FDA approves OTC HIV test
SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved over-the-counter sales of a test for the virus that causes AIDS, the agency said Tuesday.
The FDA announced the approval of the OraQuick In-Home HIV Test, calling it the first OTC, self-administered HIV test kit that detects the presence of antibodies to HIV, including the HIV-1 and HIV-2 strains.
People can use the test to collect an oral fluid sample by swabbing their upper and lower gums and then placing the sample into a developer vial. Test results appear in 20 to 40 minutes. The agency said, however, that a positive test does not necessarily mean a person has become infected; nor does a negative result mean a person is not infected if the infection has occurred within the past three months. According to clinical trials, 99.98% of test results will be negative when HIV is not present, meaning that one false positive would be expected out of every 5,000 test results in uninfected people.
"Knowing your status is an important factor in the effort to prevent the spread of HIV," FDA Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research director Karen Midthun said. "The availability of a home-use HIV test kit provides another option for individuals to get tested so that they can seek medical care, if appropriate."
APhA seeks nominations for new awards, honors
WASHINGTON — The American Pharmacists Association announced that nominations are being accepted for its practitioner awards and honors, which are administered by the APhA Academy of Pharmacy Practice and Management.
APhA said that the awards, which will be presented at the APhA annual meeting and exposition in Los Angeles in March 2013, include the new APhA-APPM Pharmacy Management Excellence award and three new APhA-APPM Distinguished Achievement awards. Nominees are being sought for the following awards and honors:
Daniel B. Smith Practice Excellence award: Established in 1964 and named in honor of the first president of the American Pharmaceutical Association, this premier practice award recognizes an APhA member, in any practice setting, who has distinguished himself or herself and the profession of pharmacy by sustained outstanding performance and achievement;
APhA-APPM Pharmacy Management Excellence award: Established in 2012 and to be first presented at APhA2013, the award is intended to recognize an APhA member in any practice setting who has distinguished himself/herself and the profession by outstanding performance in the area of pharmacy management;
APhA-APPM Distinguished Achievement awards: The APhA-APPM Distinguished Achievement awards are intended to recognize individuals who have made a significant or sustained contribution to pharmacy practice and have advanced the missions of APhA and APhA-APPM. Up to three recognitions will be presented each year and the individual awards will be as follows: Distinguished Achievement in Pharmacy Practice, Distinguished Achievement in Pharmacy Management and Distinguished Achievement in Service; and
APhA Fellow: This honor recognizes APhA members, with a minimum of 10 years of exemplary professional experience and achievements in professional practice, who have rendered outstanding service to the profession through activities in APhA and in other organizations. Up to 10 APhA Fellows can be selected by APhA-APPM each year.
Nominations are due by Sept. 1.
Kroger expands Signature store format
FORT WORTH, Texas — Kroger has opened a Signature store in the Fort Worth, Texas, market.
The 100,000-sq.-ft. store, which includes a fuel center, places more emphasis on an interactive customer experience and offers more natural and organic foods, chef-prepared meal solutions and ethnic and gourmet food choices. Along with the fuel center, the new store features a pharmacy and offers a vast wine and beer selection. Kroger currently has 30 Signature stores in the Dallas-Fort Worth market.
"We have served the city of Fort Worth for many years with five stores," said Gary Huddleston, consumer affairs director for Kroger. "We remodeled several locations in the city to Signature stores some years ago, but we’re excited to build this location from the ground up to better fit the needs and wants of the growing population in that area."