PHARMACY

NCPA names finalists in annual Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition

BY Allison Cerra

ALEXANDRIA, Va. Teams of pharmacy students from three universities were named finalists in a community pharmacy business plan competition.

Announced at the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy annual meeting in Seattle, teams from the Auburn University Harrison School of Pharmacy, Drake University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and Washington State University College of Pharmacy, were named finalists in the National Community Pharmacists Association’s Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition. The goal of the competition is to motivate pharmacy students to create a business model for buying an existing independent community pharmacy or developing a new pharmacy. The competition is supported by Good Neighbor Pharmacy, Pharmacists Mutual Companies and the NCPA Foundation, NCPA’s charitable arm.

“The future of independent community pharmacy resides in the hands of pharmacy students, which is why NCPA invests considerable resources in providing these young people with the tools to be successful owners,” said Joseph Harmison, NCPA president and pharmacy owner. “The Good Neighbor Pharmacy Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition is the crown jewel of those efforts, as teams of pharmacy students create independent community pharmacy business plans that are judged by a distinguished panel of pharmacy professionals.”

Team members and the adviser for the three finalist teams will receive complimentary registration, travel, and lodging to NCPA’s 112th Annual Convention and Trade Exposition in Philadelphia, on Oct. 23 to 27, where they will compete for first, second, and third place in an exciting, live competition. After the presentations have been evaluated and scored, the following awards will be presented:

  • First Place-$3,000 to the NCPA student chapter and $3,000 contributed to the school in the dean’s name to promote independent pharmacy
  • Second Place-$2,000 to the NCPA student chapter and $2,000 contributed to the school in the dean’s name to promote independent pharmacy
  • Third Place-$1,000 to the NCPA student chapter and $1,000 contributed to the school in the dean’s name to promote independent pharmacy.

“The competition to recognize outstanding students also helps to promote independent ownership of community pharmacy — a cornerstone in local neighborhoods,” said R. David Yost, president and CEO of AmerisourceBergen, whose Good Neighbor Pharmacy program is the primary sponsor of the competition. “We believe it is essential for pharmacy students to have access to high quality business education, and this program helps provide that. Good Neighbor Pharmacy is proud to encourage students to explore the benefits of a career in community pharmacy through programs such as this real-world business case competition.”

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PHARMACY

Pfizer suspends more tanezumab trials

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Drug maker Pfizer is suspending some clinical studies of a biotech drug for treating pain following reports of harmful side effects in patients, Pfizer said Monday.

The drug maker halted studies of the drug tanezumab in patients with chronic low back pain and painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy at the request of the Food and Drug Administration.

Pfizer said the suspension follows further consideration of reports of harmful side effects in osteoarthritis patients taking the drug. The company already had suspended the osteoarthritis study of tanezumab in June.

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PCMA responds to government funding anti-fraud programs

BY Allison Cerra

WASHINGTON The leader of a group representing the nation’s pharmacy benefit managers responded to a House subcommittee’s decision to allot $561 million for programs designed to combat fraud, waste and abuse.

Pharmaceutical Care Management Association president and CEO Mark Merritt said the decision shows “it’s more important than ever to enhance America’s overall program integrity capabilities.” The money was provided to the Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Justice Department.

“The administration has noted that these kinds of efforts can save almost $10 billion,” Merritt said. “The other side of the anti-fraud coin is that policymakers must reject policies that inadvertently weaken the ability of public and private payers to detect and prevent waste, fraud and abuse. It’s far easier to prevent fraud than to engage in ‘pay and chase’ activities after the fact.”

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