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  Mobile version   RSS   Subscribe   Unsubscribe   Archive   Media Kit Oct. 16, 2012


Last chance for live CE before 2012 license renewal
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AzPA Fall Pharmacy Conference
Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012
Crowne Plaza Phoenix Airport Hotel. Learn more.

 Area and Association News

Pharmacy-Based Immunization Services Certificate Training Program
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Date: Monday, Nov. 12
Space limited to 20 registrants. Click to register.


A safe and convenient compliance package to help your patients take their daily medications, wherever they may be.

MediCase requires no expansive heat sealing equipment and it is easily and quickly assembled in your pharmacy to the patient's specific needs.

For more information on Medicase or our other medication compliance products, visit or contact
Diane LaTourelle:

Pharmacist volunteers wanted for homeless outreach free medical clinic
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Health Outreach through Medicine and Education (H.O.M.E.), established in 1998 by Midwestern University-Glendale, is a multidisciplinary group of healthcare students (pharmacy, osteopathic medicine, podiatry, etc.) and licensed professionals who provide free medical care for homeless men, women and children at three Phoenix-area homeless shelters: Central Arizona Shelter Services, United Methodist Outreach Ministries and Vista Colina. Licensed pharmacists volunteer in four-hour sessions at evening free clinics. Time commitment is flexible. Duties include oversight of pharmacy students as they dispense medications and counsel patients. Please consider this unique, rewarding experience. For more information please contact Jane Abrams, PharmD.

Not an AzPA member? Join today
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Not an AzPA member? Join the only statewide association representing all pharmacy professionals in all pharmacy practice settings. With over 1,500 members, we are a leading association of pharmacists spreading the news and events of our industry. More

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1st universal standards guiding content, appearance of prescription container labels to promote patient understanding of medication instructions
United States Pharmacopeial Convention    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With medication misuse resulting in more than one million adverse drug events per year in the United States, new standards released today by the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) for the first time provide a universal approach to the format, appearance, content and language of instructions for medicines in containers dispensed by pharmacists. Wide variability in prescription container labels exists today across individual prescriptions, pharmacies, retail chains and states. The USP standards provide specific direction on how to organize labels in a "patient-centered" manner that best reflects how most patients seek out and understand medication instructions. MORE

Examples of prescription container labels that comply with new standard

Related: Prescription container labeling (Apparatus)

Survey of retail prices
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Part I - Retail Community Pharmacy Consumer Prices

This survey incorporates the collection of drug prices from retail community pharmacies and the calculation of consumer prices which will be maintained in a file of consumer unit drug prices. These unit prices will be averaged to arrive at a NARP, which will be comprised of a statistically weighted average of three payment sources: cash paying consumers, customers with commercial third party insurance, and Medicaid customers. Each payment source has unit prices identified by their 11-digit National Drug Code (NDC).

Part I will also include a draft Monthly New Drug Report file that shows newly marketed single-source drugs that are currently generally available. This will provide states the opportunity to identify newly available covered outpatient drug products to update their coverage policy.

PART II - Survey Of Drug Acquisition Costs Paid By Retail Community Pharmacies

Part II focuses on the retail community pharmacy acquisition costs. This segment provides for a survey of the purchase prices of all covered outpatient drugs by retail community pharmacies. These pharmacies include independent community pharmacies and chain pharmacies consistent with section 1927(k)(10). We expect to update the prices on a weekly and monthly basis. A draft methodology document titled Part II: Draft Methodology for Calculating the National Drug Acquisition Cost (NADAC) has been developed to outline the processes used to derive the NADAC, taking into consideration any regional and pharmacy purchasing differences to obtain an acquisition price for covered outpatient drugs. We expect that states may consider the NADAC as a reference price when setting their reimbursement methodology.

We anticipate that states may consider applying the draft NADAC, once finalized, for drugs subject to the Federal Upper Limits (FUL), as well as using the NADAC, once finalized, for setting their state reimbursement rates for other covered outpatient drugs. Any state that wishes to change its pharmacy reimbursement methodology will need to submit a state plan amendment to CMS for review and approval.

Transition to Part D coverage of benzodiazepines and barbiturates beginning in 2013
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The purpose of this memorandum is to provide Part D sponsors with transition guidance specific to new Part D coverage of barbiturates and benzodiazepines beginning in 2013. As of Jan. 1, Part D will begin covering barbiturates used in the treatment of epilepsy, cancer, or a chronic mental health disorder, and benzodiazepines. In order to ensure a smooth transition for beneficiaries currently taking medications in these classes and prevent unintended interruption in therapy, we believe that claims for these drugs need to be given special consideration during transition. More

 Pharmacy Updates

FDA regulation of pharmacies has knotty history
The Associated Press via ABC News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The deadly meningitis outbreak linked to contaminated pain injections has prompted calls for tighter federal regulation of compounding pharmacies, which have periodically been blamed for crippling and sometimes fatal injuries. But this isn't the first time Congress has pushed for more authority over the industry. Such efforts stretch back to the 1990s, and after vigorous push-back by compounding pharmacists, they have left a patchwork of incomplete, overlapping laws, contradictory court rulings and overall uncertainty about how much power the Food and Drug Administration has to regulate compounders. More

CDC makes treatment recommendations for fungal meningitis
American Society of Health-System Pharmacists    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Interim federal recommendations for the treatment of fungal meningitis in patients who received epidural injections of methylprednisolone acetate made by the New England Compounding Center call for long-term, high-dose combination antifungal therapy with agents that penetrate the central nervous system. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends i.v. voriconazole and liposomal amphotericin B as initial therapy for patients who meet the current case definition for fungal meningitis. Both the case definition and CDC's treatment recommendations are subject to revision as the outbreak unfolds. Clinicians should check the agency's website frequently to ensure that they are acting on the most recent recommendations. More

National pharmacy chain has low incidence of needlestick injuries among staff
Medical News Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Vaccinations are increasingly taking place in non-medical settings such as supermarkets and drug stores. This added responsibility for pharmacists increases the risk of needlestick injuries. A new report published in the November issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, found 33 NSIs occurred at 31 difference pharmacy locations of a nationwide retail pharmacy chain over an 11-year period. Over the same period of time, the chain administered more than 2 million vaccinations. Researchers calculated that the annual incidence of NSIs ranged from 0 to 3.62 per 100,000 vaccinations and 0 to 5.65 NSIs per 1,000 immunizing pharmacists. This incidence rate may represent an underestimation of NSIs since past studies have found that NSIs are often underreported by healthcare workers. More

Poor medication adherence remains a problem
American Society of Health-System Pharmacists    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When patients don't take prescribed medications to control their chronic illness, part of the reason is unwillingness to accept what it means to be a person with a chronic condition, says Bruce Lambert. The University of Illinois at Chicago clinical professor of pharmacy practice, speaking at a conference sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, explained medication adherence problems from an anthropologic perspective. More

 In the News

Abuse of pain med linked to life-threatening blood disorder
Medscape News (free registration)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Food and Drug Administration is warning that individuals who abuse the prescription pain medication oxymorphone hydrochloride extended-release tablets are at serious risk of developing thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, a blood disorder that can result in kidney failure and death. More

Keeping their current plans mean Medicare beneficiaries overspend by hundreds
Medical News Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Medicare beneficiaries are overpaying by hundreds of dollars annually because of difficulties selecting the ideal prescription drug plan for their medical needs, an investigation by University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health researchers reveals. Only 5.2 percent of beneficiaries chose the least-expensive Medicare prescription drug benefit plan that satisfied their medical needs in 2009, overspending on Part D premiums and prescription drugs by an average of $368 a year. The evaluation, published in a recent issue of the journal Health Affairs, takes a national look at how well beneficiaries were making plan choices in the fourth year of the Medicare Part D program and could help guide changes to health insurance programs. More

How 3-D printers are reshaping medicine
CNBC    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
While 3-D printing has been successfully used in the healthcare sector to make prosthetic limbs, custom hearing aids and dental fixtures, the technology is now being used to create more complex structures — particularly human tissue. Bio-printing is also playing a part in how some pharmaceutical companies conduct medical research. Medical researchers in the pharmaceutical industry, until lately, have used two-dimensional cell cultures to test drugs during the early stages of development. However, the 2-D cell cultures do not reflect human tissue as accurately. Testing with 3-D tissues, however, provide more precise results, which allows for pharmaceutical companies to determine failed drugs early on before investing more money in development. More

New report details where opioid prescribing is highest
Medscape News (free registration)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Pike County, Ky., at the state's eastern edge, is perhaps best known as a hilly battleground in the infamous Hatfield-McCoy feud. The county also is now on the map as part of the painkiller belt that runs along the Appalachian Mountains, according to a new study published in the October issue of The Journal of Pain. The study reported that the highest prescribing rates for opioid analgesics occur disproportionately in Appalachia as well as southern and western states. Lead author Dr. Douglas McDonald and his two coauthors write that the manner in which clinicians prescribe these painkillers may help explain the wide geographic variation. More

 FDA News

FDA accepts Depomed's hot flash drug for review
The Associated Press via Bloomberg Businessweek    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Food and Drug Administration will review Depomed Inc.'s potential treatment for menopausal hot flashes and may decide its fate by next spring. Depomed, based in Menlo Park, Calif., said that the FDA accepted Serada for a standard review and aims to complete its evaluation by May 31. Depomed had submitted the drug's application to regulators on July 31. More

Pertussis vaccine appears to lose strength over time
Pharmacy Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The United States is on track to have the highest number of whooping cough cases this year since the late 1950s, despite a high rate of vaccination against the condition. Many have suspected that the waning effectiveness of the diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis vaccine over time is to blame for recent outbreaks. Support for this hypothesis can be found in a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. More


AzPA Pharmacy Flash
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Danielle Wegert, Content Editor, 469.420.2696   
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