PHARMACY

NACDS Foundation boosts scholarships by 14%

BY Allison Cerra

ALEXANDRIA, Va. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation officially announced 93 recipients of its annual pharmacy student scholarship program on Monday.

This year, the scholarships –– totaling $196,000 –– were awarded to pharmacy students representing 59 colleges and schools of pharmacy in 29 states and the District of Columbia. This is a 14% increase from 2008, when the NACDS Foundation awarded 85 pharmacy student scholarships totaling $172,000.

The NACDS Foundation pharmacy student scholarship program supports the academic development of pharmacy students, who are dedicated to improving the general public health and have expressed an interest in community pharmacy practice.

“These scholarships are a fitting tribute to the industry’s past and its firm commitment to its future,” said NACDS Foundation president Edith Rosato. “It is with sincere gratitude that –– on behalf of these 93 students –– I thank the generous benefactors of the NACDS Foundation for their support of pharmacy education and patient health.”

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Lupin receives FDA approval for hypertension generic

BY Alaric DeArment

BALTIMORE The Food and Drug Administration has given approval to a generic version of a drug used to treat high blood pressure made by an Indian drug maker.

Lupin Pharmaceuticals announced Thursday that it had received approval for perindopril erbumine tablets, used to treat essential hypertension and management of coronary artery disease.

The drug is a generic version of Solvay Pharmaceuticals’ Aceon, which had sales of $24 million during the 12-month period ending in September 2009, according to IMS Health.

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Loose ends should be tied to make e-prescribing a reality

BY Alaric DeArment

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT Relative to the national chains, independent pharmacies have limited resources and, given the importance and benefit of e-prescribing, further helping to facilitate the adoption of e-prescribing via grants — not to mention facilitating two-way communication between prescribers and pharmacists — is critical to help push overall adoption closer to the finish line.

THE NEWS: (NCPA: E-prescribing should be more efficient in two-way communication, cost. For the full story, click here)

As stated in the article, the National Community Pharmacists Association, at a recent e-prescribing committee, recommended providing grants to offset implementation and transaction fee costs and making two-way communication between prescribers and pharmacists easier.

In written testimony at a hearing of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Information Technology Policy Committee Information Exchange Workgroup, the NCPA acknowledged that community pharmacists have a vested interest in making e-prescribing work but yet cost challenges remain.

E-prescribing has been praised ­especially in recent years ­ as it has been shown to increase the likelihood that patients will get their prescriptions filled and, in turn, avoid more expensive medical procedures. There’s also less of a chance for errors compared with paper prescriptions.

E-prescribing has achieved impressive milestones in recent years but the journey is far from over. In October 2009, e-prescribing network provider Surescripts announced that 23% of all office-based physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants in the United States are now e-prescribing. At that rate, Surescripts projected that its total number of active e-prescribers in 2009 would more than double the 74,000 active e-prescribers at the end of 2008.

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