PHARMACY

San Francisco’s proposed tobacco sales ban may soon see vote

BY Alaric DeArment

SAN FRANCISCO An ordinance to ban tobacco sales at San Francisco pharmacies and drug stores could soon go to a vote.

The City Operations and Neighborhood Services Committee of the Board of Supervisors will discuss the proposed ban in a public meeting Thursday, according to an agenda posted on the board’s Web site Friday afternoon.

The ban, an amendment to the city’s health code that Mayor Gavin Newsom proposed April 29, would affect all pharmacies and drug stores, but not supermarkets or big-box stores that operate pharmacies.

Supporters of the ban argue that as health-care facilities, pharmacies and drug stores convey mixed messages by selling products to promote health and tobacco products, which are a leading cause of death in the United States. Opponents, including chain drug stores, say the ban unfairly targets drug stores while limiting consumer choice.

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PHARMACY

GPhA lauds Senate passage of Medicare bill

BY Drew Buono

ARLINGTON, Va. On Wednesday, the Senate finally approved the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008, (H.R. 6331). In response to the approval, Generic Pharmaceutical Association president and chief executive officer Kathleen Jaeger released a statement thanking the Senate for passing the legislation, especially Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont.

In relation to the details of the act Jaeger noted that, “By delaying the average manufacturer price provisions, this legislation will ensure that patients struggling with their prescription drug costs will not be harmed in the process. Providing Congress with more time to create a fair and rational reimbursement system for retail pharmacies participating in the Medicaid program is critical to ensuring patients have the medicines they need.”

Jaeger also commented the GPhA was also “pleased” that the legislation included eprescribing as it will save both lives and money.

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FDA offers paperless drug registration

BY Drew Buono

WASHINGTON The Food and Drug Administration launched a new program yesterday aimed at allowing manufacturers to electronically file drug establishment registration and drug listing information, such as ingredients, labeling and manufacturing information.

The program marks the first time electronic filing will be available for all manufacturers of human drug products, including over-the-counter and biological drug products, as well as veterinary drugs.

The agency intends on ending the transition period and only accept electronic files for drug establishment registration and drug listing beginning on June 1, 2009.

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