PHARMACY

NCPA survey: Most independents provide compounding services

BY Michael Johnsen

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — As many as 85.5% of independent community pharmacies offer patients traditional compounding services, and while it accounts for a small portion of their business, the health-enhancing effect for patients can be dramatic, according to a new survey released Tuesday by the National Community Pharmacists Association.

Of those pharmacists who compound medications, nearly two-thirds reported the medications made up less than 5% of their pharmacy practice. Nearly 3-out-of-4 compounding pharmacists only provide nonsterile medications. Despite the fact that traditional compounding only represents a fraction of their business, 70% of pharmacists report participating in ongoing training/educational courses related to compounding techniques. This training is in addition to any continuing education that may be required to sustain one’s license as a pharmacist, NCPA reported.

“This survey offers fresh evidence that traditional compounding services are a saving grace for patients when mass-produced drugs aren’t available or are not appropriate for the patient,” stated Douglas Hoey NCPA CEO. “Pharmacists will continue to work constructively with Congress and other policymakers to not only help prevent another crisis like the [recent] meningitis outbreak, but to also preserve patients’ access to customized and safe compounded medications," he said.  

“Pharmacists are appalled by the reported actions of the rogue drug manufacturer at the center of the tragic, nationwide meningitis outbreak,” Hoey said. “It purported to be a pharmacy, but its actions told another story. It’s disappointing that regulators did not act sooner to prevent patient suffering.”

Pharmacists and other experts consider the cornerstone of traditional pharmacy compounding to be the preparation of customized medications on a patient-by-patient basis in response to the request of a doctor or other prescriber. The practice is most commonly employed when manufactured drugs are not appropriate for a particular patient, such as children or those with allergies, or when mass-produced medicines are not available.

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PHARMACY

FDA approves Mylan pulmonary arterial hypertension drug

BY Alaric DeArment

PITTSBURGH — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a generic drug made by Mylan for treating pulmonary arterial hypertension, the drug maker said Tuesday.

Mylan announced the FDA approval of sildenafil citrate tablets in the 20-mg strength, a generic version of Pfizer’s Revatio. The drug is used to treat adults with PAH to improve exercise ability and delay clinical worsening of the condition.

Revatio had sales of about $339 million during the 12-month period ended in September, according to IMS Health.


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Kirby Lester chief executive wins University of Illinois College of Pharmacy award

BY Alaric DeArment

LAKE FOREST, Ill. — The University of Illinois College of Pharmacy has named Kirby Lester president and CEO Garry Zage its 2012 Alumnus of the Year, the pharmacy automation manufacturer said Tuesday.

Zage, who graduated from the college in 1977, purchased Kirby Lester in 2005. He has worked in pharmacy for more than 35 years and focused on pharmacy automation for more than 15 years, the company said, adding that the award recognizes graduates who are innovators, exhibit leadership and have contributed significantly to the pharmacy profession.

"Garry embodies what we are trying to produce in our educational programs at the University of Illinois College of Pharmacy," college dean Jerry Bauman said. "His urgent work enables pharmacists to spend more time with patients, which is crucial, as the profession embraces the professional role of the pharmacist."


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