PHARMACY

Abbott announces results of phase-3 trial of Humira

BY Alaric DeArment

ABBOTT PARK, Ill. — A large number of patients with a serious form of arthritis experienced improvement in their condition after taking a drug made by Abbott Labs for three months, according to results of a late-stage clinical trial announced Monday.

Abbott announced results of the phase-3 "ABILITY-1" study of Humira (adalimumab) in patients with active nonradiographic axial spondyloarthritis, also known as AxSpA. AxSpA is a debilitating condition that causes inflammatory lower back pain and can be accompanied by such symptoms as arthritis and inflammation of the eye and gastrointestinal tract.

The primary goal of the trial was a 40% improvement in patients’ condition according to the Assessment of SpondyloArthritis international Society criteria, or ASAS. After 12 weeks, the number of patients taking Humira who reached this goal was twice that of patients taking placebo, the company said.


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Pharmacy benefit manager PMSI extends partnership with Walgreens

BY Michael Johnsen

TAMPA, Fla. — PMSI on Friday confirmed its continued relationship with Walgreens to serve payers and injured workers through Walgreens nationwide network.

In addition, Walgreens also will continue to serve as PMSI’s exclusive mail-order service pharmacy provider — this extends a 17-year network relationship.

“PMSI and Walgreens work collaboratively to create network penetration programs for our customers that proactively contain costs and manage appropriate care for the injured worker,” said Lori Daugherty, president of pharmacy for PMSI. “We can rely on Walgreens for its clinical excellence and superior customer service — exactly what a pharmacy benefit manager needs in a pharmacy partner.”


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PHARMACY

NCPA to recognize medication adherence best practices with two new annual awards

BY Michael Johnsen

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Community Pharmacists Association on Monday announced the establishment of two awards that will be presented annually, beginning in 2012.

The NCPA said the Outstanding Adherence Practitioner award will recognize a community pharmacist who demonstrates a commitment to improving medication adherence and improving patient outcomes in a community pharmacy setting; while the Outstanding Adherence Educator award will recognize a pharmacy educator who makes a significant contribution to the education of pharmacy students in the area of medication adherence.
 
“Community pharmacists provide outstanding levels of patient care services related to improving medication adherence, while the profession’s educators ensure the next generation of pharmacists are properly trained practitioners in this invaluable service,” NCPA president Lonny Wilson said. “In recognition of these unsung efforts, NCPA is establishing these awards to create broad awareness of these best practices and promote further adoption of medication adherence programs among community pharmacists—present and future.”
 
According to the New England Healthcare Institute, as much as $290 billion a year is wasted on the improper use of medication.
 
Nominees for the Outstanding Adherence Practitioner award will be judged on:

  • Demonstration of a continuous commitment to patient adherence services;

  • Implementation of coordinated adherence services involving other healthcare professionals;

  • Documentation of increased patient medication adherence; and

  • Promotion of availability and value of pharmacy-based adherence services.

Nominees for the Outstanding Adherence Educator award will be judged on:

  • Development of innovative course content or teaching tools on medication adherence;

  • Integration of active learning techniques on medication adherence throughout the PharmD curriculum and experiential education;

  • Provision of regular feedback, encouragement, and support to students who participate in medication adherence-related activities; and

  • Development of unique teaching strategies to improve medication adherence in pharmacy practice.

The awards are part of NCPA’s commitment to advancing adherence as a core competency of the pharmacy profession by 2015. Nomination forms for both awards will be available on the NCPA website on March 1, 2012, and applications will be accepted through July 31.

The winners will be announced at next year’s 114th Annual NCPA Annual Convention and Trade Exposition in San Diego.

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