PHARMACY

Two senators urge GSK to end Shingrix shingles vaccine shortage

BY Sandra Levy

Although GlaxoSmithKline said it has developed a “fair and equitable” process to ship Shingrix, its new shingles vaccine, two U.S. senators are urging the drugmaker do more to increase inventory levels in the wake of a shortage, according to a FiercePharma report.

As of May, more than 1.5 million people have received the vaccine.

Minnesota Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith wrote to GSK CEO Emma Walmsley asking that she look at “what more GSK can do to end the shortage as quickly as possible.” The senators said it appears that GSK didn’t develop “contingency plans” to ensure enough supply for the important vaccine launch. The senators voiced concern that patients may not be able to complete their recommended schedule of two doses in six months.

In an update with CBS in Minnesota, Sen. Klobuchar said GSK plans to meet with her.

After GSK received approval for Shingrix last fall, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccine advisers recommended Shingrix above Merck’s older Zostavax, which may be one of the reasons the vaccine is in short supply, said the FiercePharma report.

GSK has set up order limits and delays to manage doses, and has delayed such “broad consumer education activities” as TV ads until it can restore inventory levels.

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PHARMACY

NACDS, APhA and ACOG team up on immunization tip sheet

BY David Salazar

Industry stakeholders recently came together to help develop a resource for obstetricians and gynecologists to create an immunization referral system that includes pharmacists. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores worked with the American College of Gynecologists and the American Pharmacists Association to create a tip sheet for clinicians looking to establish a referral system.

NACDS said that both obstetrician-gynecologists and pharmacists, including those from NACDS member companies, helped develop the tip sheet that collects information to improve healthcare stakeholder collaboration and improve immunization rates. Such referral systems can play a key role in expanding and maintaining pharmacy-physician practice collaborations, the organization said.

The tip sheet can be found here.

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PHARMACY

TCGRx launches LocalRx with telepharmacy offering

BY Sandra Levy

TCGRx is taking the wraps off LocalRx, a new product line that expedites the will call process for prescription medications and includes a telepharmacy consultation option for patients via webcam and telephone.

LocalRx also is managing to return to stock, produce detailed reports on kiosk inventory levels and all other activity and offers pharmacies remote monitoring of pick-ups and full or empty slots, variable locker sizes, and a search and seize function.

Patients will receive automated notification, via e-mail or text message, that their prescriptions have been filled. Patient retrieval is handled via pick-up code or smartphone app. LocalRx also offers a touchscreen interface, barcode authentication, multiple drawer configurations, and audit trail reporting.

In addition, LocalRx OTC will enable pharmacies to stock OTCs such as aspirin, cold medicine, and eye drops. When customers pick up their pharmacy scripts from the LocalRx machine, they can access the OTC machine and pay for all of these items without having to stand on line at the pharmacy.

“We see it as a path to improve customer service during our customers’ busiest times, while also facilitating prescription pickup when the pharmacy is closed. By providing the pharmacy industry with the LocalRx solutions, we can now offer total pick-up convenience, precisely when and where our pharmacies and their customers need it,” Duane Chudy, TCGRx’s executive of the board, said.

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