PHARMACY

Reports: Ill. pharmacists hope to dispense medical marijuana

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Pharmacists in Illinois are pushing for the state to let them run medical marijuana dispensaries, according to published reports.

The Chicago Tribune reported that pharmacists are trying to get the state to reclassify marijuana as a Schedule II controlled substance. Currently, the Drug Enforcement Administration classifies it as Schedule I, making it illegal in all circumstances at the federal level; the proposed rescheduling would mean it was legal for medical use, but still tightly regulated, similar to opioid painkillers.

On Jan. 1, Illinois enacted a law allowing medical marijuana for nearly three dozen chronic medical conditions, but pharmacists remain prohibited from dispensing it. Still, the Tribune quoted Lincolnshire, Ill., pharmacist Joseph Friedman as saying, "It makes perfect sense. After all, pharmacists are the drug experts," noting that pharmacists understand dosing, side effects and drug interactions.

Still, according to the Tribune, groups like NORML, an organization that supports full legalization of marijuana, oppose medical marijuana at pharmacies, fearing that drug companies will take control of the nascient industry, while the Illinois Pharmacists Association said it would support medical marijuana if it underwent a regulatory approval process at the federal level similar to prescription drugs and drug companies sold it in a standardized form.

Illinois is not the first state to look at medical marijuana sales at pharmacies. Recently, Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan signed into law legislation that would allow pharmacies in the state to dispense medical marijuana as long as it’s legalized for medical purposes at the federal level.

New York could also be the next state to legalize medical marijuana. Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently announced a plan for limited legalization of medical marijuana, allowing up to 20 hospitals to dispense it under a 1980 state law, though the New York State Assembly Health Committee on Tuesday also passed legislation that would legalize it in the state; the full Assembly passed a medical marijuana bill last June, but it failed in the Senate. Meanwhile, voters in Washington and Colorado passed referendums legalizing recreational use of marijuana, with the Colorado law taking effect at the start of the month. Currently, 20 states and the District of Columbia allow medical marijuana, while Maryland allows medical use of the drug as a defense in court cases.

 

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Perrigo launches generic equivalent to prescription-only Vanos Cream 0.1%

BY Michael Johnsen

DUBLIN — Perrigo on Tuesday announced that it has received final approval for its abbreviated new drug application for fluocinonide cream 0.1%, the generic equivalent to prescription-only Vanos Cream 0.1%. 

Perrigo was awarded 180-days of generic drug exclusivity as it was the first company to submit an ANDA containing a paragraph IV certification. Perrigo had previously resolved litigation with the brand and has commenced shipment of the product.

Vanos Cream 0.1% (fluocinonide cream 0.1%) is a corticosteroid indicated for the relief of the inflammatory and pruritic manifestations of corticosteroid responsive dermatoses in patients 12 years of age or older and has estimated annual sales of approximately $107 million.

 

 

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Cardinal Health Foundation releases video game to raise awareness around prescription drug abuse

BY Michael Johnsen

DUBLIN, Ohio — In its newest educational program, the Generation Rx Initiative mixes online learning with video games released Wednesday to promote learning about the dangers of prescription drug misuse and abuse. The game can be integrated into parents’ and teachers’ National Drug Facts Week efforts Jan. 27 to Feb. 2. NDFW is a health observance week for teens that aims to shatter the myths about drugs and drug abuse through community-based events and educational activities on the Web, on television and through contests.

"We were thrilled to bring together a trauma-related activity with Cardinal Health Foundation’s long-term commitment to drug abuse prevention education," Gail Wheatley, executive director of Edheads, said "The resulting activity is an engaging way to learn science, learn more about various medical careers, but most of all it’s a great way to learn the dangers inherent in abusing prescription drugs."

The online game "Trauma" targets students from middle school to college and allows them to learn by doing. By conducting medical exams and working with the emergency room physician and pharmacist to discover what kind of trauma occurred, students will learn how the abuse of prescription medications played a role in a car accident involving two high school students.

The Cardinal Health Foundation collaborated with Edheads, a non-profit organization based in central Ohio that specializes in educational web development, to design the learning experience. The game is free-of-charge to play and takes 15-20 minutes to complete.

"Edheads’ success in teaching science, technology, engineering and math education through online, interactive games matches perfectly with our interest in introducing new and different Generation Rx programming," commented Betsy Walker, community relations manager at Cardinal Health. "It’s exciting to educate teens and young adults about a very serious topic like prescription drug abuse in a way that is engaging and non-traditional."

To play "Trauma," students can visit Edheads.org; select "Trauma" from the "Choose an Activity" section; and, click "Start." Users also can download the free Edheads app and play the game on an Apple or Android smartphone or tablet.

 

 

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