University of Texas to offer pharmacy tech certification program
AUSTIN, Texas — The University of Texas is launching a certification program for pharmacy technicians, the school said.
The university’s Professional Development Center, part of its Division of Continuing and Innovative Education, will begin classes in February. Students in the 14-week program, which includes a 120-hour internship at a local pharmacy, will learn the skills needed to work as pharmacy technicians, under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist.
"As our population ages and health care becomes more and more important, I anticipate there will be increased employment opportunities in all areas of health care, including pharmacy workers," PDC director Liliya Spinazzola said. "I am so excited that PDC offers this important career training. Students will walk away from the program with important skills and knowledge that they can put to good use — either on the job or toward earning the pharmacy technician certification credential."
NACDS Foundation Dinner generates more than $1.77M
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation raised more than $1.77 million for scholarships, research and charitable activities from 114 benefactors at the 13th Annual Dinner held Tuesday night in New York City.
Funds generated by the dinner support improving patients’ health and quality of life by fostering understanding of prescription medicines, promoting medication adherence, enhancing patient care services at neighborhood pharmacies and educating future healthcare professionals.
Among the NACDS Foundation’s work, its donations support the new Community Pharmacy Residency Expansion Project to provide grants to colleges and schools of pharmacy for the development of 30 fully-accredited post-graduate residencies. Separately, the NACDS Foundation presents more than $500,000 in scholarships to pharmacy students annually.
“Consumers can benefit by better understanding their medicines, and tomorrow’s pharmacists will play an even greater role in advancing the public health through enhanced innovative services and care,” stated NACDS Foundation president Kathleen Jaeger. “The NACDS Foundation helps fulfill those necessities by leading an unparalleled effort to improve the public health through community outreach and fostering educational opportunities for the next generation’s pharmacy leaders.”
At the dinner, CBS Evening news anchor and managing editor Scott Pelley, an Emmy-award winning journalist, provided a keynote address informed by his decades of coverage of war-torn regions and access to the world’s decision-makers.
The NACDS Foundation also has partnered with the National Consumers League on its Script Your Future medication adherence public education campaign, having contributed the largest single donation to this initiative at more than $1 million.
The Script Your Future campaign has emerged as a top priority for U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Regina M. Benjamin, who also spoke at the dinner and reinforced the public health importance of medication adherence.
Ranbaxy generic Lipitor launch delayed as Watson launches authorized generic
NEW YORK — Ranbaxy Labs was supposed to launch its generic version of the world’s top-selling drug Wednesday, but a competitor beat it to the punch as the former waits for final Food and Drug Administration clearance.
Watson Pharmaceuticals announced Wednesday the launch of an authorized generic of Pfizer’s cholesterol medication Lipitor (atorvastatin) as the drug lost patent protection. Unlike generic drugs, which require FDA approval and are marketed in competition with their branded counterparts, authorized generics are branded drugs marketed under their generic names at a reduced price, usually by third-party companies under contract with the branded drug’s original manufacturer.
Meanwhile, the FDA has delayed final marketing approval of Ranbaxy’s generic, according to published reports, due to continuing disputes over quality-control problems that arose at two of the company’s Indian manufacturing plants in 2008. In response to the issues, the FDA barred Ranbaxy from marketing 30 drugs and also stopped approving drugs that came from the plant.
When Ranbaxy does launch its version of Lipitor, which IMS Health estimated to have had sales of $7.8 billion during the 12-month period ended in September, it will still be entitled to 180 days of market exclusivity, and the FDA can’t approve additional generic versions from other companies until the exclusivity period expires. But even after the FDA allows Ranbaxy to start selling the drug, the company will continue to face competition from Watson’s authorized generic as well as Pfizer, which plans to sell the original branded drug at reduced prices to consumers through partnerships with Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy and several pharmacy benefit managers.
The Generic Pharmaceutical Association heralded the launch of the authorized generic. The organization, which lobbies on behalf of the generic drug industry, is opposed to authorized generics being launched during a generic drug’s 180-day exclusivity period, but said the added competition would bring down the price and was thus beneficial.
"In this case, the first filer does not yet have approval, but the fact that there’s competition in the marketplace is a big win for consumers," GPhA executive director Bob Billings told Drug Store News.