PHARMACY

PhRMA seeks to distinguish legitimate, fake H1N1 treatments

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON At a time when concerns have arisen among consumers about phony products to treat and prevent influenza A(H1N1) sold over the Internet, pharmaceutical companies want the Food and Drug Administration to adopt a simple way for consumers to distinguish between reputable online sources of information about drugs.

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the main trade group representing branded pharmaceutical and biotech companies, has suggested a logo for trusted Web sites containing FDA-regulated information for consumers and healthcare professionals.

“Given the unprecedented growth of the Internet as a source of health information, the FDA should facilitate the appropriate use of online media by America’s pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies to provide FDA-regulated information on medicines,” PhRMA SVP Ken Johnson said in a statement.

Johnson said that using the FDA’s logo or an agency-approved graphic symbol in search results and throughout the Web would inform patients that they were visiting a legitimate site with FDA-regulated information.

“Already, biopharmaceutical companies provide the only FDA-regulated promotional information about medicines online,” Johnson said.

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Walgreens, Take Care Health Systems celebrate National Nurse Practitioner Week

BY Allison Cerra

CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. One of the nation’s largest drug store chains and its retail clinic division are applauding healthcare professionals during National Nurse Practitioner Week.

National Nurse Practitioner Week, which is held from Nov. 8 to Nov. 14, is sponsored by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. A 2009 RAND study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine notes that such retail health facilities as Take Care Clinics offer treatment of common ailments at a substantially lower cost than physician offices, urgent care centers and emergency rooms while providing equal or better levels of care quality. Employer-based health and wellness centers typically provide a two to four dollar return on investment for employers who utilize them while improving the health and well-being of employee populations, according to Take Care Health Systems data.

“Nurse practitioners and other front-line healthcare providers are a vital part of Walgreens vision to provide greater access to high-quality, affordable health care that is convenient to communities where people work and live,” said Hal Rosenbluth, Walgreens SVP and president of Walgreens health and wellness division. “Both the advanced clinical education and holistic patient-centric focus which are synonymous with the nurse practitioner profession have served as a catalyst for care delivery innovations that have become a key component of the solution to the nation’s healthcare crisis.”

 A wide array of healthcare professionals, including nurse practitioners, physician assistants, physicians, nurses, medical assistants, pharmacists, physical therapists, fitness and health coaches, x-ray technicians and others practice at Take Care Health facilities. The company is dedicated to empowering all health care professionals in an effort to address national healthcare challenges while creating paramount patient experiences.

“Unprecedented patient engagement scores and exceptional clinical outcomes at Take Care Clinics are a testament to the skill and ability of nurse practitioners to delight, treat and advocate for patients,” said Sandra Ryan, chief nurse practitioner officer for Take Care Health Systems. “Healthcare professionals across the country are relishing the opportunity to be a part of healthcare delivery models that challenge the status quo while improving access for all.”

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URL Pharma’s gout treatment now available

BY Alaric DeArment

PHILADELPHIA A new drug for treating gout flares has become available.

URL Pharma announced the availability of Colcrys (colchicine), designed to prevent and relieve pain from acute flares of gout, a form of arthritis caused by buildups of uric acid that is deposited as needle-like crystals in the joints and soft tissues.

The Food and Drug Administration originally approved Colcrys in July to treat gout flares, approving it in October to prevent them. The drug is available in the form of 0.6-mg tablets designed to be taken twice a day.

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