Anytime, one-touch pickup for families, ScriptCenter.com and others.

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Sciele Pharma announces availability of head lice treatment

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK A new drug for treating head lice has become available from a subsidiary of a Japanese drug company.

Sciele Pharma, part of Shionogi, announced this week the availability of Ulesfia (benzyl alcohol lotion 5%). The medication kills head lice by asphyxiation without potential neurotoxic side effects, the company said.

Head lice infestation affects 6 to 12 million children between the ages of 3 and 12 every year. To breathe, head lice use breathing holes that close upon contact with most liquids, which allows them to go into suspended animation and survive for hours without respiration, but Ulesfia prevents them from closing their breathing holes, causing the insects to asphyxiate.

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