PHARMACY

New Florida law requires training, registration for pharmacy techs

BY Alaric DeArment

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. Pharmacy technicians in Florida must now register with the Florida Board of Pharmacy and complete an approved training program under a law signed by Gov. Charlie Crist this week.

The bill, sponsored in part by the Florida chapter of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, requires technicians to register with the board by 2010 and then complete a board-approved training program and obtain certification by 2011.

The Florida ASHP chapter’s effort is part of the nationwide Pharmacy Technician Initiative, which encourages states to require pharmacy technicians to register with state boards of pharmacy, undergo ASHP-accredited pharmacy technician training and obtain certification from the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board.

The PTCB, the leading national program that has certified more than 300,000 pharmacy technicians, on Friday came out in support of the legislation. PTCB stated it was proud to have certified 15,000 pharmacy technicians in Florida, to date, and looked forward to working with more pharmacy technicians and their employers.

“Florida’s new pharmacy technician standards are an important patient safety solution for consumers in the Sunshine State and Governor Crist and the state’s legislators should be applauded,” said PTCB executive cirector and chief executive officer Melissa Murer Corrigan. “To meet these new state standards, PTCB is looking forward to continued work with pharmacy technicians and significant employers of Florida’s pharmacy technicians such as Walgreen’s, CVS, Publix, Target, the U.S. military, multiple health systems and independent pharmacists in communities across the state. Several employers presently support and endorse PTCB across the United States.” 

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PHARMACY

Study: pharmacist monitoring can help hypertension

BY Alaric DeArment

SEATTLE An experiment by the Seattle-based Group Health Cooperative has found that Web-based monitoring by pharmacists can help control hypertension.

It found that 56 percent of patients assigned home blood pressure monitoring, Web site training and Web-based pharmacist care experienced increases in control of blood pressure. Those who received the blood pressure monitoring and Web site training only did not experience a significant increase.

The study involved 778 patients ages 25 to 75 in three groups with uncontrolled essential hypertension and Internet access between June 2005 and December 2007.

Results of the study appeared in Wednesday’s issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Genzyme, Isis complete license agreement for cholesterol drug

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. Genzyme and Isis Pharmaceuticals announced Tuesday that they had finished a license and collaboration agreement for mipomersen, a drug candidate designed for patients with high cholesterol.

Under the agreement, Genzyme will pay Isis $175 million in licensing fees. Isis will contribute up to $175 million for development. After that, the two companies will share development costs. Isis may also receive up to $1.5 billion in commercial, development and regulatory milestone payments. Genzyme will have preferred access to future drugs that Isis develops for rare diseases and diseases affecting the central nervous system.

The companies will share profits for the drug, with Genzyme receiving 70 percent and Isis receiving 30 percent. They will split profits equally once revenues on mipomersen reach $2 billion. Genzyme will also be responsible for funding sales and marketing until revenues can cover them.

“Mipomersen is an innovative treatment that has the potential to change the standard of care for severely ill patients whose needs cannot be addressed by current cholesterol-lowering therapies,” said Henri A. Termeer, Genzyme’s chairman and chief executive officer.

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