PHARMACY

More than 55,000 candidates sought PTCB certification in 2010

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON — More than 55,000 candidates sat for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam in 2010, the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board said Tuesday.

The PTCB said it has certified more than 400,000 pharmacy technicians since 1995.

“Certification through PTCB represents an excellent pathway to employment for pharmacy technicians practicing in the United States,” PTCB executive director and CEO Melissa Murer Corrigan said in a statement. “It also enables pharmacy technicians to meet the growing demands of a changing pharmacy landscape.”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, pharmacy technician employment is expected to increase by more than 31% by 2018, and pharmacy techs with formal education or training, previous work experience and certification will be specifically sought after to meet the demand.

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PHARMACY

NACDS again makes case for pharmacy’s value

BY Jim Frederick

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Maneuvering to set forth a firm policy position in advance of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores again urged Congress Tuesday to “look to pharmacy as a solution in improving patient health and curbing healthcare costs.”

NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson issued a statement calling attention to the role that pharmacists play in accessible, cost-effective patient care. His statement, made during the run-up to tonight’s highly anticipated address by the president, was a plea for greater recognition of the value that pharmacy brings to a healthcare system in dire need of cost-cutting solutions.

“Pharmacists have the unique skill set to help patients understand the importance of taking their medications as prescribed,” Anderson said. “Through medication therapy management — which involves pharmacists counseling and educating patients on how to achieve medication adherence — pharmacists can help patients understand and manage their healthcare needs.”

What’s more, NACDS’ top executive said, “the role of pharmacy in the healthcare delivery system has become even more critical as convenience becomes even more important in everyday life. The neighborhood pharmacy is an accessible healthcare provider, and can also help patients detect health conditions through blood pressure and cholesterol screenings, as well as administering vaccinations, including flu shots.”

Anderson reminded federal policy-makers that pharmacists remain “1-of-the-top-3 most ttrusted professionals for eight years in a row," according to Gallup. “We urge Congress to look to pharmacy to set the example in how proactive approaches to health can produce long-term results that benefit patients and the healthcare system,” Anderson said. “We look forward to working with lawmakers and the Obama administration on MTM programs that help to achieve medication adherence and put patients first.”

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PHARMACY

Pharmacy school earns CHEA award

BY Alaric DeArment

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. — A pharmacy school in Illinois is the first of its kind to win 1-of-4 national 2011 Council for Higher Education Accreditation Awards.

The CHEA gave the award to the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy. The award recognizes schools that the CHEA considers exceptional in developing and applying evidence of student-learning outcomes to improve higher education quality and accountability.

The SIUE school’s application focused on a mandatory senior capstone project in which students must create a business plan related to a specific aspect of pharmacy in order to demonstrate the knowledge they have gained.

“CHEA is pleased to acknowledge the work of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy in providing an example of institutional progress and effective approaches to use the student-learning outcomes,” CHEA president Judith Eaton said.

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