PTCB makes patient safety CE required for pharmacy technician recertification
WASHINGTON — The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board on Monday announced that Certified Pharmacy Technicians eligible to recertify are now required to complete one hour of continuing education in patient safety, in addition to the already required hour of law CE, as part of 20 hours of CE needed for recertification. The new requirement is one of the planned Certification Program changes PTCB announced early last year to advance CPhT qualifications.
"Certified pharmacy technicians are essential members of the pharmacy practice team," stated Everett McAllister, PTCB executive director and CEO. "By continually learning more about how to prevent harm, CPhTs can have a positive impact on advancing the patient safety culture within pharmacies and the entire continuum of care."
PTCB has adopted the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education definition of patient safety described in the ACPE Policy and Procedures Manual. While PTCB-acceptable patient safety CE courses must be based on ACPE’s patient safety definition, PTCB will not require CE credits to be earned only from ACPE-accredited providers. All CPhTs applying to renew certification must fulfill the new patient safety CE requirement.
As many as 89% of respondents to a profession-wide online survey conducted by PTCB in March 2012 supported adding a medication safety (equivalent to patient safety) CE requirement for recertification. "Pharmacy technicians assist pharmacists with duties that greatly affect patient care and safety, so it is important for CPhTs to be educated on how their daily responsibilities shape the medication distribution system," commented Scott Meyers, chair of the PTCB Board of Governors. "Adding the required hour in patient safety will help ensure CPhTs are prepared to safely assist with the practice of pharmacy."
Other planned Certification Program changes include American Society of Health-System Pharmacists-accredited education requirements for certification by 2020, and additional changes in acceptable CE programs for recertification, including requiring all 20 CE hours to be pharmacy technician-specific in 2015. Allowable CE hours from college courses will be reduced from 15 to 10 by 2016, and allowable in-service CE hours will be phased out by 2018.
PTCB’s program changes elevate PTCB’s certification standards and thereby support and advance improved patient care and safety throughout pharmacy practice. The changes are the result of a PTCB initiative which began with a 2011 summit on future directions for pharmacy technicians. Summit findings, combined with results from two profession-wide surveys, called for decisive changes in certification standards.
Always need more education I will always continue to learn more
FDA approves Eli Lilly orphan drug for gastric cancer
INDIANAPOLIS — Eli Lilly on Monday announced that the Food and Drug Administration has approved Cyramza (ramucirumab) as a single-agent treatment for patients with advanced or metastatic gastric cancer or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma with disease progression on or after prior fluoropyrimidine- or platinum-containing chemotherapy. With this approval, Cyramza becomes the first FDA-approved treatment for patients in this setting.
"Lilly Oncology is committed to delivering innovative medicines that extend the lives of people with cancer," stated Richard Gaynor, SVP product development and medical affairs for Lilly Oncology. "Until now, there were no FDA-approved options for patients in this indication. We are pleased that the FDA has approved Cyramza for these patients. This is an aggressive disease that is difficult to treat, and the prognosis has typically been very poor."
"There is a high unmet medical need in patients with this disease," added Charles Fuchs, principal investigator of the REGARD trial and director, Gastrointestinal Malignancy Program, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. "This approval represents a meaningful advance for patients and gives those of us who treat them an important new second-line treatment option."
FDA approval of Cyramza marks a pivotal regulatory milestone in Lilly’s research and development program for the molecule, which it acquired when it purchased ImClone Systems in 2008. Cyramza has been granted Orphan Drug Designation by the FDA for this indication. Orphan drug status is given in the U.S. by the FDA’s Office of Orphan Products Development to medicines that show promise for the treatment of rare diseases. Lilly expects to make Cyramza available in the coming weeks and is committed to offering patient assistance programs for eligible patients receiving Cyramza treatment.
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Hot Concepts – Consumables
Shifting to ciders
NEW YORK — Anheuser-Busch has introduced a new cider, Johnny Appleseed Hard Apple Cider. The cider is the first wholly new brand from Anheuser-Busch in eight years. The cider category is red hot right now. And with an ABV of 5.5% and made with apple juice sourced from apples in the United States and fine orchards around the globe, this cider is the latest entry in an active category.
IRI data showed that sales of hard cider were $172 million in 2013, compared with bout $35 million in 2009. GuestMetrics, which measures sales in bars and restaurants, said sales volume in the cider category rose about 49% last year from 2012 — another indication that the category should continue to grow.
Johnny Appleseed Hard Apple Cider rolled out in April in 12-oz. glass bottles with a twist-off cap in six-packs and 12-packs. The product also is sold individually in 16-oz. and 25-oz. cans.
Going large with chocolate
WEST CHESTER, Pa. — Mars recently launched a larger version of its classic M&M’s brand. New Mars’ M&M’s Brand Mega Milk Chocolate Candies boast three times more chocolate than regular M&M’s.
The new take on a classic confection is likely to be a home run with consumers. Focus group participants have been asking for larger M&M’s, and consumer testing revealed that 66% of consumers said they would “definitely” or “probably” buy new M&M’S Mega. And, according to Euromonitor and the National Confectioners Association, candy sales are expected to grow in the next five years, “adding more than $6 billion in sales between 2013 and 2018.” Unwrapped, bite-sized confections are one of the high-growth segments.
M&M’S Brand Mega Milk Chocolate Candies are available in two sizes — 1.48-oz. singles and 11.4-oz. medium bags, while M&M’s Brand Mega Peanut Candies are available in 11.4-oz. bags. Singles retail for $1.09, and the suggested retail price for bags is $3.29.
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