PHARMACY

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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Covidien enters a license, development collaboration with Nuvo Research

BY Alaric DeArment

ST. LOUIS A healthcare products company hopes to expand its entry into the branded painkiller market through a new deal with a Canadian drug development company.

Covidien announced that it had entered a license and development collaboration with Mississauga, Ontario-based Nuvo Research, which develops transdermal and topical drugs. The collaboration includes a topical painkiller that combines the nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac sodium with the transdermal carrier dimethyl sulfoxide.

Covidien said that Nuvo would receive an upfront payment – which Covidien would expense in its fiscal third quarter – development and sales milestone payments and royalties.

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APhA ‘stands ready’ for reformed healthcare system

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON An organization representing the country’s pharmacists heralded comments by President Barack Obama before the American Medical Association Monday that mentioned members of the profession as playing a role in healthcare reform.

Pharmacists “stand ready” to be part of a reformed healthcare system, the American Pharmacists Association said in response.

The APhA said that evidence increasingly indicates pharmacists help keep healthcare costs in check through such services as medication therapy management, which includes educating patients on how to take prescription drugs properly and safely, and health screenings and immunizations.

“We need to build on the examples of outstanding medicine at places like the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, where the quality of care for cystic fibrosis patients shot up after the hospital began incorporating suggestions from parents,” Obama said in his remarks before the AMA’s annual conference in Chicago. “And places like Tallahassee Memorial Health Care, where deaths were dramatically reduced with rapid response teams that monitored patients’ conditions and ‘multidisciplinary rounds’ with everyone from physicians to pharmacists.”

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