PHARMACY

Walgreens expands vaccination offerings across Massachusetts

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — With new Massachusetts state regulations allowing pharmacists to administer a broad range of immunizations, Walgreens has significantly expanded vaccine availability at all of its 165 locations across the state, and now is offering immunizations daily for 12 vaccines currently recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the retail pharmacy operator announced Wednesday.
  
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health approved new regulations in April, giving certified pharmacists the ability to administer a variety of vaccines including Zostavax — a one-time vaccine that can reduce the risk of shingles in individuals ages 60 years and older — and other vaccines that can help protect against whooping cough (pertussis), pneumonia and meningitis. Eight other CDC-recommended vaccinations, including flu shots, also are available daily at all Massachusetts Walgreens pharmacies with no appointment necessary.

“With more than 26,000 immunizations-trained pharmacists, we’ve demonstrated through flu season and other health initiatives the important role Walgreens can play in providing convenient neighborhood access to immunizations and other preventive healthcare services,” Walgreens market pharmacy director Steve Pashko said. “As some of the most trusted health care professionals in communities across our state, this is an excellent opportunity for our pharmacists to help educate residents about the importance of adult vaccinations and collaborate further with our local healthcare providers to help improve adult immunization rates in our communities.”

The full list of vaccines available for adults 18 years of age and older, include:

  • Influenza;

  • Tetanus;

  • Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (Td/Tdap);

  • Varicella;

  • Human papillomavirus (HPV);

  • Zoster;

  • Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR);

  • Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PSV23);

  • Meningococcal;

  • Hepatitis A;

  • Hepatitis B; and

  • Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV).


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PHARMACY

APhA Foundation names recipients of 2012 Pinnacle Awards

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON — The philanthropic arm of the American Pharmacists Association has announced this year’s recipients of an award that recognizes pharmacists who increase medication adherence, reduce drug misadventures and promote the use of national treatment guidelines.

The APhA Foundation named the winners of the 2012 Pinnacle Awards. The award, established in 1998, includes three categories: Individual Award for Career Achievement; Group Practices, Health Systems, Health Care Corporations; and Voluntary Health Agencies, Non-Profit Organizations, Associations, Government Agencies and Public-Private Partnerships. The awards, sponsored by Amgen and Merck, will be presented at the APhA’s Washington headquarters on June 25.

Walgreens Immunization Services won the Group Practice-Health System-Corporation award for its delivery of vaccinations through its more than 7,800 stores. Specifically, the APhA Foundation said Walgreens has increased coverage for vaccine-preventable diseases by establishing a nationwide capacity to vaccinate patients; improving the process of vaccine administration; and implementing innovative vaccination programs to expand access and convenience.

The University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy, the Connecticut Pharmacists Association and the state’s Medicaid program won the Government Agency-Nonprofit Organization-Association award for their collaboration to promote safe medication use in primary care.

Jeff Jellin, president of the Therapeutic Research Center in Stockton, Calif., won the Individual Award for Career Achievement. Jellin also is the editor-in-chief of the center’s newsletters, which are designed to improve the use of medications and drug therapy outcomes.


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Mylan releases generic antimicrobial drug

BY Alaric DeArment

PITTSBURGH — Generic drug maker Mylan has released a version of a drug used to treat bacterial infections, the company said.

Mylan announced the launch of doxycycline hyclate delayed-release tablets in the 150-mg strength. The launch follows a decision by the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey that Mylan’s product did not infringe patents covering the drug’s branded version, Doryx. Warner Chilcott, which markets Doryx, had brought the case.

Doxycycline hyclate DR tablets had sales of about $264.1 million in 2011, according to  IMS Health.


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