PHARMACY

Walgreens releases preparation advice as East Coast braces for Hurricane Sandy

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — As officials across the East Coast closely monitor the approach of Hurricane Sandy, Walgreens and Duane Reade on Saturday offered several preparation tips to ensure uninterrupted access to prescription medications. 

For evacuees, Walgreens suggested that consumers leave first and refill later at a pharmacy close to their evacuation area. "This allows you to avoid potentially long lines at your local pharmacy, and you won’t needlessly delay your evacuation," Walgreens advised. 

Walgreens also advised patients to take a waterproof  bag with all current medication — even if the bottle is empty. "The information on the prescription label will help the pharmacist refill your medicine once you arrive at your destination. Heat, humidity and sunlight can degrade the effectiveness of medicine, so try to protect it from extreme weather conditions," Walgreens noted. 

And patients should keep a written record of their current prescriptions in a valuable papers file. "If you’re taking several prescription drugs, it’s an especially good idea to keep a record of your current dosage and doctor’s contact information," the retailer noted. "Walgreens patients can register online at Walgreens.com and print out this information directly from their patient profile."

With the advent of smartphones and tablets, smartphone users can now register for Walgreens mobile applications to order prescription refills while on the go. Customers with smartphones also can utilize Walgreens prescription refill-by-scan feature by scanning the bar code on their pill bottle with their phones. 

Walgreens also is a member of ICERx.org (In Case of Emergency Prescriptions), a secure prescription information network available to pharmacists and doctors during a national emergency. As a member, Walgreens pharmacists can fill prescriptions and access information for hurricane-affected patients even if the patient normally uses another pharmacy.

And Walgreens collaborates with Rx Response, an initiative of the biopharmaceutical supply system, to help ensure patient access to medications following a natural disaster.

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PHARMACY

New York pharmacist wins Health Mart diabetes award

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — The owner of an independent pharmacy in New York has won a national award for his diabetes education and counseling efforts.

Ronald Del Gaudio, a graduate of Long Island University’s College of Pharmacy, also known as LIU Pharmacy, and the owner of Kings Pharmacy in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn, has won the Health Mart Diabetes Care Excellence Award from the independent pharmacy franchise company, the university said. Kings Pharmacy, a member of Health Mart, includes two pharmacies in Brooklyn and one in Manhattan.

Del Gaudio, who graduated from the university in 1979, serves on the LIU Pharmacy’s council of overseers and was a recipient of its Distinguished Alumni Award. He is also a member of the board of the Pharmacists Society of the State of New York and current president of the Brooklyn-Queens, N.Y., chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

"Ron is an innovator and leader in the profession of pharmacy," LIU Pharmacy dean David Taft said. "This award recognizes the positive impact he makes on his patients and his community in diabetes management and awareness. I am delighted to see one of our most distinguished alumni honored in this way."


 

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D.RICHARD says:
Jan-27-2013 11:12 pm

The awareness on health and hazards brings a lot more towards the public; therefore American pharmacist provides various education programs to the public especially in the field of diabetic and other horrible diseases. Here also we have witnessed New York pharmacist Ronald Del Gaudio won a national award for his diabetic education program. Really a great contribution towards the society we appreciate the valuable efforts. http://redifininghealth.blogspot.in/2013/01/successful-journey-of-medifast-diet.html

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FDA: Contamination found at Mass. compounding pharmacy linked to meningitis deaths

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration said it found a number of problems with cleanliness at a compounding pharmacy linked to a meningitis outbreak that has so far sickened hundreds of people and killed two dozen in a report released Friday.

The FDA released a copy of its inspection report of the New England Compounding Center, saying that during an inspection of the pharmacy at the beginning of this month, investigators found contaminated products and problems with the pharmacy’s ability to maintain its clean room, an enclosed space designed to have a controlled environment to ensure a sterile environment for drug compounding at the NECC’s Framingham, Mass., pharmacy.

The FDA said that the investigators "observed conditions and practices that, in their judgment, may indicate violations of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, or related regulations," but that the report was not a formal determination that the NECC had committed any violations.

These included contamination with mold, bacteria and "foreign matter" in several areas and on equipment in the pharmacy designed to be kept sterile and sanitary. Inspectors found 83 vials of methylprednisolone acetate, the injectable steroid linked to the meningitis outbreak, that contained "greenish black foreign matter," while 17 contained "white filamentous material."

The report also noted a boiler that was leaking water that collected in puddles on the floor, gaps between sliding doors at the transition area between the pharmacy’s preparation room and warehouse, and contamination of storage areas for special clothing worn by pharmacy workers, while a mat in the transition area was described as "brown and soiled."

As of Friday, 24 people had died from meningitis linked to contaminated methylprednisolone acetate from the NECC, and 328 have become sick in 18 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


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