Hot off the press for September 12, 2005

September 12, 2005

Wal-Mart and SAM's CLUB to host free diabetes screenings USW, NPhA form Pharmacists Council HHS looking for volunteers who want to help hurricane victims ACAM defends use of FDA-approved therapy CMS offers document on Medicare Rx drug coverage Medicare Today partnership: Rx plans will benefit beneficiaries Ten Canadian pharmacies apply to Nevada Mail order use declined, survey finds FDA wants clarity on conditions for dual Rx-to-OTC drug status Analyst positive about 2006 market Medi-Span adds to Rx info CMS readies Medicare provider satisfaction survey Follistim AQ adds 900-IU formulation to product linebr> New Jersey toughens Rx drug trafficking law New Alphagan formulation gets FDA nod Pharmacist personnel firms merge Get your genetic tests at these pharmacies

September 12, 2005

Wal-Mart and SAM's CLUB to host free diabetes screenings
Wal-Mart and SAM's CLUB in partnership with Abbott's Ross Products Division and the American Association of Diabetes Educators are hosting a "Diabetes Aware & Care Event" at all Wal-Mart and SAM'S CLUB stores nationwide on Sept. 24 from 10 A.M. to 2 P.M. Certified medical technicians will provide free health screenings, including blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure tests. Customers will receive complimentary product samples and a diabetes resource book. Back to top

USW, NPhA form Pharmacists Council
The United Steelworkers (USW) and the National Pharmacists Association (NPhA) have formed a joint Pharmacists Council to identify and address common issues. About 2,500 pharmacists nationwide will participate in the Pharmacists Council. The NPhA recently called a strike of the Walgreens pharmacists it represents in the greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana areas. Back to top

HHS looking for volunteers who want to help hurricane victims
The Department of Health & Human Services has established a Web site at www.usafreedomcorps.gov or by calling 1-(877) USA-CORPS. Back to top

ACAM defends use of FDA-approved therapy
The American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM) has issued a statement in support of the use of chelation therapy, following the death of an autistic U.K. boy who was receiving this treatment in the United States. ACAM stated that it is not in a position to comment on the circumstance that led to this incident. However, ACAM said the treatment, which involves an intravenous injection of a synthetic amino acid called ethylene diamine tetra-acetic acid (EDTA), is approved by the FDA and has been helpful in treating autistic children who have evidence of heavy metal burdens and have an impaired ability for detoxification. Back to top

CMS offers document on Medicare Rx drug coverage
CMS has released "Frequently Asked Questions About Retiree Prescription Drug Coverage and the New Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage." The new document is intended to help Medicare beneficiaries who also have retiree drug coverage from an employer or union understand their options and make informed choices. For information, visit www.regulations.gov. Back to top

Analyst positive about 2006 market
The Medicare drug benefit, which will take effect next year, will have a "dampening effect" on drug importation. So predicted Doug Long, VP of industry relations for IMS Health, at the NACDS Pharmacy & Technology Conference in San Diego late last month. "Senior citizens now have an option, which is to sign up for Medicare plans. They will not be cash customers anymore. The good news is that they won't be susceptible to go to Canada for their medications," Long said. In terms of new drug introductions that will affect the 2006 market, he mentioned that two new antibiotics and three antifungals are under review. He also said the market could be affected by a renewed emphasis on safety and the creation of a new FDA drug safety board. Back to top

Medi-Span adds to Rx info
Wolters Kluwer Health has added the Integrated MedFacts Module to the Medi-Span drug information product line to help pharmacists comply with federal regulations on providing useful Rx information to consumers. MedFacts contains information on more than 3,000 dosage forms, strengths, routes, and product-specific monographs written for consumers in English and Spanish. Back to top

CMS readies Medicare provider satisfaction survey
In January, CMS will ask some 30,000 Medicare providers and suppliers about their satisfaction with and perceptions of the services provided by Medicare fee-for-service contractors. This first-ever survey will give providers a chance to rate their contractors in seven areas: provider communications, provider inquiries, claims processing, appeals, medical review, provider enrollment, and provider reimbursement. Back to top

Follistim AQ adds 900-IU formulation to product line
Organon's premixed fertility treatment agent, Follistim AQ (follitropin beta injection) cartridge, is now available as a 900-IU presentation for use with the Follistim Pen in patients undergoing assisted reproductive technology, such as in vitro fertilization. The new strength eliminates the need for two injections for patients who require higher doses. Follistim AQ cartridges are also available in 300 and 600 units. Back to top

New Jersey toughens Rx drug trafficking law
New Jersey has adopted a law that puts Rx drug traffickers on a par with narcotics dealers. Under the new law, Rx drug trafficking carries a penalty of up to life in prison, depending on the amounts involved. The state also restricted sales of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine to no more than three boxes or 9 gm at one time. Another law requires drug wholesalers to be licensed by the state health department. Back to top

New Alphagan formulation gets FDA nod
The FDA has approved a less potent version of Allergan's Alphagan P (brimonidine tartrate ophthalmic solution) for the reduction of intraocular pressure in patients with open-angle glaucoma and ocular hypertension. The new formulation contains 0.1% of the active ingredient, while the original Alphagan contains 0.2%. The optimized product was developed to minimize drug exposure while maintaining the drug's efficacy profile. The Alphagan P product line also includes a 0.15% formulation. Back to top

Pharmacist personnel firms merge
RPhRecruiter Inc. and RxTemp Inc. have agreed to merge into a full-service operation called Rx Pro Health Inc. (