HEALTH

Plan B sees increase in Rx-to-OTC availability

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK Over-the-counter availability of Plan B has increased access to the emergency contraceptive, a survey published in the November issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology reported.

The survey, originally published online June 16, found that only 8 percent of pharmacies were unable to provide Plan B within 24 hours in 2007, as compared to 23 percent of pharmacies that were unable to produce the emergency contraceptive in 2005. And the total refusal rate in 2007 was half that in 2005, 2 percent vs. 4 percent.

The Food and Drug Administration approved the Rx-to-OTC switch of Plan B in 2006.

Pharmacists from Atlanta and Philadelphia were interviewed at 1,087 pharmacies in 2005 and at 795 pharmacies in 2007.

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CHPA names three new board members

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON The Consumer Healthcare Products Association earlier this month elected three new board members, the association announced in its newsletter Wednesday.

The three new board members include: Bruce Fleming, executive vice president and chief marketing officer, Church & Dwight; Sheila Hopkins, vice president and general manager, Professional Oral Care, Colgate-Palmolive Company; and Cavan Redmond, president, Wyeth Consumer Healthcare.

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ScriptPro wins FDA database contract

BY Jim Frederick

MISSION, Kansas The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has awarded a contract to ScriptPro USA Inc. to provide a searchable drug database for the agency’s internal use.

The data will be based on the drug information resource provided by ScriptPro to support its pharmacy automation systems, and will include all prescription and over-the-counter drug products available for human use in the United States.

Behind the FDA’s decision: ScriptPro’s deep and wide-ranging information capabilities. The pharmacy technology and robotics firm says it develops and maintains the largest and most complete electronic image database of drug and over-the-counter products.

Among the features the FDA is looking for: on-screen images of drugs and drug packaging for verification; data on all versions of each drug released in the market, including images, markings and other descriptive elements; auxiliary warning labels applicable to the products; and drug-specific alerts including FDA black box warning labels.

ScriptPro said it will work “closely with pharmaceutical and OTC manufacturers to incorporate new products and changes into the database,” and will monitor the agency’s internal records and provide information to keep FDA data current.

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