HEALTH

NACDS, NCPA praise congressional passage of safe drug-disposal legislation

BY Allison Cerra

ALEXANDRIA, Va. Two groups representing the nation’s pharmacies lauded the passage of the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act by the Senate and House of Representatives.

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association announced their support of the bill, which fosters collaboration between pharmacies, consumers and law enforcement for the safe disposal of unused drugs. The National Community Pharmacist Association developed its own voluntary prescription drug-disposal program, called Dispose My Meds.

“Prescription drug abuse is at epic proportions in many parts of the country, and community pharmacists are uniquely positioned to help Americans properly dispose of their expired and unused prescription drugs,” said NCPA acting EVP and CEO Douglas Hoey. “We commend members of Congress from both parties for coming together to approve this important legislation.”

NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson noted the organization welcomed "advancing the safe use and safe handling of medications."

“By steering clear of a drug take-back program mandate, Congress wisely prevented unintended consequences that could have undermined the health and safety of the public and of pharmacy personnel,” Anderson said. “NACDS appreciates the work of Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Reps. Jay Inslee, D-Wash.; Bart Stupak, D-Mich.; Joe Barton, R-Texas; and Lamar Smith, R-Texas, to ensure that good public policy won the day on this important issue."

In related news, Walgreens on Thursday announced its first-ever safe drug-disposal program through a collaboration with Sharps Compliance, which has worked with the NCPA on the Dispose My Meds program.

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Pharmacy groups launch e-health task force

BY Jim Frederick

WASHINGTON Staking a firm claim to the emerging technology revolution in health care, nine national pharmacy organizations Wednesday unveiled a new, joint task force to grapple with the challenges and opportunities posed by information technology.

The so-called Pharmacy e-Health Information Technology Collaborative will focus on the pharmacy profession’s technology needs “to ensure that they are addressed and integrated into the framework of the U.S. health information technology infrastructure,” the groups noted in a joint statement. “In doing so, the collaborative is committed to creating a comprehensive and unified approach, ensuring optimal integration of pharmacy’s requirements and contributions into the electronic health record.”

Among the collaborative’s founding members: the American Pharmacists Association, the National Community Pharmacists Association, Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy, Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, American College of Clinical Pharmacy, American Society of Consultant Pharmacists, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists and National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations.

“In order for patients to receive optimal care, pharmacists need to have the ability to access and contribute to relevant, patient-specific information from the EHR. The work of the collaborative will focus on achieving this goal,” said Tom Menighan, EVP and CEO of APhA, who will chair the working group.

Serving as its director will be Rachelle “Shelly” Spiro, a pharmacist and long-term care specialist who heads Spiro Consulting. Spiro is active in national pharmacy associations, standards development organizations and is a leader in pharmacy health IT.

For additional information on the Pharmacy e-Health Information Technology Collaborative, contact James Owen, APhA’s director of professional practice, at [email protected].

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Abbott’s multipurpose disinfecting solution for contacts gets FDA OK

BY Antoinette Alexander

ABBOTT PARK, Ill. Abbott has received market clearance from the Food and Drug Administration for RevitaLens Ocutec, a multipurpose disinfecting solution for silicone hydrogel and conventional soft contact lenses.

"This advanced, next-generation solution establishes a new standard of disinfecting technology for contact lens wearers," stated Jim Mazzo, SVP Abbott Medical Optics. "Proper contact lens care, including a rub and rinse regimen using RevitaLens Ocutec, will help patients achieve clean and comfortable lenses while enhancing overall lens-wearing satisfaction."

RevitaLens Ocutec multipurpose disinfecting solution was developed in cooperation with silicone hydrogel, microbiology and chemistry experts and with input from more than 600 eye care professionals.

It is estimated that there are 125 million contact lens wearers worldwide. Multipurpose solutions represent the majority of systems used for the care of soft contact lenses. These are comprised of a single solution for the rinsing, cleaning, disinfection and storage of lenses, and typically are composed of a preservative, buffer system and other agents to aid in lens cleaning and comfort.

 

Key characteristics of RevitaLens Ocutec multipurpose disinfecting solution include:

  • High micro-organism kill rates;
  • Removes proteins from the lens surface;
  • Effectively kills acanthamoeba and fusarium;
  • Reduces corneal staining; and
  • Minimizes the risk of eye complications.

 

Abbott plans to begin retail shipment of RevitaLens Ocutec multipurpose disinfecting solution in the United States in October. The product also has CE Mark approval in Europe.

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