PHARMACY

Indie group offers members ‘jumpstart’

BY Jim Frederick

ALEXANDRIA, Va. —Independent pharmacy owners have long faced a challenge not addressed by their in-depth knowledge of pharmaceuticals and drug therapy management. That challenge: acquiring the business acumen to run a successful business along with their highly regarded professional practice.

In response, the National Community Pharmacists Association will offer a new, two-day seminar here in mid-July to give owner-operators new tools for building and maintaining a successful and profitable practice. The program, offered through NCPA’s Ownership Academy, is titled “Jumpstart Your Pharmacy Business: A Seminar for Owners.”

The seminar is slated for July 17 to 18, and will feature courses from Ownership Academy faculty, including Richard Jackson, professor and director of Mercer University’s Center for Community Pharmacy Practice and Research, and Gabe Trahan, director of retail services for Burlington Drug Company, as well as an independent consultant. The program provides 11.25 continuing pharmacy education credits and is limited to the first 50 paid registrants.

Among the topics to be covered: improving owners’ ability to analyze their finances, gaining access to important tax and accounting information, understanding the benefits of investing in technology, utilizing merchandising tools and better marketing skills, developing new niche service strategies and handling third-party audits.

“While getting your business up and running is a challenge many independent community pharmacy owners overcome, the frustration of taking their business to the next level is considerable,” said NCPA president Joseph Harmison, a pharmacy owner in Arlington, Texas. “This program provides the tools to help pharmacy owners tighten up operations, improve profitability and capitalize on new opportunities.”

More information on the Jumpstart program and on the Ownership Academy is available by calling (800) 544-7477 or by visiting NCPA’s Web site, NCPAnet.org.

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Pennsylvania boosts pharmacists’ role; NACDS hails bid for collaboration

BY Jim Frederick

ALEXANDRIA, Va. In a gesture hailed by retail pharmacy advocates, the Keystone State is moving to expand the role its pharmacists play in improving patient health and outcomes.

The move comes with enactment of a Pennsylvania law, H.B. 1041, which will open new opportunities for collaborative medication therapy management between physicians and pharmacists on behalf of patients in a community pharmacy setting. Previously, such team approaches were permitted only in such institutional settings as hospitals and nursing homes in the state. 

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores had high praise for the new law, calling it an “important victory,” and citing the efforts made by the Pennsylvania Association of Chain Drug Stores and the Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association toward its passage. “With the enactment of this legislation, Pennsylvania has said ‘yes’ to improving the health and lives of patients, and to reducing overall healthcare costs,” said NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson. “This new law recognizes the expertise of pharmacists, the accessibility of community pharmacy and the ability of pharmacists to help patients properly manage their health conditions for the well-being of patients and for the good of society.”

Pennsylvania is the 33rd state to allow collaborative drug therapy management in the community setting, according to NACDS research. “Nine states allow it in institutional settings only, and eight do not allow it at all,” noted the group Friday.

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Taro receives FDA approval for Kytril generic

BY Alaric DeArment

HAWTHORNE, N.Y. Taro Pharmaceutical Industries has received approval from the Food and Drug Administration to market its generic version of a drug used to prevent nausea and vomiting in patients on chemotherapy, the Israeli generic drug maker said Friday.

The FDA approved Taro’s granisetron hydrochloride tablets in the 1-mg strength. The tablets are a generic version of Roche’s Kytril tablets.

Granisetron tablets had sales of around $15 million in 2009, according to unnamed industry sources cited by Taro.

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