PHARMACY

Ohio Northern University honors three College of Pharmacy alumni

BY Alaric DeArment

ADA, Ohio — Ohio Northern University’s Raabe College of Pharmacy gave three alumni its Distinguished Alumni Awards last week.

The alumni were 1982 graduate Mark Gregory, currently VP pharmacy and government relations for Raleigh, N.C.-based Kerr Drug, former president of the North Carolina Association of Pharmacists and former chair of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores’ Policy Council, as well as current chairman of the North Carolina Retail Merchants Association; 1987 graduate Renee Coffman, co-founder, EVP quality assurance and intercampus consistency and dean of the College of Pharmacy of the Roseman University of Health Sciences; and 1983 graduate Susan Meyer, associate dean for education and professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy.

"We are extremely honored to recognize these distinguished alumni for their significant contributions to the profession of pharmacy," Ohio Northern University College of Pharmacy dean Jon Sprague said. "These individuals have helped build the proud tradition and excellence of Ohio Northern’s pharmacy college."


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Purdue Pharma launches RxPATROL Twitter feed

BY Alaric DeArment

STAMFORD, Conn. — Purdue Pharma has launched a new way for fighting pharmacy crime, the drug maker said Tuesday.

Purdue, which makes OxyContin (oxycodone), an opioid prescription painkiller that is a common target for drug abusers, announced the creation of Twitter.com/RxPATROL, which will allow pharmacy staff, law enforcement officials and loss-prevention personnel to follow updates about pharmacy robberies, burglaries and potential threats in their area and nationwide, as well as tweets with safety and security tips. The Twitter page is part of the RxPATROL program, which tracks and analyzes reports of pharmacy crime across the country and posts crime-related information on Rxpatrol.org.

"Pharmacy crime is a problem in many communities," RxPATROL program analyst captain Richard Conklin said. "RxPATROL is using new communication vehicles to help harmony staff and law enforcement fight pharmacy crime."


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U of Arizona Cancer Center partners with Walgreens on specialty pharmacy

BY Michael Johnsen

PHOENIX — The University of Arizona Cancer Center, in partnership with Walgreens, last month opened a specialty outpatient pharmacy on-site to meet the needs of its patients.

Located on the first floor of the University of Arizona Cancer Center- North Campus, the Walgreens specialty pharmacy offers patients access to prescription medications in the same place they go for doctor’s visits and chemotherapy infusions. The approximately 800-sq.-ft. Walgreens pharmacy carries not only cancer medications but also all the regular medications a patient might be taking, making it a one-stop shop. Visitors to the pharmacy receive an electronic pager that vibrates and lights up when their prescription is ready. That way, patients have the option of staying in the pharmacy waiting area or heading down the hall to grab a cup of coffee or browse the cancer center’s boutique, Stumbo said.

The pharmacy helps the University of Arizona Cancer Center to meet its goal of providing comprehensive cancer care for its patients, stated Patti Stumbo, the center’s director of oncology services. “Being an [National Cancer Institute]-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, we’re always on the lookout for what is the latest and the greatest and what our other centers doing for patient care,” Stumbo said. “Having a specialty pharmacy was beginning to crop up more and more.”

As a specialty oncology pharmacy, the Walgreens at the University of Arizona Cancer Center—North Campus offers cancer medications that may not be available at typical retail pharmacies. The pharmacy helps the cancer center prepare for the future of cancer care, in which prescription bottles might replace IVs for some cancer patients.

While chemotherapy infusions remain the most common cancer treatment, oral chemotherapy agents — in the forms of capsules, pills or liquids — are becoming increasingly available as an alternative to infusion therapies, and many new oral options are expected to go on the market in the next three to five years, noted Rafael Diaz, associate VP pharmacy and supply chain at the University of Arizona Medical Center—University Campus. “The new drugs in the pipeline are going to be oral, so that changes our business from an infusion business to an oral business,” he said.

Because the Walgreens pharmacists work right in the cancer center, they have easy access to physicians and to pharmacists from the center’s infusion pharmacy, where infusions are prepared, if questions about a patient’s treatment arise, Stumbo added.

The Walgreens pharmacy at the University of Arizona Cancer Center is one of about 10 Walgreens collaborations with academic medical centers across the United States. The Cancer Center decided to pursue the partnership after learning of successes of similar successful partnerships at academic medical facilities, such as the Ohio State University Hospital and Stanford Cancer Center, Diaz said.

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