PHARMACY

NACDS Foundation awards $120,000-plus in scholarships

BY Drew Buono

ALEXANDRIA, Va. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation awarded $122,000 in pharmacy student scholarships in 2007. The awards were given as part of the Foundation’s Pharmacy Student Scholarship Program is aimed at helping students who are interested in pursuing a career in chain community pharmacy.

The foundation awarded 60 scholarships in 2007, an increase of 20 as compared to 2006. “We are excited to see the number of scholarships grow from year to year,” said NACDS Foundation president, Phil Schneider. “With the continuing support from our benefactors, the foundation’s scholarship program enables us to positively impact the critical shortage of community pharmacists.”

The requirements for the awards are that students selected for the foundation scholarships must be enrolled as full-time pharmacy students, have experience in chain community pharmacy and have a desire to pursue a career in community pharmacy. Students are evaluated based on their career goals, interest in chain community pharmacy practice, as well as their credentials, including leadership activities and professional and community involvement.

Four of the students were given a named scholarship, which meant more money because of their standout performance. The four winners, who each received $2,500—compared to the other students who were awarded $2,000—were: Christopher Forg, University of Cincinnati Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Daniel Malone, Albany College of Pharmacy; Renee Alsberry, Duquesne University; and Luis Ramos, University of Washington School of Pharmacy.

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FDA approves Depomed’s 1,000 mg Glumetza

BY Drew Buono

MENLO PARK, Calif. Depomed has received approval from the Food and Drug Administration for a 1,000 mg strength of Glumetza tablets. Glumetza is used as an adjunct to diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in adult patients with Type 2 diabetes.

“This approval is good news for patients with Type 2 diabetes who are on metformin therapy and prefer to take fewer tablets per day,” stated Carl Pelzel, president and chief executive officer of Depomed. “The American Diabetes Association guidelines recommend that metformin therapy be titrated to its maximally effective dose, generally regarded as 2,000 mg/day as tolerated. We believe this 1,000 mg dosage form is a great addition to the Glumetza franchise, as we now have two ways for patients to achieve 24-hour glycemic control: the original Glumetza 500 mg tablets, which start out as small, easy-to-swallow tablets that expand once in the stomach, and the new 1,000 mg tablets, which require fewer tablets to hit the target dose. We are working very closely with our commercial supplier, Biovail, to make these tablets commercially available in the United States in the near future.”

Depomed acquired exclusive U.S. rights to the 1,000 mg formulation of Glumetza in December 2005 from Biovail, and has a supply agreement with Biovail related to the formulation. Glumetza had sales of $3.8 million in the third quarter of 2007.

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Ivans launches LIME Medicare Internet solution

BY Drew Buono

STAMFORD, Conn. Ivans, a technology company that provides Medicare connectivity solutions and services has unveiled its new product, an Internet solution for healthcare providers that processes Medicare transactions, called LIME.

The goal of the program will be to save providers time and money through its elimination of manual searches and by streamlining the claims process so claims are paid faster and more accurately. The program is approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and is compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

Using LIME, providers are able to process Medicare claims 10 times faster than dial-up modems. Providers indicated that while it used to take one hour to process three claims, by using the new program 30 claims can be processed during that same time period. Because this is a multi-user solution that can be used for other Medicare transactions such as eligibility and claims remittance, the time and money saved in a one-year period is equivalent to three staff members working full-time.

Currently, more than 100,000 part A and part B healthcare providers are supported by Ivans solutions.

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