PHARMACY

AstraZeneca honored by AmeriCares, HDMA

BY Michael Johnsen

PHOENIX — AmeriCares and the Healthcare Distribution Management Association on Monday awarded the annual Power of Partnership Award to AstraZeneca for the company’s commitment to increasing access to health care for people in need, both here at home and throughout the developing world, during HDMA’s Business Leadership Conference on Monday.

In the past year, AstraZeneca renewed its support for the only breast cancer treatment program for Cambodia’s impoverished communities, assembled more than 14,000 hygiene kits for disaster survivors and, for the second year in a row, donated $5 million in medicines for chronically ill Americans.

“AstraZeneca supports our global health programs on every level, from product donations and cash grants to hands-on employee involvement after major disasters,” AmeriCares president and CEO Curt Welling said. “We’re restoring health and saving lives every day because of great corporate partners like AstraZeneca.”

The Power of Partnership Award was created by AmeriCares and HDMA to recognize medical manufacturing and distribution organizations that have shown exceptional dedication to expanding access to medicines and health care for disadvantaged populations.

“HDMA is proud to collaborate with AmeriCares to honor a partnership that has truly made a difference in the lives of patients worldwide,” HDMA president and CEO John Gray added. “We congratulate the AstraZeneca team, whose outstanding humanitarian efforts reflect HDMA members’ shared commitment to delivering lifesaving medicines, products and services to those in need.”

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White House roundtable discussion: Health information technology can help curb Rx abuse

BY Michael Johnsen

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The White House on Friday held a roundtable discussion with approximately two dozen leaders across the public safety, healthcare and technology sectors to address how health information technology can help limit prescription drug abuse, the National Community Pharmacists Association noted in a release on Monday.

The main focus was how data from prescription drug monitoring programs can better facilitate prescribing, be incorporated into pharmacies and be leveraged in emergency rooms, the association stated.

A White House report stated that during the past decade there was a 48% increase in filling narcotic drug prescriptions from 174 million to 257 million. In the past five years, emergency department visits caused by prescription drug abuse or misuse has doubled, NCPA added.

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FDA finds manufacturing issues at Impax’s Hayward, Calif., plant

BY Alaric DeArment

HAYWARD, Calif. — The Food and Drug Administration has found manufacturing issues at a plant owned by generic drug maker Impax Labs, the drug maker said Monday.

Impax said it received a warning letter from the FDA on Tuesday in which the agency said it found “deviations” from current good manufacturing practice, or cGMP, for finished pharmaceutical drugs, related to plant inspections that took place between Dec. 13, 2010 and Jan. 21, 2011. The company said the deviations were found in sampling and testing of in-process materials and drugs, production record review and investigation processes for the failure of certain manufacturing batches to meet specifications. Initial results led to a voluntary recall in March of fenofibrate capsules in the 200-mg strength at the wholesale level; fenofibrate is used to lower cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood.

Impax said the problems only were at the Hayward, Calif., plant.

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