HEALTH

University of Maryland’s pharmacy school to open new building

BY Allison Cerra

BALTIMORE The University of Maryland School of Pharmacy’s new pharmacy hall building officially will open Oct. 5, the college said.

The pharmacy school’s Pharmacy Hall is outfitted with $20 million in scientific and information technology equipment. The building features two 200-seat lecture halls, 80-seat and 76-seat lecture halls, and classrooms and seminar rooms, all equipped for distance learning. It also features a new patient interaction suite that accommodates 48 students to practice patient counseling. The building also includes a dispensing laboratory with state-of-the-art robotics and four floors of open research labs where faculty will work to discover new, novel and improved therapeutics.

The building cost $62 million and was constructed over a 22-month period.

Founded in 1841, the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy is the fourth oldest school of pharmacy in the nation.

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FDA tentatively approves generic Crestor

BY Alaric DeArment

MUMBAI, India The Food and Drug Administration has given tentative approval to a generic cholesterol drug made by Sun Pharmaceutical Industries.

Sun announced Wednesday the tentative approval of rosuvastatin calcium tablets in the 5-mg, 10-mg, 20-mg and 40-mg strengths.

The drug is a generic version of AstraZeneca’s Crestor, which had annual sales of around $3.4 billion in the United States, according to Sun. Sun did not disclose when it would begin marketing its version of the drug, though Crestor will lose patent protection for use in adults in December 2021, according to FDA data.

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Walgreens kicks off nationwide safe medication-disposal program

BY Allison Cerra

DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreens has teamed up with Sharps Compliance to launch the drug store chain’s first-ever safe medication-disposal program.

Walgreens said the program is designed to protect public safety, as well as ease the concern of parents that fear children and teens can access unused medications at home. The company has kicked off this program with the help of Sharps Compliance, a leading full-service provider of cost-effective management solutions for medical waste and unused dispensed medications, which estimated that more than 200 million lbs. of unused dispensed medications are disposed of improperly each year.

How it works: For $2.99, customers can purchase a specially designed envelope — postage cost included — available at any Walgreens pharmacy counter that allows them to place, seal and mail prescription or over-the-counter medications they no longer use for safe, eco-friendly disposal. Controlled substances are excluded from the program, Walgreens said.

“In thousands of communities, Walgreens serves as the most accessible source of everyday health information,” said Walgreens VP pharmacy operations Richard Ashworth. “That makes us a natural choice for guidance on anything involving medications, including proper disposal. Through this program, we can do our part to keep expired or unused medications out of waterways and out of the hands of those who could be accidentally harmed.”

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