PHARMACY

Some Canadian pharmacists may soon be able to write prescriptions

BY Drew Buono

NEW BRUNSWICK, Canada A liberal member of the Legislative Assembly for Bathurst has introduced a private member’s bill to amend the Pharmacy Act, to allow pharmacists to prescribe certain drugs, according to The Northern Light.

The bill was presented on behalf of the New Brunswick Pharmaceutical Society, which is the licensing body for pharmacists in the province. Brian Kenny, the liberal member, said the reason for the change is to make health care more accessible by freeing up space in hospitals. He said if a pharmacist can prescribe a certain drug, it could save someone from having to go the hospital route.

“Some examples are…say someone is out of town and they see a pharmacist to ask for inhalers for their asthmatic children (because) they left the (inhalers) at home. The pharmacist could provide them with an appropriate inhaler. This is a case where certain drugs or certain types of prescriptions could be diagnosed by a pharmacist because a lot of times someone will have the last resort to go wait at the emergency room for many hours waiting to see a doctor for a certain prescription.”

According to a news release from the New Brunswick Pharmaceutical Society, the group commends the government for introducing an amendment to the Pharmacy Act. The society said the initial focus in the regulations will enable New Brunswickers who have an established, preexisting diagnosis to obtain a prescription from their pharmacists because pharmacists will have broader authority to provide an extension or a refill.

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PHARMACY

Takeda could see Alogliptin approval in near future

BY Alaric DeArment

OSAKA, Japan Japanese pharmaceutical manufacturer Takeda’s new diabetes drug could get approval soon, according to Bloomberg.

According to the financial news agency, reports by analysts showed that the drug, alogliptin, had promise after the American Diabetes Association released parts of nine studies of the medication that were submitted for marketing approval in the U.S. in January, last week. They show the drug lowered blood sugar levels as much as Merck’s Januvia without serious side effects.

Alogliptin, also known as SYR-322, will compete with Merck’s Januvia and Novartis’ Galvus, which is also up for approval at the Food and Drug Administration. All three drugs are in a new class of diabetes treatments known as DPP4 inhibitors that signal the pancreas to produce more insulin and the liver to make less glucose, or blood sugar.

Assuming approval by the Food and Drug Administration, Alogliptin will succeed Actos, which generates about 29 percent of Takeda’s current revenue. Actos will lose patient approval in 2011.

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Accutane ingredient linked to increased risk of depression

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK A study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry has shown a link between use of the acne drug isotretinoin and increased risks of depression.

The drug was shown to more than double the risk of depression in a study of more than 30,000 people in Quebec who had received at least one prescription for it between 1984 and 2003.

Roche Pharmaceuticals’ drug Accutane has isotretinoin as its main active ingredient. The FDA originally granted approval to the drug in 1982.

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