PTCB revises certification exam for pharmacy techs
WASHINGTON — Medication safety and pharmacy information systems get more attention in the latest version of an exam for pharmacy technicians.
The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board announced Friday updates to the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam, based on the group’s Job Analysis Study, which involves more than 25,000 pharmacy technicians from across the country and from different practice settings. The updated exam has nine knowledge groups known as domains, rather than three.
"The PTCE is widely recognized and trusted to accurately reflect the current knowledge, skills and abilities required for pharmacy technicians to effectively perform their duties, support pharmacists and advance patient care," PTCB executive director Everett McAllister said. "the Nov. 1 updates in the PTCE are based on our latest study across the community, hospital and federal settings, with an increased focus on patient safety."
New FDA video offers tips for recognizing rogue pharmacies
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.
FDA approves new drug for chronic lymphocytic leukemia
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.