PHARMACY

PTCB added as FIP observer organization

BY David Salazar

WASHINGTON — The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board announced Monday that it had been named an official observer organization at the International Pharmacy Federation (FIP). The status was approved at FIP’s World Congress of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in Düsseldorf, Germany. 

"PTCB's top priority is to ensure that pharmacy technicians are prepared to serve the pharmacy profession in providing safe and effective patient care,” PTCB CEO and executive director Everett McAllister said. “The ultimate goal of both PTCB and FIP is the same: to advance patient safety, care, and health.”

With its new status, PTCB will be able to participate in FIP working groups, nominations calls and other efforts while being included in the company’s dialogues and communications. 

“FIP is pleased to welcome PTCB as an observer organization,” FIP general secretary and CEO Luc Besançon said. “The input of PTCB will be precious to our work, given the wealth of expertise the Board has to connect pharmacy technicians' roles within the pharmacy team and to ensure their competencies, so that the profession of pharmacy remains able to respond effectively to the current and future needs of the world's communities. The PTCB model could be inspirational for other countries.”

PTCB has been part of FIP activities for several years, with PTCB leaders making presentations and taking part in panels at the FIP World Congress. PTCB was included in a 2012 FIP symposium for pharmacy technicians, highlighting the role technicians play in North America.

“As a FIP observer organization, PTCB looks forward to participating in efforts which align with the mission of PTCB,” McAllister said. “As the global healthcare system evolves and patient-centered care becomes increasingly essential to safe medication practice around the world, CPhTs and PTCB's stakeholders will ultimately benefit from PTCB's collaboration and expanded relationships with FIP members.”

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PHARMACY

QS/1 unveils new logo, website ahead of new offerings

BY David Salazar

SPARTANBURG, S.C. — Healthcare software solutions company QS/1 announced Monday that it had rolled out a new logo and website. The changes are part of changes, including new products, that the company says are forthcoming.

“The new logo enhances the one we have used since QS/1 first went into business,” QS/1 president Tammy Devine said. “This new brand draws from the legacy and history of our decades in the business, and signifies the huge growth and transformation that has been taking place at QS/1.” 

The company’s redesigned website contains industry news, customer tesimonials for QS/1 products and information about its offerings.

“Rebranding is not something a company does lightly,” Devine said.. “With growth and new products on the horizon, we felt this was the perfect time to release a new look to reflect the direction of the company.”

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FDA OKs Keytruda for certain advanced non-small cell lung cancer cases

BY David Salazar

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration recently granted Merck’s Kaytruda (pembrolizumab) injection accelerated approval for use among patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer and who have tumors expressing the protein PD-L1. So far in 2015, there have bee 221,200 new cases of lung cancer and 158,040 deaths from the illness, according to the National Cancer Institute.

“Our growing understanding of underlying molecular pathways and how our immune system interacts with cancer is leading to important advances in medicine,” said Richard Pazdur, M.D., director of the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “Today’s approval of Keytruda gives physicians the ability to target specific patients who may be most likely to benefit from this drug.”

Keytruda, which was granted accelerated approval for use with advanced melanoma patients after being treated with ipilimumab last September, targets PD-L1 and blocks it in the hope of bolstering the immune system’s ability to fight cancer cells.

“Today’s approval of KEYTRUDA is the result of our deep commitment to bring the benefits of immunotherapy to cancer patients,” said Dr. Roger M. Perlmutter, president, Merck Research Laboratories. “Together with scientists and physicians around the world, we endeavor to improve the lives of patients suffering from these grievous illnesses.”

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