PHARMACY

Teva launches chewable birth control pill

BY Alaric DeArment

NORTH WALES, Pa. — Teva Pharmaceuticals has launched a chewable birth control pill, the generic drug maker said Friday.

Teva announced the launch of Zeosa (norethindrone and ethinyl estradiol) tablets.

The drug is chemically equivalent to Warner Chilcott’s Femcon Fe tablets and is available in the 0.4 mg/0.035 mg strength.

 

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NACDS president opines about the cost of medication nonadherence

BY Antoinette Alexander

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Looking to further communicate the important role pharmacy plays in the healthcare delivery system, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores president and CEO Steve Anderson ran an opinion column in a "Medication Non-Adherence" supplement published Monday by Mediaplanet and distributed in The Washington Post.

The column, headlined "Pharmacists: Reducing costs, saving lives," appears on page nine of the 12-page supplement, above the most recent version of NACDS’ print advertisement that currently is appearing in Washington, D.C., publications. The column also is listed in the "We Recommend" section on page two of the supplement.

"Pharmacists are not just friendly faces, but also serve in many ways as the face of neighborhood health care. But perhaps the greatest untapped potential lies in the education and training of pharmacists that equips them to help patients take medications correctly, which is referred to as ‘medication adherence’ within health care," Anderson wrote.

In the column, Anderson stressed the importance of medication therapy management and pointed to New England Healthcare Institute data, which estimated the costs of nonadherence at $290 billion annually in added healthcare costs — or 13% of all healthcare expenditures. Additional studies showed significant return on investment from MTM programs, in some cases reaching well over $10 in reduced healthcare costs for every $1 spent on MTM.

"Just as patients across the nation view their pharmacies and their pharmacists as true partners in meeting their needs at any given point in time, the pharmacy community stands ready to partner with Congress and the administration to help improve the health of patients and government budgets alike," Anderson wrote.

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Program encourages pharmacists to prevent misuse of prescription medicines

BY Michael Johnsen

SEATTLE — The Cardinal Health Foundation and the American Pharmacists Association on Monday announced a partnership to encourage pharmacists and student pharmacists to take an active role in preventing the abuse and misuse of prescription medications.

With funding support from the Cardinal Health Foundation, APhA will encourage its pharmacist and student pharmacist members to join the fight to prevent prescription drug abuse by tapping into two communication toolkits developed by the Ohio State University College of Pharmacy and funded by the Cardinal Health Foundation.

Available at CardinalHealth.com/GenerationRx, these toolkits contain talking points, presentation materials and tips to make it time-efficient and easy for pharmacists and others to discuss the issue of prescription drug abuse in a variety of environments — from civic, community group and parent-teacher association meetings to classroom and youth settings.

"We believe that as trusted healthcare experts, pharmacists and student pharmacists can play an important role in helping parents, educators, community leaders and teens better understand the dangers of prescription drug abuse," stated Jessica Lineberger, manager of the Cardinal Health Foundation. 

Earlier this year, the APhA also launched a competition among its 116 APhA Academy of Student Pharmacist chapters, challenging them to utilize the GenerationRx toolkit to raise awareness of prescription drug abuse in their communities. Student chapters were encouraged to submit a report summarizing their related work and accomplishments.

The top five chapters in this inaugural competition were Idaho State University, the Ohio State University, University of Florida, University of Illinois at Chicago and University of Minnesota. These student chapters were recognized during the APhA-ASP Opening General Session, and received a commemorative plaque and cash award in recognition of their work.    

The APhA also recently introduced the APhA GenerationRx Award of Excellence, endowed by the Cardinal Health Foundation, which each year will recognize one pharmacist for outstanding efforts in prescription medication abuse prevention. Applications will be accepted later this year for the inaugural award, which will be presented at the APhA 2012 Annual Meeting and Exposition. Award criteria and nomination information will be posted at Pharmacist.com.

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