Arizona Pharmacy Flash
Oct. 30, 2012

FDA: Problems identified at New England Compounding Center facility
Medical News Today
The New England Compounding Center facility has problems maintaining its clean rooms, the Food and Drug Administration informed as it released a copy of the FDA Form 483 to the NECC. The FDA says it listed a number of "observations," including contaminated products. FDA inspectors visited NECC for a total of seven recent days from Oct. 1-26 after the company had recalled a steroid medication. MORE

Related: Pharmacy in meningitis deaths found mold in January (Bloomberg Businessweek)More

Tamper-resistant prescription pads
The purpose of this memo is to provide guidance on the required use of Tamper Resistant Prescription Pads beginning Nov. 1. AHCCCS and its contractors were waived from this requirement by The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services through Oct. 31. However, CMS has not authorized continuation of the waiver exemption for the AHCCCS Program. Therefore, effective Nov. 1, AHCCCS and its Contractors are required to comply with the tamper resistant prescription pad requirement.More

Shop and support AzPA
The next time you shop on, visit the AzPA website first and click on the portal on the home page. When you enter through the AzPA website, a portion of your total purchases will come back to AzPA. Bookmark this link.More

Holiday shopping is upon us
Remember to purchase your gift cards through AzPA and support pharmacy education in Arizona. Learn more.More

Not an AzPA member? Join today
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

Don't forget to vote!

Nov. 6 is election day. Don't forget to vote!More

Quality interactions with pharmacists key to patient satisfaction
Pharmacy Times
Pharmacist expertise and quality interactions are key markers for determining patient satisfaction and commitment, according to the results of a study published in the September edition of Patient Preference and Adherence. The researchers note that their findings suggest that a patient's sense of their pharmacist’s knowledge level is a prime factor in determining whether they will continue to use the pharmacy, although a level of trust and patient satisfaction must also be cultivated.More

Report faults states' oversight of specialty pharmacies
The Washington Post
State boards have failed to adequately regulate the safety of practices at specialty pharmacies like the one at the center of the deadly fungal meningitis outbreak, according to a congressional report soon to be released. The report by Rep. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., looked at enforcement actions against compounding pharmacies in all 50 states and found that only six states had records of taking action. The information was based on what was available on websites and through follow-up telephone calls.More

Rare-disease drugs to receive consideration on par with serious-disease drugs
American Society of Health-System Pharmacists
In rewriting the statute on fast-track drug products earlier this year, Congress made a point of stating that new drugs addressing the "unmet medical needs" of patients with rare diseases or conditions deserve the special considerations afforded medications for serious or life-threatening conditions. Those special considerations, say industry insiders, should benefit the numerous small populations of patients who have rare diseases. More

2nd compounding pharmacy shut down in Massachusetts
HealthDay News
Massachusetts officials have closed a second compounding pharmacy after a snap inspection revealed conditions that might threaten the sterility of its products. According to The New York Times, Waltham, Mass.-based Infusion Resource voluntarily surrendered its license over the weekend after inspectors found "significant issues with the environment in which medications were being compounded," Dr. Madeleine Biondolillo, director of the Bureau of Health Care Safety and Quality at the Massachusetts Public Health Department, said at a press briefing. More

CDC panel expands Tdap vaccine in pregnancy recommendation
Medscape News (free subscription)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recently voted to expand the recommendation for the tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis vaccine during pregnancy to encompass all pregnant women regardless of vaccination history, including repeat vaccinations in subsequent pregnancies.More

Dietary and herbal supplements could interfere with prescription drugs
Medical News Today
Certain herb and dietary supplements can produce potentially dangerous drug interference, especially among people taking medication for cardiovascular or nervous system issues. These findings are part of an extensive new research review published in the International Journal of Clinical Practice.More

New OTC inhaler on store shelves
Pharmacy Times
Nephron Pharmaceuticals has launched an OTC asthma inhaler intended to replace Armstrong Pharmaceuticals' Primatene Mist, which was removed from pharmacy shelves in December 2011 because it used chlorofluorocarbon propellants, which deplete the ozone layer. The introduction of the new OTC inhaler came the month after Armstrong Pharmaceuticals announced a campaign to bring Primatene Mist back to the OTC market during a House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee Energy and Power subcommittee hearing. At the time, the company estimated that it had 1 million Primatene Mist inhalers in storage that will expire in August 2013. More

Omacetaxine mepesuccinate approved for CML
American Society of Health-System Pharmacists
The FDA recently approved the tyrosine kinase inhibitor omacetaxine mepesuccinate for the second-line treatment of chronic myelogenous leukemia in adults. The drug is indicated for use in adults with chronic or accelerated phase CML who did not tolerate other therapy or whose illness did not respond to past treatment with two or more tyrosine kinase inhibitors.More

FDA adds 8 drugs to watch list
Medscape News (free subscription)
The Food and Drug Administration has added eight drugs to its list of products to monitor because of possible signs of serious risks or new safety information. The drugs treat conditions that include cancer, epilepsy, hypertension and malaria. More

FDA grants Bayer's Stivarga priority review for GIST treatment
Dow Jones Newswires via NASDAQ
Bayer AG said the Food and Drug Administration has granted the German pharmaceutical company's Stivarga tablets priority review for the treatment of patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumors.More

FDA: Don't tighten Vicodin regulation
Medpage Today
Hydrocodone-containing combination products, such as hydrocodone/acetaminophen, should be kept as Schedule III controlled substances and not be subject to tighter regulations to prevent abuse, the FDA recently recommended. There's insufficient evidence to support the Drug Enforcement Administration's finding that hydrocodone-containing products have a similar abuse potential as Schedule II drugs and should be regulated as such, the FDA said in briefing documents released ahead of a public meeting on the issue.More