PHARMACY

NACDS Foundation dinner brings in more than $1.8M for patient-care initiatives

BY Sandra Levy

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation celebrated its 20th Annual Foundation Dinner in New York City on Nov. 28, raising more than $1.8 million, which will support evidence-based research, pharmacy education and philanthropic initiatives to improve patient outcomes and advance population health.

Among the patient-health programs that NACDS Foundation supporters make possible is a collaborative program in Pennsylvania, which screens patients at pharmacies for opioid use disorder and refers those in need to appropriate care,” said NACDS chairman Mark Panzer, who is senior vice president of pharmacy, health and wellness at Albertsons.

Panzer also described a program in Washington State with a focus on improving patient care by optimizing statin therapy in patients with diabetes, based on national medical recommendations.

“Today, innovative delivery care models are emerging, which include physicians and pharmacists collaborating together. Under the leadership of the foundation’s president Kathleen Jaeger, the foundation is exploring ways to improve care coordination across healthcare teams and to advance patient care and population health,” Panzer said.

At the event, Michael Fraser, CEO of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, received the 2018 NACDS Foundation Excellence in Patient Care Award.

“Dr. Fraser has been advancing his organization’s mission as an advocate for state and territorial public health for the past two years,” said NACDS Foundation president Kathleen Jaeger. “He has provided distinguished leadership in addressing the opioid epidemic and in advancing maternal and children’s health, among other vital priorities. Yet, his commitment to helping all Americans lead healthy lives goes even further.”

Fraser has served as CEO of the Pennsylvania Medical Society; CEO of the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs; and as a deputy executive director at the National Association of County and City Health Officials. He also has served in several capacities at the Department of Health and Human Services, including his work at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“He has provided a lifetime of leadership on issues that are essential to the foundation’s mission,” Jaeger said.

“For almost 12 years, I have had the opportunity to serve as chairman of the NACDS Foundation. During that time, I have had the distinct pleasure of working alongside the foundation’s talented board of directors. I am confident that the foundation has the right leadership, and the right focus,” NACDS president, CEO and NACDS Foundation chairman Steve Anderson said. “And, I’m proud to say that the continued transformation of the foundation has taken us down a path of real achievement to advance patient health. What better way to advance health than to support research that explores promising new models of care — models that can be replicated and scaled into real-world solutions.”

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Rina Shah
PHARMACY

Walgreens’ Shah among Crain’s Chicago’s ‘40 under 40’

BY DSN STAFF

Crain’s Chicago Business has recognized one of the industry’s key players. The magazine has included Rina Shah, Walgreens vice president of pharmacy operations and specialty, among its “40 Under 40” for 2018.

Shah, 37, heads up pharmacy operations for the chain’s roughly 9,500 stores, as well as other locations, and its specialty pharmacy arm. She joined the company following her graduation from University of Chicago’s College of Pharmacy in 2005, and much of her early work focused on expanding immunization rates among Walgreens patients.

Shah was a panelist on the “Enabling Patient-Facing Care” panel at the 20th Drug Store News Industry Issues Summit, held Thursday in New York City.

To read the full Crain’s Chicago Business profile of Shah, click here.

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Celltrion gets FDA clearance for biosimilar Truxima

BY Sandra Levy

The Food and Drug Administration has approved Celltrion’s Truxima (rituximab-abbs) as the first biosimilar to Genentech’s Rituxan (rituximab) for the treatment of adult patients with CD20-positive, B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, or NHL, to be used as a single agent or in combination with chemotherapy. Truxima is the first biosimiliar to be approved in the U.S. for the treatment of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

“As part of the FDA’s Biosimilars Action Plan we’re advancing new policies to make the development of biosimilars more efficient and to enable more opportunities for biosimilar manufacturers to make these products commercially successful and competitive. Our goal is to promote competition that can expand patient access to important medicines,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said.

“The Truxima approval is our third biosimiliar approval in the past month. The growing pipeline of biosimilars is encouraging. We’re seeing more biosimilar drugs gain market share as this industry matures. We’ll continue to make sure biosimilar medications are evaluated efficiently through a process that makes certain that these new medicines meet the FDA’s rigorous standards for approval,” Gottlieb said.

Truxima is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with: relapsed or refractory, low grade or follicular, CD20-positive B-cell NHL as a single agent; previously untreated follicular, CD20-positive, B-cell NHL in combination with first line chemotherapy and, in patients achieving a complete or partial response to a rituximab product in combination with chemotherapy, as single-agent maintenance therapy; and non-progressing, including stable disease, low-grade, CD20­ positive, B-cell NHL as a single agent after first-line cyclophosphamide, vincristine and prednisone chemotherapy.

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