PHARMACY

Manchester University begins search for new pharmacy school dean

BY Alaric DeArment

FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Indiana’s Manchester University has begun an "immediate" search for a new dean for its College of Pharmacy, the university said Wednesday.

The school is looking for a replacement for Dave McFadden, who will assume the presidency of the university on July 1, 2014, following the planned retirement of current president Jo Young Switzer, announced earlier this week. McFadden became dean of the College of Pharmacy in November 2012.

"We are looking for someone who will move our program forward and continue building strong partnerships in the region," Switzer said.

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PHARMACY

CFC inhalers to be phased out by end of year, FDA says

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration plans to complete its phase out of inhalers that contain ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons by the end of the year, the agency said Wednesday.

The FDA said it planned to complete the phase-out of all CFC inhalers by Dec. 31 in order to comply with international treaties. CFCs are propellants used to help patients inhale medicines, but they also deplete the ozone layer, and the United States was a signatory to the 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, along with most other countries. CFCs have since been removed from hairsprays, deodorants and air conditioning.

Most of the products containing CFCs have already been phased out, and currently, only two remain on the market: Boehringer Ingelheim’s Combivent (ipratropium bromide; albuterol sulfate) and Medicis’ Maxair (pirbuterol). The albuterol CFC inhaler, the most commonly used one, was phased out in 2008 and replaced with inhalers that use propellants called hydrofluoroalkanes, or HFAs. BI has another inhaler with the sale active ingredient, Combivent Respimat (ipratropium bromide; albuterol) that uses a mechanical propellant system.

Inhalers are most often used by people with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease — a term that encompasses chronic bronchitis and emphysema — which respectively affect 25 million and 15 million people in the United States.

"CFCs were used as propellants to move the drug out of inhalers so that patients can inhale the medicine," FDA director of the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Rheumatology Products Badrul Chowdhury said. "For more than two decades, the FDA and Environmental Protection Agency have collaborated to phase-out CFCs in inhalers, a process that included input from the public, advisory committees, manufacturers and stakeholders."

 

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Air Force master sergeant Jessica Hughes named PTCB Certified Pharmacy Technician of the Year

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON — A U.S. Air Force master sergeant has been named the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board’s Certified Pharmacy Technician of the Year, the PTCB said.

The PTCB announced that master sergeant Jessica Hughes, the non-commissioned officer in charge of pharmacy support at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, in New Jersey, was selected as the PTCB CPhT of the Year. The finalists also included Rico Powell and Linda Henson.

While deployed in Afghanistan, Hughes prepared 1,300 IV medications, 70% of the total workload, and provided drug therapy support to more than 900 patients, often finding herself leaned on as a pharmacist as well as a technician because she worked overnight shifts when no pharmacist was available.

"The experience opened my eyes to much more than what I normally see in a clinic setting," Hughes said. "I was called to traumas and had to make IVs and TPNs, and I was asked about things that were new to me, but I was depended upon to find answers."

Currently, at McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, Hughes oversees the vault, logistics and clinic inspections, playing an active role in frontline pharmacy operations, researching medication shortages and serving as a tobacco cessation instructor, achieving a 70% quit rate.

 

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