PHARMACY

Walgreens recognizes its 27,000 pharmacists as part of American Pharmacists Month

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Monday is recognizing its more than 27,000 community pharmacists for the important role they play in helping people get, stay and live well, as part of American Pharmacists Month in October. Walgreens pharmacists across more than 8,100 Walgreens and Duane Reade drug stores are helping to transform the role of community pharmacy by providing a wide range of preventive healthcare services — including immunizations, health testing, chronic care management, patient counseling and more — while helping to bridge notable gaps in care today. 

“Pharmacy is at the core of our transformation from a retail drugstore to a health and daily living destination, and our pharmacists are among the most trusted healthcare professionals in thousands of communities nationwide,” stated Kermit Crawford, Walgreens president of pharmacy, health and wellness. "As we continue to transform community pharmacy, this month we recognize the critical role our pharmacists are playing to help improve medication adherence, increase immunization rates and to educate patients on the many changes that are taking place across the healthcare landscape."

During the 2012-2013 flu season, which was deemed the most severe in the United States in more than a decade, Walgreens pharmacists administered more than 7 million flu shots, and more than 1.5 million other immunizations during the company’s last fiscal year.

Walgreens pharmacists are also playing an expanded role as part of patient care teams by working closely to coordinate care with hospitals, health systems and physician groups on medication adherence and transition of such care programs as WellTransitions, and serving on clinical teams for several accountable care organizations. With a greater need for access to healthcare services, the company has pharmacists with specialized training to help manage a growing number of such chronic conditions as diabetes, HIV/AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis and cancer. 

October is also a time to thank and recognize pharmacy technicians and pharmacy interns for the value they bring to communities and to the profession on National Pharmacy Technician Day, Oct. 22, the drug store retailer noted. 

 

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Fruth donates $24,000 to Marshall University School of Pharmacy

BY Alaric DeArment

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Fruth Pharmacy has donated $24,000 in scholarships for pharmacy students to Marshall University, the university said.

The gifts consisted of $11,000 to the Marshall University School of Pharmacy and a $13,000 for the Fruth Pharmacy Scholarship.

"We are so grateful for the support of Lynne Fruth and the entire Fruth Pharmacy family," School of Pharmacy dean Kevin Yingling said. "As a West Virginia-based pharmacy, they understand that pharmacy education is essential to ensuring better health outcomes for those in our state and region. The Fruth team has become a very valuable part of our family at Marshall."

 

Marshall University School of Pharmacy dean Kevin Yingling, left, accepts a gift from Fruth Pharmacy president and chairman Lynne Fruth as Fruth director of pharmacy administration and procurement Tim Weber stands at the right. 

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FDA awards more than a dozen grants for rare disease research

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration is offering more than $14 million in grants for the development of products for patients with rare diseases, the agency said Monday.

The FDA announced that it had granted 15 grants for orphan drug research. As defined by the agency for drugs, orphan diseases affect fewer than 200,000 people in the United States. For devices, a rare disease occurs so infrequently in the country that there is no reasonable explanation that a medical device for such a disease will be developed without assistance. According to the National Institutes of Health, there are about 6,800 rare diseases and conditions, affecting nearly 30 million Americans.

Among the grants, Alkeus Pharmaceuticals received $167,000 for a drug for Stargardt disease currently in phase-1 development; Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati received $600,000 for a phase-1 study of a drug to treat Fanconi anemia; Children’s Hospital received $600,000 for a phase-1 study of a drug for Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome; and Vanderbilt University received $1.59 million for a phase-2 study of montelukast, which Merck markets as the asthma and allergy drug Singulair, for the treatment of sickle-cell anemia.

"The FDA is committed to fostering and encoring the development of products for rare diseases, most of which have no available or adequate treatments," FDA Office of Orphan Product Development director Gayatri Rao said. "The grants awarded this year support studies in very vulnerable, difficult-to-treat populations who have no available options."

 

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