PHARMACY

Takeda’s Edarbi enters market

BY Alaric DeArment

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Takeda Pharmaceutical has launched a new treatment for high blood pressure, the company said Friday.

Takeda announced the launch of Edarbi (azilsartan medoxomil), which the Food and Drug Administration approved on Feb. 25 as a once-daily pill for hypertension.

“Hypertension is a serious condition but typically does not have any symptoms, and many aren’t aware of the long-term impact hypertension has on cardiovascular health,” Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America executive medical director of medical and scientific affairs Paulos Berhanu said. “We are pleased to make available Edarbi, an important new treatment option for patients with hypertension and the healthcare professionals who treat them.”

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PHARMACY

NCPA: Pharmacists can help combat Rx drug abuse

BY Michael Johnsen

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Local pharmacists work with patients and law enforcement to combat the abuse of controlled substances and other prescription drugs, but changes to federal policy are needed to allow pharmacists to play a greater role, the National Community Pharmacists Association suggested Thursday in comments submitted to Congress.

“NCPA is committed to working with members of Congress and state and local law enforcement officials to combat the inappropriate use and diversion of prescription drugs, and is committed to working toward sensible solutions,” the association stated in comments to a U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee holding a hearing entitled “Warning: The Growing Danger of Prescription Drug Diversion.”

In the comments, available in their entirety here, NCPA made the following points:

  • Community pharmacists support national and local efforts to prevent the abuse of both prescription and nonprescription drugs, at the same time recognizing that Congress should not diminish access to effective pain treatments for people who need them;

  • Community pharmacists provide vital patient counseling to help ensure that these medications are not misused, abused or diverted; and

  • Consumers want ongoing, convenient and clear drug disposal options, and find local pharmacies to be the most convenient location to return unused or expired medicines.

The NCPA suggested that the Drug Enforcement Administration should consider community pharmacies — already licensed by the DEA and the state — as appropriate locations to receive unused controlled substances from patients. To date, more than 1,200 community pharmacies voluntarily are participating in NCPA’s Dispose My Meds disposal program and collected more than 25,000 lbs. of unused or expired medications in the past year alone; however, no one can accept controlled substances.

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NACDS to House committee: Pharmacy can help prevent, curb Rx drug diversion

BY Antoinette Alexander

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores submitted on Thursday an official statement to the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, highlighting pharmacy’s commitment in partnering with law enforcement agencies and other stakeholders to help prevent and combat prescription drug diversion and misuse.

"Chain pharmacies participate in state controlled substance prescription drug monitoring programs. In addition, we are devoted to important initiatives to improve patients’ adherence to their prescribed medications," NACDS wrote in its statement, which was submitted for the subcommittee hearing, "Warning: The Growing Danger of Prescription Drug Diversion."

"Chain pharmacies and their pharmacists work with their patients daily to provide them with information and counseling on the proper use of their prescription medications and the importance of adhering to their prescription drug treatment," NACDS added.

The statement also laid out specific recommendations to federal policymakers, including strengthening state-level prescription drug monitoring programs, compensating pharmacy-provided medication therapy management services and shutting down illegal online drug-sellers.

"Further, NACDS and our member companies support policies that work to prevent illegitimate Internet drug sellers from selling or offering to sell drugs to U.S. consumers in violation of federal and state laws. We also support efforts to provide patients with means for disposal of their unwanted medications that are authorized by law enforcement," the statement continued.

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