PHARMACY

New FDA video offers tips for recognizing rogue pharmacies

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — The Food and Drug Administration has released a new video that warns consumers against buying drugs from rogue-internet pharmacies, part of the ongoing effort by the agency to keep fake and contaminated drugs out of the U.S. supply chain.

The video, part of the FDA’s BeSafeRx awareness program, features Gary Coody, the FDA’s health fraud coordinator, highlighting the agency’s efforts to combat fraudulent online pharmacies and offering tips for recognizing them. To date, the FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations has arrested and convicted more than 400 people involved with rogue pharmacies and collected more than $178 million in restitution for consumers, Coody says in the video.

While periodic crackdowns have shut down thousands of illegal pharmacy websites in the last few years, it remains a growing problem, and Coody said in the video that new sites can be created in a very short period of time. Earlier this year, the FDA participated in Operation Pangea VI, collaborating with regulators, law enforcement and customs agencies in 99 countries take action against more than 9,600 rogue Internet pharmacies and seize $41.1 million in illegal medicines. The FDA itself seized and shut down 1,677 sites. In response, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy has developed the Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites, or VIPPS accreditation program, which includes the VIPPS seal on websites and inclusion of trustworthy sites on the NABP’s consumer protection website.

The video is below.

 

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PHARMACY

FDA approves new drug for chronic lymphocytic leukemia

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new drug for leukemia made by Genentech, the agency said Friday.

The FDA announced the approval of Gazyva (obinutuzumab) for treating patients with previously untreated chronic lymphocytic leukemia, in combination with the chemotherapy drug chlorambucil. The drug works by helping certain cells in the immune system attack cancer cells.

CLL is a blood and bone marrow disease that usually gets worse slowly, and according to the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, 15,680 people in the United States will be diagnosed with the disease, and 4,580 will die from it.

 

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Insource Healthcare Solutions to use telehealth systems from Polycom

BY Alaric DeArment

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Insource Healthcare Solutions is adding wall-mounted and cart-mounted video systems at the hospitals it operates in upstate New York and Pennsylvania in order to allow for telehealth services and cut costs.

Polycom said Insource would install its HDX 8000 video systems, which stream video to remote physicians who have corresponding software on their computers and tablets, enabling them to observe, interact with and diagnose patients.

"With the Affordable Care Act providing medical coverage to millions of Americans who were previously uninsured, the traditional healthcare system will be hard-pressed to meet the needs of everyone, which is why our model is proving to be so successful," Insource CEO Mark Celmer said. "We eliminate the need to wait weeks to see specialists by collaborating via video with experts all over the world. Telemedicine also allows our network of primary care and urgent care providers to see anyone at any time without traveling. This lets doctors dramatically increase their productivity, saving insurance providers and patients thousands of dollars on medical procedures."

 

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