PHARMACY

APhA seeking nominations for Schaefer, Humphrey awards

BY Jim Frederick

WASHINGTON The American Pharmacists Association said Wednesday it is seeking nominations for several profession-wide awards and honors, to be presented at the APhA Annual Meeting and Exposition in Seattle from March 25 to 28, 2011.

The pharmacy organization is accepting picks for three awards: the Hugo H. Schaefer Award, Hubert H. Humphrey Award and Honorary Membership. Nominees for the Schaefer and Humphrey Awards must be APhA members, and nominations must be received at APhA headquarters no later than Sept 15.

The Hugo H. Schaefer Award, established in 1964, recognizes APhA members who have made outstanding voluntary contributions to society, the profession of pharmacy and the APhA. The Hubert H. Humphrey Award, created in 1978, recognizes APhA members who have made major contributions in government and/or legislative service at the local, state or national level. Honorary membership is conferred upon individuals, either within or outside the pharmacy profession “whose activities and achievements have had a significant impact upon public health, the profession and its practitioners,” the group noted.

Nominations should be made on an official nomination form, which may be obtained by writing to: APhA Awards and Honors Program, 2215 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20037-2985. Requests for forms also can be made via fax to (202) 429-6300, or e-mail to Brian Lawson, [email protected].

Additional information can be found at Pharmacist.com/awards.

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PHARMACY

Pfizer suspends more tanezumab trials

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Drug maker Pfizer is suspending some clinical studies of a biotech drug for treating pain following reports of harmful side effects in patients, Pfizer said Monday.

The drug maker halted studies of the drug tanezumab in patients with chronic low back pain and painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy at the request of the Food and Drug Administration.

Pfizer said the suspension follows further consideration of reports of harmful side effects in osteoarthritis patients taking the drug. The company already had suspended the osteoarthritis study of tanezumab in June.

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PCMA responds to government funding anti-fraud programs

BY Allison Cerra

WASHINGTON The leader of a group representing the nation’s pharmacy benefit managers responded to a House subcommittee’s decision to allot $561 million for programs designed to combat fraud, waste and abuse.

Pharmaceutical Care Management Association president and CEO Mark Merritt said the decision shows “it’s more important than ever to enhance America’s overall program integrity capabilities.” The money was provided to the Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Justice Department.

“The administration has noted that these kinds of efforts can save almost $10 billion,” Merritt said. “The other side of the anti-fraud coin is that policymakers must reject policies that inadvertently weaken the ability of public and private payers to detect and prevent waste, fraud and abuse. It’s far easier to prevent fraud than to engage in ‘pay and chase’ activities after the fact.”

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