US Pharm.2008;33(12)9.

NACDS: Pharmacist Should Be Included in Any Health Care Reform
Alexandria, VA -- The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) is urging Congress to have pharmacists play a key role in any health care reform that is being considered. In a statement to the Senate Finance Committee, NACDS positions pharmacies as "the face of neighborhood health care." It urged Congress to consider expanding the pharmacist's role in any health care reform that focuses on accessibility, prevention, and affordability of health care. In its statement, NACDS zeroed in on two key areas where pharmacists can make a major difference in the overall health care delivery system: prevention and wellness services, including the administration of immunizations and the promotion of lower cost alternatives, such as generics. It concluded that because pharmacists are "trusted by patients, trained as medication experts, and accessible in virtually every community, pharmacists are a critical resource to our health care system."

FDA Warns of Impersonators in Drug Extortion Plot
Rockville, MD -- The FDA is warning consumers about a fraudulent scheme to extort money from consumers by callers who falsely identify themselves as "FDA special agents," or other FDA officials. According to the FDA, there have been several instances of calls that appear to be from within the U.S. but are actually computer generated and moved to other computers to avoid detection. The callers entice consumers to purchase discounted prescription drugs by wiring funds to one of several locations in the Dominican Republic. No drugs are ever delivered. Another call warns consumers that they are liable for a fine of several thousand dollars to prevent incarceration or other legal action for a fictitious violation if some form of payment is not made. As before, the consumer is instructed to send the money to an address in the Dominican Republic. Anyone receiving such a call should contact the FDA Office of Criminal Investigation at (800) 521-5783.

Kennedy to Submit Universal Health Care Bill
Washington, DC -- The Washington Post has reported that Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D, Massachusetts) is planning to submit a bill that calls for universal health care early next year. This action is in line with President-elect Obama's campaign promise to extend health care coverage in the U.S. Kennedy is not alone in his efforts to reform health care--Senators Max Baucus (D, Montana) and Ron Wyden (D, Oregon) are also supporting the concept of a universal health care plan. Kennedy, anticipating an Obama victory, had been working behind the scenes for weeks, including a meeting with the Senate Finance Committee and key health care stakeholders, to develop a plan for reforming the health care system in the U.S.

APhA Names Menighan VP and CEO
Washington, DC -- The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) has named Thomas E. Menighan as its new Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer Designate. Menighan will replace outgoing CEO and EVP John A. Gans, who has served in that position for nearly 20 years. In recognition of his dedication of service to the organization, Gans has been awarded the 2009 Remington Honor Medal, APhA's highest honor. The ceremony will take place at the association's upcoming annual meeting in San Antonio in April. Menighan, a pharmacist, is president of SynTegra Solutions, Inc., a company that provides supply chain and chargeback auditing and consulting services. He has held many volunteer pharmacy positions during his career, including president of APhA from 2001 to 2002.

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