HEALTH

NCPDP releases updated acetaminophen white paper

BY Alaric DeArment

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — A standards-development organization for the pharmacy services industry has updated a white paper on protecting consumers and patients from accidental overdoses of the painkiller acetaminophen.

The NCPDP announced the updated white paper, "NCPDP Recommendations for Improved Prescription Container Labels for Medicines Containing Acetaminophen Version 1.1."

The NCPDP mobilized healthcare industry participants in 2011 to explore the issue of acetaminophen overdose, recommending that the industry implement measures to help patients avoid overdoses by enabling them to identify when their prescription medicines contain the drug, compare active ingredients on OTC and prescription drug labels and avoid the use of multiple medicines containing acetaminophen. Such pharmacy retailers as Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, Walmart and Target have implemented or committed to phased implementation of the NCPDP’s recommendations to produce prescription labels with the complete spelling of acetaminophen and eliminate use of such abbreviations as "acet" and "APAP" while prioritizing the standard acetaminophen warning label in the top-three warnings for prescription medicines.

"Liver injury from acetaminophen overdose remains a serious public health problem," FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research director Janet Woodcock said. "NCPDP’s leadership in working with the pharmacy system industry to develop and implement these voluntary standards continues to be an effective complement to FDA’s regulatory and educational efforts to improve the safe use of acetaminophen-containing medicines."


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RAD posts positive January comps amid strong flu season

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid reported a 0.3% increase in comps for the month of January, the retail pharmacy chain said Thursday.

The increase included a 4.2% increase in front-end comps, 2.4% of which came from sales of OTC flu products. Pharmacy comps decreased by 1.4%, while same-store prescription count increased 5%, 3.4% of which came from flu-related prescriptions and flu shots. Total store sales for the four-week period, which ended Saturday, decreased 0.5% to $1.91 billion.

The retailer’s January comps beat analyst estimates, particularly on the front end. Guggenheim Securities had forecast a 0.5% decrease in front-end comps, as well as a 2.5% decrease in pharmacy comps and a slightly larger decrease in overall comps.

Comps for the 47-week period that ended Saturday increased 0.1%, including a 1.6% increase in front-end comps and a 0.7% decrease in pharmacy comps as same-store prescription count increased 3.7%.

Total store sales for the 47-week period decreased 0.6% to $22.83 billion.


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ERSP recommends weight-loss supplement manufacturer modify claims

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — The Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program on Wednesday determined the National Weight Loss Institute can support general weight-loss claims made in direct-response advertising for Prevoxin, a dietary supplement intended to promote weight loss, but recommended the marketer modify or discontinue certain claims.

Following its review of the case record, ERSP determined that the two clinical human studies on 3-acetyl-7-oxo-dehydroepiandrosterone, or 7-Keto DHEA, provided reliable support for the marketer’s establishment claim of 200% increased weight loss when using the product in combination with diet and exercise. However, ERSP found the evidence did not provide adequate substantiation for the claim that Prevoxin can help users “lose 3x as much body fat.”

Regarding claims pertaining to the “pharmaceutical quality” of Prevoxin, ERSP recommended that NWLI clearly present the related disclosure independently of the disclosure that qualifies weight loss results in order to prevent any ambiguity.

ERSP also recommended the marketer discontinue the testimonial at issue as the relevant disclosure did not adequately convey the results consumers can generally expect to achieve from use of the product. 

The company agreed to modify future advertising claims in its marketer’s statement.

ERSP is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation and is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus. The marketer’s advertising came to the attention of ERSP pursuant to its ongoing monitoring program.


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