NACDS honors Kansas congressman as ‘Pharmacy Great Communicator’
ALEXANDRIA The National Association of Chain Drug Stores today honored U.S. Rep. Jerry Moran with its latest “Pharmacy Great Communicator” award for his outspoken support of pharmacies.
Moran, R-Kan., has co-sponsored numerous pro-pharmacy bills, including legislation to help ensure adequate reimbursement under Medicaid and Medicare Part D. He also is a frequent and vocal champion of community pharmacy, and has regaled his colleagues in Congress about the dangers faced by cash-strapped local pharmacies, particularly those in smaller towns that sometimes serve as the only link between patients and immediate access to a health care professional.
“Congressman Moran perfectly articulated the reasons why we must maintain patients’ access to pharmacies,” said NACDS president and chief executive officer Steve Anderson.
Moran’s latest salvo on behalf of retail pharmacy came June 26. Addressing the House of Representatives, he urged the Senate to pass legislation on Medicare and Medicaid that includes several pro-pharmacy provisions.
“Pharmacies play a critical role in delivering health care in America,” said Moran. “Local pharmacists are the first line of defense in recognizing health problems and providing medical advice.
“It is important to the health of Americans and certainly to the health of rural Kansans that the Senate promptly adopt this legislation,” he added. “I ask that Congress continue to do its part to see that pharmacies remain an important component of delivering health care across America.”
Following that speech, Anderson said the designation of Moran as a Pharmacy Great Communicator was “our version of a standing ovation.”
FDA to increase security for committee members in advisory meetings
WASHINGTON The Food and Drug Administration is planning on beefing up its security at advisory committee meetings, in hopes of restoring order after an incident at a recent meeting, according to The Regulation Policy Market Report.
According to reports, an intoxicated speaker in the audience at a recent meeting began a threatening rant. This isn’t the first time there have been disturbances at an advisory committee, they usually occur when the drug in question is used to treat rare-or life-threatening disease.
While the FDA hasn’t made a formal announcement of the policy changes, Office of New Drug director John Jenkins discussed the new procedures at the Drug Information Association’s annual meeting last week.
“We have put in place some new measures to help improve security at meetings,” Jenkins said. “If we anticipate that there may be an increased need for security at a particular meeting because it is a particularly controversial topic, we may have additional security procedures.”
Those procedures include:
1) Creating a physical barrier by roping off the committee from the public. The intent, Jenkins said, is “to put some separation between those who might become agitated in the audience and committee members.”
2) Increasing the presence of security guards in the committee room—both in uniform and street clothes.
3) Reading a statement at the start of the meeting about “good rules of behavior.”
FDA approves Eisai’s Aciphex for ages 12 and up
WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. The Food and Drug Administration has approved Aciphex for treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease in adolescents age 12 and older, Tokyo-based Eisai’s North America subsidiary announced Monday.
Aciphex, known generically as rabeprazole sodium, is available in 20 mg tablets for treating GERD for up to eight weeks.
Eisai discovered and developed the drug and promotes it in the United States with PriCara, a division of Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals.