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P&G provides grant to support World Dental Posters

BY Antoinette Alexander

CINCINNATI — Procter & Gamble, the makers of Crest and Oral-B, along with Stephen Hancocks Ltd., have announced that the World Dental Posters site will now be sponsored through an educational grant from P&G.

World Dental Posters is an open access site launched in March that provides scientific researchers the opportunity to upload their peer-reviewed posters at no cost for as long as they wish. Typically, peer-reviewed posters are presented at industry congresses, conferences and meetings or through subscription-based journals. The site gives the authors another channel to present their findings, and also provides citable references that informed the research, without losing copyright protection for the individual authors.

Philip Giorgi, managing director and co-owner of Stephen Hancocks Ltd., conceived the idea for World Dental Posters after seeing a pile of posters discarded at numerous international dental conferences and congresses. He realized there was an opportunity to identify a way to keep this research available for others to see around the world.

“As a company, we are passionate about research in the development of our products and technologies,” stated Leslie Winston of P&G Global Oral Care Professional & Scientific Relations. “We are, therefore, pleased to support World Dental Posters with a grant as a way to allow, in particular, young and innovative researchers in the field of oral health to disseminate their findings and discover others working in similar areas.”

Posters uploaded on the World Dental Posters site are indexed by title, author name(s) and key words and can remain on the site for free for as long as the author(s) wish. Future developments will include forum and discussion areas for connecting researchers with similar interests and ideas from different geographic locations who might otherwise be unaware of each other’s work.


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Reports: Calif. lower house passes biosimilars bill

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Lawmakers in California have passed a bill that would restrict the use of follow-on versions of biotech drugs known as biosimilars, according to published reports.

Bloomberg reported Tuesday that the California Assembly had passed the latest in a string of biosimilar carve-out bills to appear in state legislatures across the country. The bill, which had received support from biotech companies like Amgen and Genentech, both based in the state, would require pharmacists to notify physicians and patients if they swap a branded biotech drug for a biosimilar. The legislation will be sent for reconciliation to the Senate, which passed it in May, and then on to Gov. Jerry Brown, who has not indicated whether he will sign it, according to Bloomberg.

Generic drug companies have criticized the bills, saying they would restrict patients’ access to cheaper alternatives to expensive biotech drugs, which can cost anywhere to a few thousand to a few hundred thousand dollars per year. Nearly a dozen similar bills have been defeated, while North Dakota passed one intact. Oregon, Utah and Virginia passed the bills as well, but they contain sunset clauses that will cause them to expire before biosimilars are expected to enter the market.

The California bill also contains a sunset clause, requiring pharmacists to issue notifications of substitutions only until Jan. 1, 2017. The sunset clauses are significant because many analysts say it will be several years before biosimilars become available, and by the time they do, the laws with the clauses may have already expired.

The Generic Pharmaceutical Association, a Washington-based trade group for the generic drug industry, had opposed the legislation, as had the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, a state pension fund for public employees also known as CalPERS.


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RxAlly closes: Vision of a national network to advance pharmacy practice fades

BY Jim Frederick

Goodbye to a friend of pharmacy.

In this case, we’re not talking about an individual; we’re talking about a fledgling company called RxAlly, and about its grand but ultimately unsuccessful plan to combine the collective strengths of thousands of pharmacies to advance a higher and more engaged form of pharmacy practice. So, as much as anything, we’re saying goodbye to an idea.

It was a good idea. RxAlly got up and running some 18 months ago with a noble vision: to bring together “an unprecedented alliance of pharmacies united to help patients achieve better health through personalized pharmacist care while reducing costs,” in the words of its leaders.

For a while, it did just that. At its peak before announcing last week that it was shuttering its operations, RxAlly had signed up a national network of more than 22,000 chain and independent pharmacies working to advance patient-care services and cost-effective solutions for patients and health plan payers.

What’s more, it was led by a couple of retail pharmacy thoroughbreds: CEO Bruce Roberts, who emerged as independent pharmacy’s most articulate and visible defender in his years as head of the National Community Pharmacists Association; and Rebecca Chater, who served as one of chain pharmacy’s top visionaries and champions on behalf of a higher form of pharmacy practice and patient care in her years as head of clinical services for Raleigh, N.C.-based Kerr Drug. Chater joined RxAlly in late 2012 as VP-health outcomes.

Announcing its board’s decision to shutter the operation, RxAlly said Friday it was “disappointed in this outcome,” but mindful of “the progress we made in developing a shared interest in advancing pharmacist care.” And there was progress, including supporting pilot projects to boost patient adherence and the release of a white paper in May, “Personalized Pharmacist Care: Healing America’s Post-Reform Health Care System,” that fleshes out the concept of “individually tailored, pharmacist-provided clinical and consultative services to improve patient quality of life and optimize clinical and economic outcomes” as a solution to America’s overwrought and overstretched health system.

The closing of RxAlly is a disappointment to some advocates of a higher form of pharmacy practice, but it doesn’t signal any retreat by the profession or the retail pharmacy industry from their long campaign to elevate pharmacy’s place in the U.S. health system and engage more directly with patient outcomes and cost-effective care solutions.

What’s your take on the closing of this 18-month effort to weld together a national force for advancing pharmacy-based clinical care? Is it a real defeat or just a setback on pharmacy’s road to a new and higher level of practice and patient engagement?


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J.COBB says:
Sep-04-2013 11:40 pm

RxAlly was a good concept, something pharmacy has been wanting for years, but was doomed from the beginning. Pharmacists have been asking for more clinical roles for years, something RxAlly was to deliver, and to be paid fairly for these services, something RxAlly did not deliver. Our profession has been pushed around and dictated to for too long and RxAlly's failure highlights this fact. We are highly educated well trained clinical professionals and we deserve payment for our services that reflects this. We have proven our worth many times over, we are beyond proving, now is the time to demand proper payment for our services. RxAlly could have been the start of something big,instead it was a complete flop, not because of the idea or concept, but because of the lack of reasonable reimbursement. So for now goodbye RxAlly and SmartD maybe you will be resurrected in the near future with a payment structure pharmacy can live with.

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