PHARMACY

Reports: Idaho State University pharmacy school gets 100% pass rate on NAPLEX

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — A pharmacy school in Idaho has achieved a 100% pass rate on a national pharmacist-licensure examination, according to published reports.

The Idaho State Journal reported that the Idaho State University College of Pharmacy had achieved a 100% pass rate on the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination, or NAPLEX, a 185-question exam that graduating pharmacy students take to test their knowledge.

The newspaper reported that the college had also achieved a 100% pass rate in 2008 and that only six of 104 pharmacy schools reported such rates in 2011.


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PHARMACY

FDA approves first flu vaccine manufactured by Novartis using cell culture technology

BY Michael Johnsen

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday announced the approval of Novartis’ Flucelvax, the first seasonal influenza vaccine licensed in the United States produced using cultured animal cells, instead of fertilized chicken eggs. Flucelvax is approved to prevent seasonal influenza in people ages 18 years and older.

The manufacturing process for Flucelvax is similar to the egg-based production method, but a significant difference is that the virus strains included in the vaccine are grown in animal cells of mammalian origin instead of in eggs. Cell culture technology has already been in use for several decades to produce other U.S. licensed vaccines.

Advantages of cell culture technology include the ability to maintain an adequate supply of readily available, previously tested and characterized cells for use in vaccine production and the potential for a faster start-up of the vaccine manufacturing process in the event of a pandemic.

 

 

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PHARMACY

Reports: Canada to allow generic OxyContin approval over provincial, tribal objections

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Canada’s federal government has allowed the approval process for a generic opioid painkiller to go forward despite objections from provincial and other authorities, according to published reports.

The Associated Press reported that Canadian health minister Leona Aglukkaq turned down requests from provincial and aboriginal tribal authorities to delay approval of a generic version of Purdue Pharma’s OxyContin (oxycodone). OxyContin will lose its patent protection in Canada on Sunday.

According to AP, the drug is blamed for widespread addictions among rural and tribal communities. It is also a popular target of drug abusers in the United States, which has prompted Purdue to launch a tamper-resistant form of the drug.

Still, according to a recent study published in the Canadian journal Open Medicine, the launch of the tamper-resistant version of the drug may have influenced a spike in the dispensing rate of the original version at pharmacies in Canadian border cities.


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