HEALTH

H.D. Smith signs prime vendor agreement with U.S.-based Nigerian pharmacy group

BY Jim Frederick

CINCINNATI and SPRINGFIELD, Ill. A large group of Nigerian-owned independent retailers has struck a new, three-year prime vendor agreement with H.D. Smith, a leading national pharmaceutical wholesaler.

H.D. Smith and the Nigerian Association of Pharmacists and Pharmaceutical Scientists in America said the deal would bolster both groups. Under terms of the contract, H.D. Smith will become the primary supplier of pharmaceutical products for the more than 100 U.S. pharmacies that are NAPPSA members. The supply agreement begins immediately and extends through June 30, 2013.

“We are excited and proud of this accomplishment, and hope it is only the beginning of more to come,” said NAPPSA Nnodum Iheme. “Since success breeds success, we anticipate more Nigerian-owned pharmacies to join or partner with NAPPSA.”

H.D. Smith chairman and CEO Dale Smith also expressed satisfaction with the agreement. “The decision to select a primary vendor does not come lightly and demands close inspection of services, programs and reputation,” Smith said. “We seek to enhance NAPPSA members’ success.”

NAPPSA is an umbrella organization of Nigerian pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists, allied scientists and academics in the Americas. “Among other objectives, NAPPSA fosters cooperative efforts among relevant educational, research, industrial, commercial and governmental entities; propagates critical information in the medical, biological, pharmaceutical and related healthcare-technology fields, for the optimization of health outcomes,” the group noted in a statement.

H.D. Smith markets itself as “the largest privately held national full-line, full-service wholesaler that provides a complete line of pharmaceuticals, OTCs, HBAs, home healthcare products, durable medical equipment, seasonal merchandise and a wide array of marketing programs to retail pharmacies, regional chains and health systems.”

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Report: San Francisco’s tobacco sales ban to expand to in-store pharmacies

BY Alaric DeArment

SAN FRANCISCO A ban on tobacco sales in San Francisco drug stores soon will grow to include any store that operates a pharmacy, according to published reports.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported Monday that the city would extend its ban to supermarkets and mass merchandisers with pharmacies in addition to drug stores.

In 2008, retail pharmacies and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores opposed the ban because while banning tobacco products in drug stores, the city continued to permit supermarkets and mass merchandisers with pharmacies to sell tobacco products, prompting Walgreens to sue the city over the ban and try to have it overturned on constitutional grounds. City officials reasoned that the exception for drug stores was necessary because of what they described as the contradictory nature of a healthcare establishment selling a harmful product.

Soon after the San Francisco ban passed, Boston enacted a similar law, though the Boston law –– which was made independent of the one in San Francisco –– covered all retailers that operate pharmacies.

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NACDS to FDA advisory committee: Curb DXM abuse without impeding appropriate use

BY Allison Cerra

ALEXANDRIA, Va. As the Food and Drug Administration’s Drug Safety and Risk Management Committee debated Tuesday on ways to curb abuse of cough suppressants containing dextromethorphan, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores testified that the scheduling of dextromethorphan under the federal Controlled Substances Act is not the right solution.

“Dextromethorphan is consumers’ No.1 choice to treat cough. Depriving consumers of the option to self-medicate with dextromethorphan would have substantial public health consequences because cough and cold are extremely prevalent in the U.S. population, affecting the average adult two to four times per year,” NACDS VP regulatory affairs Kevin Nicholson said to the FDA Drug Safety and Risk Management Committee.

NACDS also urged the committee to consider the approach set forth by Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., in the Dextromethorphan Abuse Reduction Act of 2009, which would prohibit the sale of dextromethorphan to minors.

“Dextromethorphan is the most common ingredient in over-the-counter cough medicines in the United States,” Nicholson stated. “[The] abuse of dextromethorphan is concentrated primarily among teenagers, and this concentration makes possible a targeted and strategic approach to preventing abuse.”

In addition to working on legislative remedies, the association also has worked with the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and the Drug Enforcement Administration to help raise awareness of the scourge of medication abuse, particularly among young people.

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