Weekend ICYMI: May 13 to May 17

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In case you missed it, this week we had news about joint business ventures in pharmacy, an uptick in fentanyl seizures across the US, sunscreen safety, and more.

Q&A: How Coffee Helped This Pharmacy Improve Front-End Sales

Over the past few years, a unique pharmacy operation has been making waves in the Pacific Northwest. Chris Schaffner is a pharmacist by trade, but he also serves as the owner of Apothecary Coffee, a co-located coffee shop attached to his other business, Schaffner Pharmacy. Opening the pharmacy in 2018 and the coffee shop in 2022, Schaffner and his staff have achieved great success in the community pharmacy industry.

In his discussion with Drug Topics, Schaffner explored the genesis of his 2 businesses, his personal journey, and the unique opportunities that have come with the opening of Apothecary Coffee, among other topics.

Coffee bean in petri dish / Tuan Nguyen - stock.adobe.com

Coffee bean in petri dish / Tuan Nguyen - stock.adobe.com

Sunscreen Safety: What Every Pharmacist Needs to Know

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, more than 9500 individuals are diagnosed with skin cancer each day, with more than 2 people dying from the disease every hour. Considering that more people in the US are diagnosed with skin cancer each year than all other cancers combined, and that 90% of nonmelanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to UV radiation from the sun, it’s safe to say that knowledge of sun protection is crucial for protecting patients’ health.

Sunscreen types, brands, vehicles, and formulas, as well as medical history and skin sensitivity, are just some of the aspects people must consider when choosing a product to protect their skin from the sun. This comprehensive guide provides advice on making sunscreen recommendations to patients.

FDA Issues CRL for Heplisav-B in Adults With ESRD on Hemodialyis

The FDA has issued a complete response letter (CRL) in response to a supplemental Biologics License Application from Dynavax Technologies Corporation to include a 4-dose Heplisav-B vaccination [Hepatitis B Vaccine (Recombinant), Adjuvanted] regimen for adults with end-stage renal disease on hemodialysis.

According to the agency, the company’s application did not provide sufficient data to prove the effectiveness or safety for the 4-dose regimen. The FDA cited the destruction of data source documents by a third-party clinical trial site operator and a too-small study population to effectively evaluate safety as reasons for the CRL.

American Thoracic Society Addresses Issues in Asthma Awareness

Asthma affects over 260 million people worldwide and is one of the most common non-communicable diseases. On World Asthma Day 2024, key advocacy groups gathered to announce to the public just how important education is to saving lives affected by asthma all around the world.

Along with the American Thoracic Society (ATS) and the Forum of International Respiratory Societies—of which the ATS is a member—the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) is also a major entity in asthma awareness. Founded in 1993 by WHO, GINA is also adamant about asthma awareness and the importance of educating and supplying underserved communities with as many resources as possible.

Illicit Fentanyl Seizures Increased Nearly 2000% Within 7-Year Period in US

The total number of illicit fentanyl seizures by law enforcement in the United States surged by more than 1700% between 2017 and 2023, according to new data published in the International Journal of Drug Policy.

In 2023, a staggering 115.6 million fentanyl pills were seized, representing nearly half (49%) of all seizures in the nation. This marks a dramatic 4-fold increase in pill seizures compared to just 7 years prior—a change that underscores an alarming trend in the opioid epidemic.

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