PHARMACY

Merlo addresses the future of pharmacy as new NACDS chairman

BY Alaric DeArment

PALM BEACH, Fla. The president of CVS/pharmacy took the helm of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores’ board Monday as its new chairman.

During his first remarks as chairman, made Tuesday at the NACDS Annual Meeting in Palm Beach, Fla., Larry Merlo said his interest in pharmacy began in high school and spoke of his study of pharmacy at the University of Pittsburgh, his jobs at Thrift Drug and People’s Drug, when he first became involved with the NACDS, and his career with CVS and how teachers and managers helped fuel his passion for the industry.

He also talked about trends in pharmacy and challenges to healthcare reform, such as containing costs.

“As an industry, I believe we are positioned to help control the costs of health care by advocating for the value of what I’m going to call ‘pharmacy care,’” Merlo said. “Our strategy for ensuring the use of cost-effective medications is pretty clear; we need to promote adherence and effectiveness.”

Merlo’s speech included a video of stories of pharmacists and how they have improved and even saved patients’ lives; Merlo said similar stories play out daily at the pharmacies of NACDS member companies.

“There will be issues and challenges we will have to overcome, and through the NACDS agenda, we will continue to work hard to navigate through the complexities the future brings,” Merlo said. “There is more than unites us than divides us: It’s the value our pharmacists bring to the healthcare equation as well as the role they play in their communities; and it’s the trust exhibited and the emotional connection that we saw and felt in the video.”

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Mylan begins marketing generic ADHD treatment

BY Alaric DeArment

PITTSBURGH Mylan has begun marketing a generic version of a drug for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, the generic drug maker announced Monday.

Mylan’s methamphetamine hydrochloride tablets in the 5 mg strength are a generic version of Lundbeck’s Desoxyn and are the first generic version of that drug to gain approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

Methamphetamine hydrochloride tablets had sales of $9.3 million in 2009, according to IMS Health.

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NACDS Foundation contributes $150,000 to Haiti relief efforts

BY Allison Cerra

PALM BEACH, Fla. The charitable arm of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores has contributed $150,000 to assist Haiti relief efforts following the devastating earthquake that struck the island nation.

The NACDS Foundation’s contributions included $50,000 each to organizations that have been immersed in this important work since the January earthquake: Doctors Without Borders, AmeriCares, and Convoy of Hope. Among their areas of expertise, Doctors Without Borders focuses on healthcare delivery;  AmeriCares delivers much-needed medicines, medical supplies, water purification tablets, baby food and other resources; and Convoy of Hope provides meals, medical supplies and water filtration systems to places in need.

“Haiti has disappeared from the front pages of our newspapers, but it will take decades of work to restore the land of these proud people,” said NACDS Foundation chairman of the board and NACDS CEO Steve Anderson. “These contributions reflect the many, many steps that pharmacy chains and suppliers, and others across industries have made to assist Haiti at this time.”

Anderson announced the contributions during his remarks at the NACDS Annual Meeting in Palm Beach, Fla.

“The NACDS Foundation’s vision is to improve the health and wellness of the people in America, and the NACDS Foundation board of directors decided wisely to extend this vision globally amid the ongoing and tremendous need in Haiti,” said NACDS Foundation president Edith A. Rosato. “Our commitment to helping those in Haiti knows no bounds and we truly hope that this contribution will assist in the relief effort, and help maintain a focus on the long-term needs of the Haitian people.”

In addition to this contribution, the NACDS Foundation is matching dollar-for-dollar contributions of NACDS and NACDS Foundation staff members to Hope for Haiti, as part of the Green for Jeans program. Through this program, staff members make donations for the privilege of wearing jeans to work on Fridays.

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