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July 29, 2011 | By Max Ehrenfreund
At Molina Medical Group clinics in Southern California, a vending machine rather than a pharmacist dispenses prescription drugs. Molina officials say the machines make life simpler for patients, but their use has drawn objections from some pharmacists. The kiosks are the size of a large refrigerator. They hold a stock of medications for common ailments such as colds, flus and rashes, so patients can have their prescriptions filled before leaving the clinic. "With our patient population, there may be some barriers to getting over to the pharmacy to pick up medication," said Gloria Calderon, vice president of clinic operations for Molina.
February 5, 2014 | By Noam N. Levey and Tiffany Hsu
WASHINGTON - CVS Caremark, the nation's second-largest drugstore chain, plans to stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products at its more than 7,600 retail stores by Oct. 1, a landmark decision that would make it the first national pharmacy company to cease tobacco sales. The move, which the company announced Wednesday, comes after years of pressure from public health advocates and medical providers, who have urged retailers to make tobacco products and advertising less available, particularly to children and teenagers.
April 16, 2013 | By Monte Morin
The head of the U.S. Food and Drug Agency endured heavy criticism Tuesday as House members accused the agency of failing to act on complaints against the New England Compounding Center, the Massachusetts firm linked to an outbreak of deadly meningitis. Under harsh questioning from Republican and Democratic  lawmakers, FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg conceded that her agency could have handled the situation better. "I wish we had been more aggressive, and I can assure you that we are being more aggressive now," Hamburg told members of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.
January 27, 2014 | By Scott Glover
A Burbank pharmacy that dispensed painkillers and other narcotics to five young patients who later died of overdoses had its license revoked Monday after the state pharmacy board found that its employees failed to properly scrutinize prescriptions that contributed to patient deaths. The pharmacy, Jay Scott Drugs on Glenoaks Boulevard, catered to patients of doctors Bernard Bass and Massoud Bamdad, both of whom were later convicted of crimes in connection with their prescribing. Pharmacists are required by law to scrutinize prescriptions, size up customers and refuse to dispense a drug if they suspect a patient does not have a legitimate medical need for it. Many of Bass' patients were in their 20s and traveled more than 40 miles from their homes in Ventura County to see Bass in North Hollywood, and then another five miles to Jay Scott Drugs where they typically paid cash for a combination of prescription drugs favored by addicts.
January 1, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - State regulators are responding to a deadly nationwide meningitis outbreak linked to contaminated drugs by seeking new power to inspect out-of-state pharmacies that sell special-order prescription drugs in California. In September, the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Mass., sent three shipments of contaminated injectable steroid solutions to 76 healthcare facilities and pain-control clinics in 23 states, including four in California. These customized drugs, which were injected into patients' spines and joints, caused 39 deaths among 620 reported cases of fungal meningitis and other infections, according to a Dec. 17 report from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
May 24, 2006 | Cyndia Zwahlen, Special to The Times
Pharmacist Dennis Witherwax, 62, owner of the Medical Arts Rexall Pharmacy in Anaheim, was looking forward to retiring in a few years, but had no successor. He was determined not to sell his 50-year-old business to a chain operator, despite multiple offers to do just that. Pharmacy student Cliffton Amend, 28, dreamed of owning his own pharmacy but lacked the money to buy one and the experience to run it.
September 19, 1995
Syncor International Corp. has filed suit against the U. S. Food and Drug Administration to try to stop the agency's plan to regulate pharmacies that prepare special diagnostic drugs. The FDA wants to regulate pharmacies that mix so-called positron emission tomography (PET) drugs used to diagnose patients suffering from tumors, stroke, cancer and heart disease.
September 2, 2003 | From Times Wire Reports
The Netherlands became the first country to make marijuana available as a prescription drug in pharmacies to treat cancer, HIV and multiple sclerosis patients, the Health Ministry said. Dutch doctors will be allowed to prescribe it to treat pain, nausea and loss of appetite in cancer and HIV patients, to alleviate MS sufferers' spasm pains and reduce tics in people with Tourette's syndrome. Two companies have been given licenses to grow cannabis to sell to the Health Ministry.
June 15, 2005 | Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Times Staff Writer
About one in five online pharmacies offering discount prescription drugs from Canada appears to be actually located in that country, raising concerns that many may be peddling counterfeit or adulterated medications, a report for the Food and Drug Administration has found. "We are looking at some of these sites to see if they are truly pharmacy sites, or if this is somebody trying to fool consumers," said Tom McGinnis, the FDA's director of pharmacy affairs.
December 4, 1990 | LISA MASCARO
George Szabo is a happy man when he comes across an antique surgeon's tool or a 19th-Century prescription for aching joints. Because Szabo, who operates an electronic shop in Anaheim, finds the stuff of bygone drugstores fascinating. A few years ago, Szabo began collecting outdated medical equipment and the entire stocks of long-past apothecaries. "It's just my hobby. I enjoy reading about them, how much science has progressed," said Szabo, 48.
November 29, 2013 | By Hailey Branson-Potts
An armed man who barricaded himself in a La Crescenta Verizon store Friday afternoon first robbed a Rite Aid in the same shopping center, one shopper told The Times. Rachel Belofsky of Sunland and her mother had stopped at the Rite Aid to pick up a few items in what they thought would be a quick trip. When they walked in, Belofsky heard staff calling the police. She went to the pharmacy and said the "pharmacist was shaking" and told her "the guy robbed them for drugs" and ran out of the store.
October 25, 2013 | By Veronica Rocha
Glendale-area residents looking to get rid of expired, unused or unwanted medications can do so anonymously Saturday by dropping them off at various pharmacies. The Crescenta Valley Drug & Alcohol Prevention Coalition has teamed up with local and federal law enforcement agencies to organize the drug drop-off sites, which will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. throughout the area in an effort to curb prescription- drug abuse  and theft, the Glendale News-Press reported . In April, local officials collected more than 950 pounds of prescription and nonprescription drugs during a nationwide drug take-back day. Officials are also collecting prescription ointments and medicinal drops.
October 10, 2013 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
HOUSTON - Texas carried out yet another controversial execution Wednesday. Michael Yowell, 43, was put to death by lethal injection about 7 p.m. for killing his parents at their Lubbock home 15 years ago. The drug-fueled attack also left his 89-year-old grandmother dead. Yowell was the 14th inmate executed this year in Texas, the country's most active death penalty state, which has executed more than 500 prisoners . But Yowell did not die like the others. Last month, Texas officials were facing a shortage of the drug used in lethal injections, pentobarbital, after the manufacturer announced that the drug was unsafe for use in lethal injections and restricted its sale.
September 12, 2013 | David Lazarus
CVS Caremark insists that it's just complying with federal law by informing customers that their medical information could be "redisclosed" if they sign up for the company's prescription-drug reward program. Privacy experts, though, question whether CVS is complying with state law. "California's privacy law is stricter than federal law," said Charles Googooian, a La Canada Flintridge lawyer who specializes in medical-privacy issues. "It doesn't seem like CVS is complying with either the spirit or the letter of state law. " CVS has been scrambling to defend its ExtraCare Pharmacy & Health Rewards program since I recently reported that customers are being required to give up important federal privacy safeguards in return for up to $50 a year in store credits.
June 11, 2013 | David Lazarus
Generic prescription drugs have to meet exacting standards for ingredients and quality, which you'd think would make them uniformly priced at pharmacies. But that, of course, isn't the case. Generic drug prices can be all over the map, depending on where and how you buy them. Bruce Lowther, 45, takes five generic prescription meds daily for a heart condition. He had a heart attack a few years ago. Lowther was paying nearly $370 every three months for supplies of his drugs at Target.
June 3, 2013 | By David Margolius
As the saying goes, "With great power comes great responsibility. " That applies to physicians when prescribing medications, but it also should apply to pharmacies when they're dispensing medications. In December, after seven years of exams, lectures and rounds, I received my medical license. Finally, I had the power to prescribe medications without the co-signature of my supervisor. "Be careful," she advised, "remember the story of 'once.'" The story of "once" is a cautionary tale that - best as I am able to tell from Google - was adapted from a Spanish soap opera.
December 14, 1995 | MIMI KO CRUZ
A drive-up pharmacy, the first of its kind in the city, has been given preliminary permission by the City Council to open. "This is a pleasing development," Councilman James Flora said. "I think it's something that will be a benefit to the residents of this community." Others said the project will finally fill a vacant lot on West Imperial Highway, long considered an eyesore. A final decision to approve the project is expected at the council's next meeting, on Dec. 21.
December 23, 1999
The owner of a Tustin gift shop where a toddler was treated just hours before she died earlier this year pleaded guilty Wednesday to operating an illegal pharmacy. In exchange for the guilty plea, worked out in a bargain with the Orange County district attorney's office, Oscar Eduardo King, 36, was fined $200 and put on probation for three years. "He's satisfied with the outcome," King's attorney, Ron Brower, said of the sentence handed down in Orange County Superior Court.
May 6, 2013 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO -- The state Senate acted Monday on bills aimed at protecting pay phone users against high charges and reducing robberies of pharmacies. The Senate approved SB 50, which requires California pay phones to have signs warning those using credit or debit cards of the total costs, and allow for fines of up to $50,000 for violations. “Many consumers have no idea a domestic pay phone call could cost $20 for 20 seconds,” said Sen. Ted W. Lieu (D-Torrance), the bill's author.
April 18, 2013 | By Veronica Rocha
A man held two pregnant pharmacy workers at gunpoint Wednesday after demanding powerful prescription painkillers in a note. Karmen Sefyan, owner of Arianna Medical Pharmacy in Glendale, and a co-worker were alone just after noon inside the drugstore in the 3600 block of North Verdugo Road when she said a man walked in pointing a gun at them. Sefyan - whose pregnancy is nearly full term - and her co-worker were not harmed during the incident. "The whole thing took a few minutes," she said.
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