PHARMACY

Drug take-back programs draw praise

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON — The last six drug take-back days sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Agency have collected nearly 2.8 million pounds of prescription drugs at more than 5,800 sites across the country, drawing praise from a drug industry trade organization.

The Generic Pharmaceutical Association said it "strongly supports" the DEA’s efforts, including the seventh annual National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, which took place Saturday.

"The DEA’s National Prescription Take-Back Day program is an excellent example of options for safe and accessible drug disposal available for patients," GPhA president and CEO Ralph Neas said. "While it is critical for every patient to take drugs as directed, it also is important for patients to dispose of unused medicines properly. With thousands of local fire stations, schools and law-enforcement departments participating, National Prescription Take-Back Day offers a simple, dependable way for consumers to find a local disposal site and drop off unused medications."

Many retailers also took part in the event, with Ahold USA and CVS/pharmacy highlighting their efforts.

 

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PHARMACY

Depomed launches Lazanda nasal spray for breakthrough pain in cancer patients

BY Alaric DeArment

NEWARK, Calif. — Depomed has launched a new drug for breakthrough pain in cancer patients, the company said Monday.

The drug maker announced the launch of Lazanda (fentanyl) nasal spray, meant for treating adults who are taking opioid painkillers, but have become tolerant to them. The company also have launched a Signature Support Program designed to streamline patient access to the drug, including reimbursement and co-pay assistance. Other benefits of the program include prescription reminders and eligibility for one month’s supply for free.

"Breakthrough pain is very common among cancer patients and can be properly managed to reduce the number and severity of episodes and the interference of daily activities," University of Arizona anesthesiology professor Emil Annabi said. "Studies show that breakthrough pain is associated with poorer function and higher cost of care, which is why cancer patients need support services so they can focus on getting pain relief and not be troubled by reimbursement and access issues."

 

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Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education to work with francophone counterpart on pharmacy education standards

BY Alaric DeArment

CHICAGO — The Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education has established a memorandum of understanding with an organization of French-speaking pharmacy school deans and educators to cooperate and collaborate to advance the quality of pharmacy education around the world.

The ACPE announced the memorandum with the Conférence internationale des doyens de pharmacie d’expression française, or CIDPHARMEF, saying the two groups would engage in ongoing communication and information exchange regarding educational quality, policies and procedures and operational tools and resources. Leaders of both would observe site visits and study each other’s quality assurance systems and processes.

"Cooperation with other organizations working to improve pharmacy education is a priority in our actions and, in particular, with ACPE, with whom we intend to work together to improve and expand our actions in the field of pharmacy to offer our future pharmacists quality training tailored to the pharmacy field," CIDPHARMEF president Dolla Karam Sarkis said. "ACPE has developed quality standards that have been inspiring and very useful for CIDPHARMEF when developing its own quality guidelines."

 

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