NCPA, CDC buying group forge new ties
BOCA RATION, Fla., and ALEXANDRIA, Va. Two national groups serving independent and small-chain pharmacy owners said Thursday they’re forging new, closer links with each other in a long-term collaborative effort.
The goal, according to the National Community Pharmacists Association and the Chain Drug Consortium, will be “to better leverage the strengths of each organization in order to more effectively advance the interests of community pharmacists and their patients.” The expanded partnership will seek to merge NCPA’s clout as a pharmacy advocate, lobbying powerhouse and business organization with CDC’s prowess as a purchasing and marketing organization — and bring those combined strengths to the members of both groups.
“Realizing that many of our CDC members are also NCPA members, it makes sense that CDC work closely with the leadership of NCPA to address the many challenges that face community pharmacy today,” said Edward Frisch, CDC president and CEO.
Added NCPA president and Texas pharmacy owner Joseph Harmison, “Working together, our combined efforts will produce new synergy and unity to promote the voice of community pharmacies, be they single stores or family-run chains.”
The closer alliance between the two groups should bolster membership in NCPA, according to the organization, and could add new muscle to such programs as NCPA’s Legislative Defense Fund. “This, in turn, would allow NCPA to implement more effective advocacy programs to better support community pharmacies,” noted both groups in a joint statement. “CDC leadership has already begun appealing to its members in writing and at industry gatherings to join NCPA, donate to the LDF and, if an NCPA member, to contribute to NCPA’s political action committee.”
Chain Drug Consortium provides its retail members with programs, services and buying power “to help family-owned and other privately held community pharmacy chains compete with national mega-chains and mail-order pharmacies backed by Wall Street,” the group asserted Thursday. Its members include many regional drug chains, including Bartell Drugs, Discount Drug Mart, Drug Emporium WV, Farmacias El Amal, Farmacias Carol, Hartig Drug, Hi-School Pharmacy, Kerr Drug, Kinney Drugs, La Colonia, Lewis Drug, Lifechek, Navarro Discount Pharmacies, Osborn Drugs, Pamida, Shopko, Thrifty White Pharmacy and USA Drug.
Orphan drug designation for Tolera’s diabetes drug
KALAMAZOO, Mich. The Food and Drug Administration has granted orphan drug designation to an investigational treatment for diabetes.
Tolera Therapeutics said Tuesday that the FDA had given the designation to TOL101, a monoclonal antibody for treating recent onset immune-mediated Type 1 diabetes. The drug is designed for patients aged 16 years and younger.
The FDA gives orphan drug designation to treatments for diseases and conditions that affect fewer than 200,000 people annually in the United States; though an orphan drug still is subject to the same regulatory scrutiny as any drug, the designation waives government filing fees and provides tax credits related to development costs and other support.
“We are pleased with this designation,” Tolera CEO John Puisis said. “Clinicians and patients need an effective and safe means to modulate the immune system, particularly for juvenile diabetes patients.”
Cephalon expands When Good Medicines Become Bad Drugs program with new partnership
FRAZER, Pa. Drug maker Cephalon has started a partnership with the American Chronic Pain Association and the American Pharmacists Association to promote appropriate use of pain medications, Cephalon said Wednesday.
The partnership expands Cephalon’s When Good Medicines Become Bad Drugs program and is designed to spread awareness of the dangers of abusing prescription drugs by creating educational materials developed with the APhA and ACPA for use in a select group of pharmacies. The company did not specify which pharmacies would participate.
“Pharmacists play a key role in educating the public about prescription medicines, and the expansion of this program provides hands-on resources to support those conversations with the goal of reducing prescription pain medicine abuse,” Cephalon chief medical officer Lesley Russell said. “The When Good Medicines Become Bad Drugs program is part of our continued commitment to patient education to help ensure that prescription medications are used safely and by the appropriate patients.”
The expanded program will include a website, GoodMedicinesBadDrugs.com, which provides videos and other information about prescription drug abuse. According to Cephalon, abuse of prescription drugs now surpasses the use of most illegal drugs. A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that emergency room visits related to abuse of prescription drugs more than doubled between 2004 and 2008.