PHARMACY

VCU School of Pharmacy receives 2012 NACDS RxImpact ‘U’ Advocacy Award

BY Antoinette Alexander

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores announced the recipients of the NACDS RxImpact “U” Advocacy Award during the fourth annual NACDS RxImpact Day on Capitol Hill this week.

The annual award is presented to pharmacy school students and pharmacy school campuses in recognition of their active engagement in pro-patient and pro-pharmacy grassroots advocacy.

For the 2012 award, NACDS selected Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) School of Pharmacy in Richmond, Va., led by students Catherine Floroff, Bradford McDaniel and Natalie Nguyen, along with faculty adviser Dr. Gary Matzke. According to NACDS, the students demonstrated leadership in creating a student policy and advocacy forum, where students learned the process of advocating for pharmacy by engaging on the legislation affecting the profession.

More than 60 students and nine faculty members have been engaged in pharmacy advocacy through this VCU forum, which also served as a platform to organize student participation in Virginia Pharmacists Association’s Legislative Day in Virginia’s state capital. During this year’s legislative day, the students educated lawmakers on the valuable role of pharmacy in emerging models of care. In addition, VCU pharmacy students provided health screenings to the legislators and their staff during the annual legislative event.

In recognition of their efforts, VCU will be presented a $2,500 stipend to fund future student advocacy initiatives.

The NACDS RxImpact “U” Advocacy Award program is one element of the larger NACDS RxImpact “U” initiative, which is committed to engaging pharmacy school students and faculty in the policy-making process.

“NACDS RxImpact ‘U’ was developed to engage the next generation of pharmacy — pharmacy school students – in grassroots advocacy,” stated NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson. “Catherine, Bradford and Natalie have demonstrated leadership and commitment in showcasing the unsurpassed value of community pharmacy in improving patient health.  Their efforts exemplify what we hope other advocates participating in NACDS RxImpact Day on Capitol Hill will implement at their schools. I congratulate them and Virginia Commonwealth University.”


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Teva launches generic Lexapro, awarded 180-day exclusivity

BY DSN STAFF

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. announced on March 14 that it has commenced commercial launch of escitalopram oxalate tablets, the company’s generic version of Forest Laboratories’ depression and generalized anxiety disorder treatment Lexapro tablets.

The branded product had annual sales of approximately $2.9 billion in the United States, based on IMS sales data. As the first company to file an abbreviated new drug application containing a paragraph IV certification for this product, Teva has been awarded a 180-day period of marketing exclusivity.

"These psychiatric conditions can be disabling and prevent a person from doing everyday activities," FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research director Janet Woodcock said. "This medication is widely used by people who must manage their condition over time, so it is important to have affordable treatment options."

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American Diabetes Association: Proposed House budget could harm Stop Diabetes efforts

BY Allison Cerra

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Changes to the House of Representatives’ budget for the upcoming fiscal year could put an American Diabetes Association movement at risk, the ADA said.

In a statement issued Wednesday, the organization said that the House resolution cuts $19 billion from overall discretionary funding for fiscal year 2013, compared with the current year. The American Diabetes Association’s Stop Diabetes movement, launched in 2009, would be affected by this cut, ADA said, noting that the budget resolution would "alter essential health programs and jeopardize vital diabetes research and prevention programs." The ADA also added it was concerned about "the devastating impact" the budget cut will have on the future of discretionary public health programs, including the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Diabetes Translation and its National Diabetes Prevention Program.

"We are dismayed that the brunt of the efforts to reduce the deficit is falling disproportionately on critical programs providing a lifeline of research, prevention and treatment services to people with diabetes and other health needs," the association said in its statement. "The House resolution leads us down a path to reducing funding for diabetes research and prevention programs, one that will severely damage our nation’s response to the diabetes epidemic and its devastating and costly complications, such as amputations, blindness, heart disease and kidney failure."

The association also said another part of the House resolution concerns them: turning Medicaid into block grants to the states. About 3.5 million Medicaid enrollees have diabetes and that losing access to coverage would have a detrimental impact on their health, ADA said.

"[The association] recognizes the difficult financial situation our country faces; however, weakening life-saving programs like Medicaid and Medicare and harming our research and prevention efforts will further burden vulnerable populations and lead to a deterioration in public health," ADA said. "This will drastically affect the nearly 105 million Americans with diabetes or prediabetes who are counting on these programs."

The American Diabetes Association will host its annual Diabetes Alert Day is March 27.


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