PHARMACY

Sainsbury’s sells pharmacy chain to LloydsPharmacy

BY Lesley Thulin

LONDON — Sainsbury’s, the United Kingdom’s second-largest supermarket chain, announced Wednesday that it sold its pharmacy chain to LloydsPharmacy for £125 million (approximately $195 billion). The deal is expected to be completed by late February, pending regulatory approval.

"Sainsbury’s is a fantastic fit for LloydsPharmacy,” Cormac Tobin, managing director of LloydsPharmacy and its drugs wholesaler, Celesio UK, said. “We are both passionate about excellent customer service and making a positive impact on the communities we serve. Health is our focus and over recent years we have developed a range of services to make it easier for people to manage their health, such as our pain management and skin health services, and we look forward to making these even more accessible via the Sainsbury’s network.”

Celesio will buy 281 pharmacies from the grocery chain. With more than 1,600 stores in the United Kingdom, LloydsPharmacy will acquire 277 in-store pharmacies, four hospital pharmacies and 2,500 of Sainsbury’s staff.

"Working together with a specialist operator like LloydsPharmacy will enable us to grow and extend our pharmacy services to customers, whilst realising value for shareholders today from the pharmacy business we have grown organically over the last 20 years,” Sainsbury CEO Mike Coupe said.

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PHARMACY

DEA sets date for 2015 Drug Take-Back event

BY DSN STAFF

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The DEA announced on Tuesday that the 10th National Prescription Drug Take-Back will take place across the United States on Sept. 26 — except for in Pennsylvania and Delaware where the event will take place on Sept. 12. As with previous events, sites will be set up throughout communities nationwide so local residents can return their unwanted, unneeded or expired prescription drugs for safe disposal.  

Collection sites in every local community can be found by going to www.dea.gov.

According to the DEA, many Americans are not aware that medicines that remain in the home are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. In addition, many Americans do not know how to properly dispose of their unused medicine, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away – both potential safety and health hazards.

“Prescription drug abuse is a huge problem and this is a great opportunity for folks around the country to help reduce the threat,” DEA acting administrator Chuck Rosenberg said.  "Please clean out your medicine cabinet and make your home safe from drug theft and abuse.”

In the previous nine Take-Back events nationwide from 2010-2014, 4,823,251 pounds, or 2,411 tons of drugs were collected.

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NABP updates examination program

BY DSN STAFF

MOUNT PROSPECT, Ill. — The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy and its member state boards of pharmacy are planning to enhance several of its examination and assessment programs to better reflect the evolving practice of pharmacy. Changes will begin in November 2015.

The North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination program has recently undergone evaluations of its content and test specifications, test design and assembly, administration processes, scoring and passing standard. The new NAPLEX competency statements and revised passing standard will be implemented in November 2015. In addition, the NAPLEX will make a transition to a new administration model in 2016. At that time, the licensure exam will increase in length from 185 items to 250 items. NABP is also reviewing a proposal to move the NAPLEX scoring results to a pass/fail platform.

The recommendation to increase the depth and breadth of the NAPLEX came as a result of the national NABP Pharmacy Practice Analysis Survey conducted in 2014. Over 4,700 respondents to the survey — which included pharmacy regulators, practitioners and academicians — recognized the value of testing entry-level candidates on patient-centered, clinically based topics.

Due to the need for a national evaluation of foundational knowledge in the PharmD curriculum, and in compliance with the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education Accreditation Standards and Key Elements for the Professional Program in Pharmacy Leading to the Doctor of Pharmacy Degree (Standards 2016) requirement, NABP also will be providing the Pharmacy Curriculum Outcomes Assessment to all students nearing completion of the didactic curriculum (i.e., third year or equivalent). The PCOA is the only nationally administered examination that covers the four foundational sciences in pharmacy curriculum as outlined by the ACPE Standards 2016 and the 2013 Center for the Advancement of Pharmacy Education outcomes.

In collaboration with its member boards, NABP also is moving forward with a communication skills assessment. NABP’s 2014 survey showed that pharmacist communication skills are important for safe and effective practice and that entry-level pharmacists deficient in communication skills could place the public health at risk. In response, NABP will develop an integrated pharmacist communication skills assessment that could be used by its member boards as an additional component for licensure beginning in 2018.

Rounding out the changes, NABP conducted a review of the Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Examination content domains followed by a survey of pharmacist and pharmacy regulators. The MPJE domain survey addressed the key areas required for practitioner compliance with state and federal laws and regulations. Recognizing the importance of quality control measures, sterile and nonsterile compounding regulations, and compliance with the standards of pharmacy practice, NABP has revised the MPJE content domains to reflect current practices.

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