PHARMACY

Price Chopper creates widespread N.Y. network of immunizing pharmacies

BY Antoinette Alexander

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. Price Chopper has become the first pharmacy chain in New York to create a statewide network of immunizers in nearly every ZIP code, the Schenectady, N.Y.-based supermarket chain announced Wednesday.

The Schenectady, N.Y.-based supermarket chain will mark a new state law allowing pharmacists to perform immunizations by sponsoring a press event and flu clinic Friday at 11 a.m. at its store at 1879 Altamont Ave. in Schenectady. Company executives, including VP pharmacy Vincent Mainella and visitors such as Pharmacist Society of the State of New York executive director Craig Burridge will be present. 

Every Price Chopper pharmacy will have a pharmacist who has completed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s required 20-hour training program for delivering immunizations. Immunizations will be limited to adults 19 and older receiving flu and pneumonia vaccines. 

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Teva launches campaign for affordable health care

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON The world’s largest maker of generic drugs announced Tuesday the launch of a nationwide campaign to push for more affordable health care.

Teva Pharmaceuticals USA said that the Year of Affordable Healthcare campaign was meant to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Hatch-Waxman Act of 1984, which created the regulatory pathway for the generic drug industry.

“With a new administration and Congress, and so many Americans concerned by the economy, this is the right time for federal action to increase access to health care through smart policy,” said Teva North America president and CEO William Marth in a statement. “As a leader in the generics industry, Teva will highlight the fact that reducing the cost of health care does not mean reducing the quality of health care.”

The campaign includes regional forums to gauge voters’ priorities for healthcare reform, new media initiatives to engage consumers, polls conducted throughout the year on Americans’ opinions about health care and outreach to healthcare leaders.

The campaign coincides with a poll of doctors by Epocrates showing that increasing numbers of Americans are skipping doses of medications in order to save money.

The campaign’s Web site is www.yearofaffordablehealth.com.

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New FDA rules could keep doctors from prescribing certain narcotics

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK As part of the growing constraints that the Food and Drug Administration is putting on prescription drugs, the agency might soon stop some doctors from prescribing narcotic painkillers, according to published reports.

New FDA rules could prevent doctors without special training from prescribing medicines listed as Schedule II narcotics, including oxycodone, methadone and fentanyl. 

Narcotic medications have been blamed for numerous patient overdoses and deaths and are a target for diversion by criminals.

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