US Pharm. 2007;32(4):8.

Pharmacist Compounding Under Scrutiny by Congress
Alexandria, VA -- According to the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA), if Congress has its way, patients who need potentially life-saving medications that need to be compounded by their community pharmacists may be facing a severe medical crisis. A draft bill circulating Congress would "usurp long-established state practices and laws regulating pharmacist compounding by handing this responsibility over to the already overburdened Food and Drug Administration (FDA), harming patients through unnecessary, redundant regulation and leaving many patients no choice but to go without these custom-made medications." The bill would also severely restrict interstate distribution of any pharmacist-compounded medicines, which would be particularly harmful to patients living near state borders or who travel out of their home state for long periods of time during the change of seasons. The NCPA, together with other interested associations, will continue discussions with government officials in the hopes of amending or preventing such a bill from passing.

CVS/Caremark Merger Complete
Nashville, TN -- When Caremark shareholders voted in favor of merging their company with CVS Corporation, it put an end to a bidding war for the company between CVS and Express Scripts Inc. According to a United Press International report, the merger of the two companies "would create a $75 billion drug distribution company that could handle more than a quarter of all U.S. prescriptions, giving it leverage to negotiate better prices from manufacturers."  The combined company is called CVS/Caremark Corporation and trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "CVS." CVS/Caremark's President and CEO, Tom Ryan, said that the new company "will offer end-to-end services, from plan design to prescription fulfillment, as well as the opportunity to improve clinical outcomes, which will result in better control over health care costs for employers and plan providers."

Clinic and Pharmacy Opens in Newark Airport
ewark, NJ -- The busy shopping concourse in Terminal C at Newark Airport is now home to Harmony Pharmacy and Health Center, a combined health center, pharmacy, and retail store. According to its founder and CEO, Ken Corroon, demand for the walk-in clinic's services at the airport has been strong. In addition to providing basic medical services, the store sells over-the-counter products and medications, health and beauty supplies, and other items that travelers can no longer easily bring with them through the security checkpoints.

Cleveland Clinic Eliminates Trans Fats
Cleveland -- Cleveland Clinic is eliminating trans fatty acids from its main campus and regional health system, becoming one of the first medical centers in the country to ban artificial trans fat from all inpatient and cafeteria menus. Individual vendors, food suppliers, and restaurants have been asked to eliminate trans fats by July 1. "As a world-renowned healthcare institution, we have a responsibility to provide our patients, employees, and all visitors with an environment that incorporates the healthiest of practices, including healthful food preparation," said Delos M. "Toby" Cosgrove, CEO and President of Cleveland Clinic. The health system is adopting guidelines outlined by the FDA, which define a product with zero trans fat as any food containing 0.5 grams or less of trans fat per serving.

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