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House Speaker Paul Ryan recognizes Walgreens safe medication milestone

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. – In the first national effort of its kind by a retailer, Walgreens has installed safe medication disposal kiosks at 288 pharmacies across 21 states and Washington D.C. Walgreens is now more than halfway toward its goal, announced in February, of installing medication disposal kiosks at 500 locations around the country, the company announced Monday.

To mark the first store in Wisconsin with a drug take-back kiosk, Walgreens was joined by House Speaker Paul Ryan for a ceremony at a Janesville, Wis., store. Safe medication disposal kiosk installation in Wisconsin is expected to be complete by the end of August.

“Walgreens has taken an important first step to curb the misuse of medications throughout the country and continues to make progress in offering easy and convenient medication disposal,” stated Richard Ashworth, Walgreens president of pharmacy and retail operations. “Everyone has a role to play in minimizing prescription drug abuse, and we are committed to being part of a comprehensive solution to reverse this epidemic.”

The kiosks provide a safe and convenient way to dispose of unwanted, unused or expired prescriptions, including controlled substances, and over-the-counter medications at no cost. As part of Walgreens drug take-back program, the kiosks make the disposal of medications easier and are available year-round to help reduce the misuse of medications and the rise in overdose deaths.

The kiosks at Walgreens pharmacies are available during regular pharmacy hours (24 hours a day at most kiosk locations) and offer one of the best ways to ensure medications are not accidentally used or intentionally misused by someone else.

Walgreens also has helped curb the rise in opioid overdose deaths by making naloxone, a lifesaving opioid antidote, available without requiring a prescription in more than 2,600 pharmacies across 14 states. On Aug. 1, Walgreens will begin offering naloxone without requiring a prescription in North Carolina and Wisconsin as the company continues toward its goal of offering naloxone without a prescription at more than 7,000 of its nearly 8,200 pharmacies.

In states where a prescription is required, Walgreens is available to work with regulators to help update rules to allow for dispensing of naloxone without a prescription.
 

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CVS Health now able to dispense naloxone without prescription in Lone Star State

BY Michael Johnsen

WOONSOCKET, R.I. – CVS Health announced Monday that the opioid overdose-reversal medication naloxone is now available without a prescription at all CVS Pharmacy locations in Texas.

"Naloxone is a safe and effective antidote to opioid overdoses and by expanding access to this medication in our Texas pharmacies by the use of a physician's standing order for patients without a prescription, we can help save lives," stated Tom Davis, VP pharmacy professional practices at CVS Pharmacy. "We are dedicated to helping the communities we serve address and prevent drug abuse and we are expanding access to naloxone to give more people a chance to get the help they need for recovery."

In addition to Texas, CVS Pharmacy locations in 30 other states will be able to dispense naloxone to patients without an individual prescription by August 2016.

"CVS Health has been a leader in helping communities prevent prescription drug abuse and we applaud their work to increase access to this life-saving drug for patients without a prescription at CVS Pharmacy locations in Texas," said Marcia Lee Taylor, president and CEO, Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. "Increasing access to naloxone is a critical public health priority that allows patients and their families to prevent opioid fatalities and recognize when people need help working towards recovery from the disease of addiction."
 

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NCPA names 3 finalists for 2016 GNP NCPA Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competiton

BY Michael Johnsen

ALEXANDRIA, Va.– The National Community Pharmacists Association on Monday announced that three teams of pharmacy students have been named finalists in the 2016 Good Neighbor Pharmacy NCPA Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competiton.

Teams of pharmacy students from University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, University of North Carolina Eshelman School of Pharmacy and University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy will present their business plans in a live competition at NCPA’s Annual Convention in New Orleans. 

“Congratulations to the three finalists of this year’s competition,” stated Bradley Arthur, NCPA president. “Their impressive entries stood out among a very competitive field. I look forward to their live presentation in October and wish them luck on it," he said. "I also want to commend everyone who competed this year. I encourage all of the students to contact community pharmacists in their area and to continue to pursue their dream of independent community pharmacy ownership.”

This year’s competition drew submissions from 46 schools and colleges of pharmacy, and over 200 student and advisor participants.

The goal of the competition is to motivate pharmacy students to create a business model for buying an existing independent community pharmacy or opening a new pharmacy. Through this competition, NCPA is better able to prepare tomorrow’s pharmacy entrepreneurs for a successful future. The Business Plan Competition is the first national competition of its kind in the pharmacy profession and honors two great champions of independent community pharmacy, the late Neil Pruitt, Sr., and the late H. Joseph Schutte. The competition is supported by Good Neighbor Pharmacy, Pharmacists Mutual Companies and the NCPA Foundation.

Pictured are one of last year's finalists from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Pharmacy.
 

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