Magazine article Drug Topics

Up Front

Magazine article Drug Topics

Up Front

Article excerpt

Judge upholds pharmacy tobacco ban

A San Francisco judge recently denied Philip Morris' request for a temporary restraining order that would have prevented San Francisco city and county officials from enforcing an ordinance stopping some pharmacies from selling tobacco products.

The ordinance, No. 19408, went into effect Oct 1. It was introduced by city Mayor Gavin Newsom and Ls modeled on similar bans in eight Canadian provinces. The board of supervisors passed the legislation on two consecutive eight-to-three votes. The ordinance affects 52 of 54 Walgreens stores in the city. Walgreens' other two stores do not have pharmacy operations and will be allowed to continue tobacco sales. Other chain pharmacies. Including RiteAid and Longs Drugs, will also have to eliminate their tobacco counters.

Other states to consider similar bans Include New Hampshire, Illinois, and Tennessee, where bills are pending to ban pharmacies with walk-in clinics from selling tobacco. A bill in New York would apply to all pharmacies.

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Cigarettes and other tobacco products were removed from most pharmacies in San Francisco


Congress targets Illegal online pharmacies

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is applauding passage of the Ryan Height Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act designed to curb online prescription drug trafficking, abuse, and availably. The recently passed bill amends the Controlled Substance Act by requiring face-to-face prescribing, DEAendorsement before a pharmacy can dispense, and suffer penalties for violators.

"Cyber-criminals illegally peddling controlled substanc- es over the Internet have in- vaded households and threat- ened America's youth for far too long by supplying pharmaceuticals with a few clicks of a mouse and a credit card," Michele Leonhart, ailing DEA administrator, said.


FDA approves Reyataz combination for HIV-1 patients

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of Reyataz (atazanavir) 300 mg once daily with ritonavir 100 mg as part of combination therapy in previously untreated HIV-1 infected patients.

Reyataz is a prescription medicine used in combination with other medicines to treat people with the HIV virus. "Bristol-Meyers Squibb is committed to developing medicines that enhance the care of people living with HIV and AIDS," Elliot Sigal, a executive vice president of Bristol-Meyers, the maker of the drug, said. "Boosted Reyataz provides healthcare professionals with a newly-approved, once-daily dosing option as part of [combo] therapy."


Patients like $4 generics

Patients in flat-rate generic prescription programs are more satisfied with their pharmacies than those who are not part of such programs, according to a new study.

Additionally, Target, Medicine Shoppe, Ralphs, Publix, Wegmans, and Hy-Vee have the highest pharmacy customer satisfaction rates in J.D. Power and Associates' 2008 National Pharmacy Study.

The study found that satisfaction rates among brick-and-mortar pharmacy customers who participate in flat-rate prescription programs averages 826 on a 1,000-point scale, compared with 817 among customers who don't participate in these programs.

The customer satisfaction leaders in each market segment were based on factors such as medication availability and information, cost competitiveness, and ordering convenience. …

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