PHARMACY

Pennsylvania boosts pharmacists’ role; NACDS hails bid for collaboration

BY Jim Frederick

ALEXANDRIA, Va. In a gesture hailed by retail pharmacy advocates, the Keystone State is moving to expand the role its pharmacists play in improving patient health and outcomes.

The move comes with enactment of a Pennsylvania law, H.B. 1041, which will open new opportunities for collaborative medication therapy management between physicians and pharmacists on behalf of patients in a community pharmacy setting. Previously, such team approaches were permitted only in such institutional settings as hospitals and nursing homes in the state. 

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores had high praise for the new law, calling it an “important victory,” and citing the efforts made by the Pennsylvania Association of Chain Drug Stores and the Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association toward its passage. “With the enactment of this legislation, Pennsylvania has said ‘yes’ to improving the health and lives of patients, and to reducing overall healthcare costs,” said NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson. “This new law recognizes the expertise of pharmacists, the accessibility of community pharmacy and the ability of pharmacists to help patients properly manage their health conditions for the well-being of patients and for the good of society.”

Pennsylvania is the 33rd state to allow collaborative drug therapy management in the community setting, according to NACDS research. “Nine states allow it in institutional settings only, and eight do not allow it at all,” noted the group Friday.

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VA pharmacy techs now required to receive PTCB certification

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON Pharmacy technicians working for the Department of Veterans Affairs will be required to receive certification from the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board, under new regulations announced Friday.

The new regulations stem from formal recommendations from the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and parallel standards in the private sector, the PTCB said.

“The Department of Veterans Affairs relies extensively on its cadre of pharmacy technicians to provide a world-class pharmacy benefit to our nation’s veterans,” VA chief consultant for pharmacy benefits management Michael Valentino stated. “PTCB certification provides a solid foundation to support the pharmacy technician services of the VA as they work to serve our nation’s veterans.”

VA pharmacy techs work in a number of settings, including hospitals, outpatient care, pharmacy automation, staffing phone lines and working within the Consolidated Mail Outpatient Pharmacy, a mail-order pharmacy service.

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Taro receives FDA approval for Kytril generic

BY Alaric DeArment

HAWTHORNE, N.Y. Taro Pharmaceutical Industries has received approval from the Food and Drug Administration to market its generic version of a drug used to prevent nausea and vomiting in patients on chemotherapy, the Israeli generic drug maker said Friday.

The FDA approved Taro’s granisetron hydrochloride tablets in the 1-mg strength. The tablets are a generic version of Roche’s Kytril tablets.

Granisetron tablets had sales of around $15 million in 2009, according to unnamed industry sources cited by Taro.

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