Pharmacy News

Entries for March 2015

Mobile App Launched to Track Drug Shortages

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently launched the agency’s first mobile application aimed at expediting updates to the public about drug shortages. The free app identifies current drug shortages, informs the public of resolved shortages and announces drug discontinuations.

App users can search or browse by a drug’s generic name or active ingredient, and browse by therapeutic category. The app can also be used to report a suspected drug shortage or supply issue to the FDA.

The app is available for free download via iTunes (for Apple devices) and the Google Play store (for Android devices) by searching “FDA Drug Shortages.” For additional information, please see the FDA news release online.

Posted in: Pharmacy Technology
WHO Issues First Guidelines for Hepatitis B Management

The World Health Organization (WHO) released its first set of guidelines on the prevention and treatment of chronic hepatitis B. The guidelines cover the full spectrum of care, including who needs treatment, what medicines to use and how to monitor patients long-term. Key recommendations include:

  • the use of a few simple noninvasive tests to assess the stage of liver disease to help identify who needs treatment;
  • prioritizing treatment for those with cirrhosis, the most advanced stage of liver disease;
  • the use of two safe and highly effective medicines, tenofovir or entecavir, for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B; and
  • regular monitoring using simple tests for early detection of liver cancer, to assess whether treatment is working, and if treatment can be stopped.

The full guidelines as well as a policy brief are available online.

Posted in: Professional Practice
FDA Approves First Biosimilar in the U.S.
On March 6, 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the approval of Zarxio® (filgrastim-sndz) as a biosimilar to Neupogen®. The formulation of Zarxio differs from that of U.S.-licensed Neupogen in one inactive component, and a review of evidence demonstrated that “there are no clinically meaningful differences between Zarxio and U.S.-licensed Neupogen,” according to an FDA announcement. In addition, the agency notes that more biosimilar treatment options are expected to be approved in the future.
Posted in: Medication Approvals
Last Chance to Apply for the MPA and PSI Executive Fellowship!

MPA and Pharmacy Services Inc. (PSI) are pleased to offer the Executive Fellowship, a year-long program that provides a strong foundation in business, leadership, policy and association management. Applications are being accepted through Friday, April 17 for the 2015-2016 program.

If you have ever thought about training to gain more business, management, and leadership skills or are interested in how you can move the pharmacy profession forward, we urge you to consider applying for the Executive Fellowship. This 12-month program will provide one pharmacist with a strong foundation in business, leadership, policy and association management; a critical skill set required to effectively lead in pharmacy business or to enter the association side of pharmacy.

Please visit our Web site for more information about the Executive Fellowship and how to apply. If you have any questions, please contact Dianne Malburg, fellowship director, at We look forward to receiving your application!

Posted in: Professional Practice
Gov. Rick Snyder Fills Technician Position on the Michigan Board of Pharmacy
Gov. Rick Snyder recently announced the appointment of Cynthia Boston of Utica to the Michigan Board of Pharmacy. The 11-member board is responsible for regulating and inspecting the practice of pharmacy and drugs manufactured and distributed in the state. Cynthia is a pharmacy technician working in medication reconciliation at Crittenton Hospital Medical Center, where she helped to prepare the hospital for implementation of bedside barcode medication administration. She earned a pharmacy technician certification from Macomb Community College and a bachelor’s degree in health science from Oakland University. She represents pharmacy technicians and fills a newly created position on the board. Cynthia will serve a four-year term expiring June 30, 2018. Her appointment is subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.
Posted in: Laws and Regulations
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