PHARMACY

Drug shortage bill enters Senate

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Legislation recently introduced in the Senate aims to address the issue of drug shortages.

The Preserving Access to Life-Saving Medications Act, introduced in February by Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., would require drug manufacturers to inform the Food and Drug Administration when supplies of a drug may be running low, allowing the agency to inform hospitals and attempt to address shortages.

The bill currently has nine cosponsors and is under review by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, according to congressional records.

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PHARMACY

BMS, Roche to study skin cancer drugs

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Bristol-Myers Squibb will collaborate with Roche to investigate the use of a combination of the companies’ drugs in patients with a deadly form of skin cancer.

The companies will conduct a phase 1/2 trial to test the safety and efficacy of BMS’ Yervoy (ipilimumab) in combination with Roche’s investigational drug vemurafenib in patients with melanoma that has spread to other parts of the body.

“Metastatic melanoma is one of the most aggressive forms of cancer,” BMS SVP development and medical affairs Brian Daniels said. “We are excited to be working with Roche to evaluate the potential that together; Yervoy and vemurafenib could improve outcomes for melanoma patients.”

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NCPA’s Keith Hodges discusses pharmacy robberies, Rx abuse in CNN segment

BY Michael Johnsen

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — As part of a series on prescription drugs in America, CNN’s “American Morning” program on Wednesday hosted Safeguard My Meds spokesman and National Community Pharmacists Association executive committee member Keith Hodges to discuss pharmacy robberies and prescription drug abuse in a segment called “Pharmacies as Targets.”

“Prescription drug use is on the rise, especially over the last 10 to 15 years, and pharmacies are an easy target,” Hodges told CNN reporter Kiran Chetry.

According to the CNN report, there have been 1,800 pharmacy robberies in the past three years. Hodges, owner of Gloucester Pharmacy in Gloucester, Va., reported he had experienced attempted break-ins by would-be thieves at his pharmacy and has installed a state-of-the-art security system.

If you are unable to view the video below, click here.

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