PHARMACY

Galderma drug for common skin condition becomes available

BY Alaric DeArment

FORT WORTH, Texas — A topical medication made by Galderma Labs for treating melasma of the face is now available in pharmacies, Galderma said.

Tri-Luma (fluocinolone acetonide 0.01%, hydroquinone 4%), tretinoin 0.05%) is described as the only Food and Drug Administration-approved triple combination topical product for the short-term treatment of moderate to severe melasma. The chronic skin condition affects more than 7 million people in the United States.

Melasma causes brown to gray-brown patches of skin due to the body producing too much melanin, usually appearing on the face, but also sometimes the forearms and neck. The condition is sometimes referred to as "the mask of pregnancy" because it is so common during pregnancy, but there are many factors associated with it, including birth control pills, hormone therapy, cosmetics, anti-seizure drugs and sun exposure. It is more common among people of Latin, Asian, Indian, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and North African descent.


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PHARMACY

NCPA to hold 45th annual Legislative Conference in May

BY Michael Johnsen

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Community Pharmacists Association on Tuesday announced it will hold its 45th annual Legislative Conference May 7 to 8 in Washington, D.C.

“This is a pivotal year for independent community pharmacy, with issues such as cuts to Medicare reimbursement rates for diabetes testing supplies, mandatory mail order programs and changes to compounding regulations on the table,” stated Douglas Hoey, NCPA CEO. “With the creation and expansion of state healthcare exchanges also taking shape this year, the role of the pharmacist in the delivery of healthcare services is more important than ever. Our Legislative Conference will give members of Congress and others a chance to hear directly from the people on the front lines of providing patient care in their local communities."

The conference will feature panels and briefings with congressional and federal agency staff, a rally on Capitol Hill and personal visits with members of Congress. 

The event will coincide with Community Pharmacy Advocacy Week May 6-10. That week, community pharmacists will meet with their elected officials and other decisionmakers in Washington and at home, as well as state policymakers, to discuss bipartisan pro-patient, pro-pharmacist policies to improve health outcomes and reduce costs.

This year, NCPA is debuting a new, shorter conference schedule to give NCPA members more flexibility while still maximizing their time and advocacy efforts during their visit to Washington. The registration fee has also been reduced to ease the cost of attending, the association noted. 


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AHRQ contest winners announced

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has announced the winners of a competition it sponsored to increase awareness and use of evidence-based healthcare tools in retail health settings, the government agency said.

The Evidence-Based Care Challenge took place between June 18 and Oct. 19, 2012 and enlisted nurse practitioners, physician assistants, researchers and other professionals to find ways to translate existing AHRQ research reports into provider-friendly resources for use in retail settings. Participants could also use the Otitis Media or the Screening for Obesity in Children and Adolescents.

In first place was the QR Medica Team, which used a beta-version website featuring evidence-based content on Otitis Media for healthcare providers and patients. The team included team leader and nurse practitioner Kelly McGee, Takecare Health Services, New Albany, Ohio; nurse practitioner Melinda McGaughy, Takecare Health Services, Health, Ohio; Paul Vineyard, a freelance information technology specialist; Janet Schmittgen, Walgreens Pharmacy, Heath, Ohio; Christine Lake, ADN nursing student, the American Institute of Alternative Medicine; Jordan McGaughy, ADN nursing student, Central Ohio Technical College; and Amanda McGaughy, BSN nursing student, Ohio State University.

In second place was the PAWS Team, which used a double-sided brochure on Otitis Media to help patients navigate treatment decisions with their provider at the point of care. The team, whose members were all from Lexington, S.C., included team leader and clinical practice manager Janette Capaci, pharmacist Larry Powers, pharmacist Patti Langston, pharmacist Kristy Clark, store manager Amanda Matthews, shift supervisor Deborah Boland, photo supervisor Brandon Batchelor, photo clerk Coulton Giles, shift supervisor Maria Taylor and shift supervisor Cheryl Lee. With exception to Capaci, who came from Minute Clinic, all the team members worked at the Lexington CVS.

In third place was the Tympanic Trio, whose members all came from a Tampa, Fla., Minute Clinic and who used a paper brochure "flipbook" with images on both sides of every page on Otitis Media. The team comprised nurse practitioner Nicola Archie, nurse practitioner Tara Jones and medical doctor Richard Kuehne.

The AHRQ said that by launching the EBC Challenge, it successfully encouraged development of relevant and useful resources that can be adopted for use by nurse practitioners and physician assistants in the convenience-care setting; introduced and expanded usage of evidence effort the EHC program to an important clinician audience; increased awareness of the EHC program and its products among the retail NP and physician assistant communities; and learned about effective ways to communicate with the retail NP and physician assistant communities.


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