Breaking news

May 2, 2005

The next time patients pick up a prescription at a Target pharmacy, they will receive their pills in a newly designed bottle, thanks to Deborah Adler, a graphic designer for Milton Glaser in New York City. Called ClearRx, the new system features a flat Rx bottle with colored rubber band rings that come in six colors and fit around the neck of the bottle.

ClearRx drug packaging system debuts at Target The next time patients pick up a prescription at a Target pharmacy, they will receive their pills in a newly designed bottle, thanks to Deborah Adler, a graphic designer for Milton Glaser in New York City. Called ClearRx, the new system features a flat Rx bottle with colored rubber band rings that come in six colors and fit around the neck of the bottle. "The patients can tell the pharmacist what color ring they like and it goes on their record, so that they don't take another family member's medication by accident," explained Adler. Target will introduce the new bottle to consumers in a TV and print campaign slated to break this month.

Another bill on R.Ph.s' right to refuse Rxs East Coast lawmakers aren't the only ones pushing for a bill on Capitol Hill related to pharmacists' right to refuse to fill prescriptions for birth control. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D, Calif.) has introduced a similar bill. It would prevent any pharmacy receiving reimbursement from Medicare or Medicaid from refusing to fill legal Rxs. If a pharmacist has an objection to a drug based on his or her conscience, the pharmacy must find someone else to fill the Rx. If the Rx is not in stock, the pharmacy must order it, transfer the Rx to an area pharmacy, or give the Rx back to the patient so she can go elsewhere.

Wisconsin R.Ph. sanctioned for refusal to transfer Rx The Wisconsin pharmacy board unanimously voted to sanction pharmacist Neil Noesen for his refusal to fill or transfer a script for oral contraceptives. Following the recommendations of an administrative law judge, the board formally reprimanded Noesen. He was also ordered to attend pharmacy ethics classes and pay the estimated $20,000 cost of the board proceedings. Noesen, who is a Roman Catholic, refuses to handle scripts for contraceptives and the morning-after pill because he believes doing so would be a sin.

Feds crack down on Internet pharmacies Twenty people were arrested in five states and four foreign countries on charges of running more than 200 Internet pharmacy sites that illegally shipped narcotics, steroids, and amphetamines. The arrests and seizure of more than $6 million were the result of Operation Cyber Chase, a yearlong investigation by six federal agencies into rogue on-line pharmacies. Officials charged that one e-trafficker repackaged controlled substances smuggled into the U.S., distributing about 2.5 million dosage units per month around the world.

Hospital unveils preventive health program Mercy Hospital in Miami reports a savings of $1.4 million, an average of $3,000 per patient, to participants of the nation's first self-sustaining preventive care program. The Mercy Hospital Freedom Program provides technology-based, community-centered preventive care that empowers patients to manage their chronic illnesses. Participating patients can receive up to 60% off the prices of their medications. Approximately 4,000 patients have participated in the program, and 10,000 prescriptions have been dispensed.

FDA approves implant for uveitis Fluocinolone acetonide (Retisert, Bausch & Lomb) intravitreal implant, 0.50 mg, has been approved to treat chronic, noninfectious uveitis affecting the posterior segment of the eye. The product comes as a small pellet and is surgically inserted in the eye. The application was granted orphan-drug and fast-track designation by the FDA. Bausch & Lomb plans a midyear launch.