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Pharmacists educate patients on the National Mall

BY Antoinette Alexander

WASHINGTON — Community pharmacists play a vital role in helping patients live healthier lives, as well as in improving the cost-effectiveness of health care. That’s a key message that community pharmacists will convey during the upcoming Health on the National Mall event.

“Pharmacists are community educators on health, in the very broadest sense and, oftentimes, they’re a patient’s most trusted healthcare provider,” said Ron Clerico, VP of marketing strategies and solutions at Cardinal Health. “This event demonstrates the many ways pharmacists are leading change in communities across the country by helping their patients better manage their overall health so they can live longer, healthier lives.”

“Community pharmacists play a critical role in helping patients achieve better health outcomes,” said NCPA CEO Douglas Hoey. “This is particularly true in rural communities where the independent community pharmacist may be the only provider for many miles around. NCPA is proud to partner with Cardinal Health on this event to increase public awareness about how pharmacists help millions of Americans every day. In addition, we again urge Congress to enact H.R. 4190 to expand recognition of pharmacists as providers and to expand Medicare coverage of pharmacist-delivered healthcare services in medically underserved areas.”

The Health on the National Mall event, co-sponsored by Cardinal Health and the National Community Pharmacists Association, will be held July 23 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Washington, D.C., on the National Mall in front of the Capitol Building.

Visitors of the free event will be able to stop by 1-of-10 tents, which will be staffed by community pharmacists, to learn about health topics ranging from heart health and diabetes management, to weight management and asthma.

The event is part of Cardinal Health’s annual Retail Business Conference, aptly themed “Leading Change” this year. The theme further communicates the critical role that community pharmacists can play in improving patient health, as well as today’s fast-changing healthcare environment.

 

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Sandoz launches generic Diovan tabs

BY Ryan Chavis

PRINCETON, N.J. — Sandoz on Monday announced the launch of valsartan tablets, an authorized generic version of Diovan tablets. The drug is used for the treatment of high blood pressure. Sandoz previously launched an authorized generic version of Diovan HCT (valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide) in 2012. Both drugs are marketed in by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp.

“We are pleased to offer authorized generic versions of these leading anti-hypertensive medicines, which together represent the number one prescribed branded ARB medicine in the US,” said Peter Goldschmidt, president of Sandoz. “This important partnership with our colleagues at NPC is further evidence of the key role played by Sandoz and Novartis in increasing patient access to high-quality healthcare.”

Net sales for Diovan and Diovan HCT in 2013 were approximately $1.7 billion. Sandoz will market generic Diovan in 40-mg, 80-mg, 160-mg and 320-mg dosage strengths.

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CVS/pharmacy stops sales in 90 stores of some cold meds containing PSE

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS/pharmacy has replaced certain single-ingredient pseudoephedrine products with the tamper-resistant PSE product, Zephrex-D, in all of its West Virginia stores, as well as stores in nearby states that are located within 15 miles of West Virginia's border, including Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

The move, which was effective as of June 20, was implemented in more than 90 stores.

PSE is an active ingredient found in many cold, allergy, and sinus medicines to provide congestion relief but it can also be used in the illegal manufacture of methamphetamine.



 

“We took this step as part of our long-standing commitment to assuring that PSE products are purchased at our stores only for legitimate medical purposes. By replacing the single ingredient products that are preferred in the making of meth with a tamper-resistant version in these stores, our customers continue to have access to a single ingredient PSE product for legitimate purposes,” the company stated in a statement sent to Drug Store News. “This step also follows our decision earlier this year to be the first pharmacy in West Virginia to follow the state board of pharmacy's recommendation to voluntarily reduce the amount of PSE products that may be purchased to just half of what is permitted under state law."

According to a report in The Charleston Gazette, Ride Aid and Fruth Pharmacy stopped selling single-ingredient pseudoephedrine medications in West Virginia last year. And Walgreens reportedly has plans to also stop such sales in the state.
 

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