PHARMACY

Nurse practitioners receive CARE awards at second annual Retail Clinician Education Congress

BY Michael Johnsen

ORLANDO, Fla. Closing out the first day of the second annual Retail Clinician Education Congress, organizers of the event recognized several nurse practitioners for their achievements, awarding them with Clinician Awards for Retail Excellence.

Honorees at the event included Sharon Kulzick of Aurora QuickCare; Marilyn Brown of MinuteClinic; Albertina De La Osa, Diana Adams, Linda Ritchie, and Suzanne Oliver, all of Take Care Health Systems. Additionally, Tine Hansen-Turton, executive director of the Convenient Care Association, was recognized with a CARE Leadership plaque for her legislative efforts on behalf of nurse practitioners. Mona Counts, president of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, was recognized with a lifetime achievement award, renamed the Loretta Ford CARE in honor of last year’s premier recipient of the award.

Approximately 600 people attended the conference, including nearly 500 nurse practitioners and physician assistants.

“With all of the confusion and concern about how to fix our healthcare system, it’s refreshing and inspiring to hear about and recognize a few of the many retail clinicians that are bringing innovation to healthcare and literally saving lives,” commented John Kenlon, publisher of Retail Clinician.

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Caraco settles patent suit over cancer generic

BY Alaric DeArment

DETROIT A generic drug maker announced Monday that it had settled patent litigation over a generic version of a cancer drug.

Caraco Pharmaceutical Labs said it reached a settlement with MedImmune over a generic version of the drug Ethyol (amifostine). MedImmune had filed the suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.

Under the settlement, MedImmune granted Caraco a license to certain patents that permit Caraco to continue marketing its generic version of Ethyol in the United States.

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Biosimilars bill passed by House committee draws response from GPhA

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK A House committee vote has brought a pathway for biosimilars one step closer to reality, but not in a way that pleases everyone.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee voted 47-11 Friday to pass an amendment to the healthcare reform bill that would give biotech drugs 12 years of market exclusivity before they face competition from biosimilars.

“We are sincerely disappointed that some members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee have decided to put brand pharmaceutical profits before patient needs,” Generic Pharmaceutical Association president and CEO Kathleen Jaeger said in a statement. “The amendment passed tosses patient needs out the window.”

In March, Reps. Henry Waxman and Anna Eshoo, both California Democrats, sponsored competing bills in Congress to allow a regulatory pathway for biosimilars. Waxman’s bill would give biotech drugs five years’ market exclusivity before facing biosimilar competition, like the Hatch-Waxman Act of 1984, which created a pathway for generic pharmaceutical drugs. Eshoo’s bill would grant 12 to 14 years of exclusivity. The short-exclusivity plan has the support of the generic drug industry, patient advocates, pharmacy trade groups and The Washington Post editorial page, though legislation to allow longer exclusivity periods has advanced further in the House and Senate.

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