Important pharmacy news and late-breaking industry information updated daily.

Supermarket pharmacies are gearing up to become major providers of COVID-19 vaccinations. Grocery stores say they are well-positioned to provide the vaccines because a large share of the population lives near one of their stores, and their pharmacies regularly offer vaccinations for other illnesses.

CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has published its 2020 recommendations for meningococcal vaccination, which cover use of the three quadrivalent conjugate vaccines—menin­gococcal serotypes A, C, W, and Y (MenACWY)—and two available meningococcal serogroup B (MenB) vaccines. The recommendations call on shared clinical decision making for the MenB vaccine for adolescents and young adults ages 16 to 23 years and highlight the importance of these vaccines for patients at increased risk.

APhA and several other leading pharmacy groups issued a statement Tuesday on the Trump administration's new final rule on prescription drug rebates.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released three new drug pricing policies late last week. Two of the policies are based on executive orders President Trump signed in July; the last, a surprise revocation of guidances related to FDA’s Unapproved Drugs Initiative (UDI), was out of the blue. The policies’ release was announced on Friday, November 20, 2020, at a White House briefing.

Starting Friday, November 27, 2020, pharmacies must buy and sell only products with a required “product identifier” on their packages. This requirement is part of the phased-in implementation of the Drug Supply Chain Security Act of 2013 (DSCSA), also known as the “track-and-trace” law. By Friday, dispensers should be familiar with this requirement and know what to do if a product identifier is not on the package when they receive products that require it. The product identifier is on most drug packages in both human-readable format and on a machine-readable 2D data matrix barcode.

The rollout of a COVID-19 vaccine will likely target health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities during Phase 1a, essential workers during Phase 1b, and older adults as well as men and women with comorbidities during Phase 1c.

On Saturday, FDA issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for a combination monoclonal antibody treatment—casirivimab and imdevimab (Regeneron Pharmaceuticals)—to be administered together for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in adults and pediatric patients aged 12 years and older weighing 88 pounds with positive results of direct SARS-CoV-2 viral testing and who are at high risk for progressing to severe COVID-19.

FDA issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for casirivimab and imdevimab (Regeneron Pharmaceuticals) to be administered together for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in adults and pediatric patients aged 12 years or older weighing about 88 pounds with positive results of direct SARS-CoV-2 viral testing and who are at high risk for pr

Pfizer announced that it plans to ask FDA on Friday for emergency use authorization of its COVID-19 vaccine. Pfizer and partner BioNTech reported this week the two-dose vaccine was 95% effective and well-tolerated.

Older adults responded favorably to AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine, according to Phase II peer-reviewed results reported in The Lancet.