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CVS Caremark stresses proper management, disposal of meds in light of study on teen Rx abuse

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — With National Drug Take Back Day scheduled for April 27 and in light of a new national study revealing that 1-out-of-4 teenagers has misused or abused a prescription medication at least once, CVS Caremark is reminding families that proper management, storage and disposal of their medication can reduce access to drugs by young people in their homes.

Earlier this week, The Partnership at Drugfree.org and MetLife Foundation released new, nationally projectable survey results confirming that one-quarter of teens in the United States have improperly used prescription drugs, a 33% increase over the past five years. 

Last year, The Partnership at Drugfree.org launched the Medicine Abuse Project, a multi-year initiative with the goal of preventing a half million teenagers from abusing prescription medication by the year 2017. CVS Caremark is a Gold-level sponsor of the Medicine Abuse Project.

"The statistics on teen misuse and abuse in [the] PATS survey are startling and illustrate why we joined the Partnership at Drugfree.org last year," stated Papatya Tankut, VP of pharmacy affairs at CVS Caremark. "In addition to assisting with the Partnership’s efforts to educate parents, caregivers and communities about the dangers of medication abuse by young people, CVS Caremark can help patients properly manage and dispose of their medications to reduce incidences of teen misuse and abuse." 

All CVS/pharmacy locations throughout the country participate in the Sharps Compliance Takeaway Environmental Return program, which provides customers with the ability to safely dispose of their unused, expired or unwanted drugs using medication disposal envelopes. The postage-paid envelopes allow customers to mail their unwanted prescription and OTC medications through the U.S. Postal Service to a licensed facility for safe destruction.

April 27 is also National Drug Take Back Day, during which many law enforcement and municipal agencies across the country will hold public events that provide a safe, convenient and responsible means of drug disposal.

"By taking the opportunity to clean out your medicine cabinet and safely disposing of unwanted drugs, you can help prevent the ingestion of expired medication that may have lost its effectiveness while also potentially keeping it out of the wrong hands," stated Tankut.  "It’s also important to properly store the medication you are keeping to prevent exposure to excessive heat, light or moisture. All medications in your home should also be kept out of reach of children."


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Senate to make final decision on Marketplace Fairness Act May 6

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — The Marketplace Fairness Act is one step closer to passing. The Senate voted 63-30 Thursday to end debate on the bill, which would compel online retailers to collect state taxes, and will make a final decision on the bill on May 6. 

Many Congress leaders expressed concern that attaching a "Yes" vote to this bill may be seen by their constituents as a tax increase, according to a report published Friday in the Washington Post. Though the bill only enables states to collect sales taxes already owed them. 

“[The] vote in the Senate is proof that the special treatment of big online businesses at the expense of retailers on Main Street will soon be a thing of the past,” stayted Bill Hughes, SVP government affairs for the Retail Industry Leaders Association. “For too long the Main Street retailers that are an integral part of their communities have faced tax rules that put them at a disadvantage to their out of state, online-only competitors," Hughes said. "The Marketplace Fairness Act would simply provide states with the power, if they choose to use it, to ensure that the market, not government, determines winners and losers."

The Marketplace Fairness Act was outlined in RILA’s 2013 public policy agenda as one of the top priorities for the industry. 

Identical legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives introduced by Rep. Steve Womack, R-Ark. and Jackie Speier, D-Calif., has likewise generated strong bipartisan support, Hughes noted. 


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NASP appoints Thomas Blissenbach to board of directors

BY Alaric DeArment

TAMPA, Fla. — Fairview Pharmacy Services director of business development Thomas Blissenbach has been appointed to the National Association of Specialty Pharmacy’s board of directors, the NASP said.

Blissenbach has worked in hospital and alternative-site pharmacy for more than 40 years and has developed and led several ambulatory pharmacy business units since joining Fairview in 2000.

"I am honored to join my prestigeious colleagues on the board and hope to contribute my experience to advance NASP’s mission of building collaboration within the industry to improve patient outcomes," Blissenbach said.

Before working at Fairview, he had various positions at Caremark, Chronimed and HMSS, and NASP called him a "pioneer in the growth of home infusion and the evolution of specialty pharmacy."

 

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