PHARMACY

Abbott launches online diabetes-control program for Canadians

BY Michael Johnsen

MONTREAL Abbott Nutrition on Tuesday announced the online introduction of the Diabetes Control for Life Program, a free 24-week Web-based program designed to help people with diabetes in Canada better control their blood sugar levels and get better control of their condition.

Abbott Nutrition on Tuesday announced the online introduction of the Diabetes Control for Life Program, a free 24-week web-based program designed to help people with diabetes in Canada better control their blood sugar levels and get better control of their condition.

“Affordable, individualized care is essential to successful diabetes management for the two million Canadians with diabetes,” stated Stuart Ross, Endocrinologist and Clinical Professor of Medicine at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary. “For those living with the condition, a total diabetes management plan tailored to their personal needs and goals can help them maintain their quality of life. If left untreated, a chronic health condition like diabetes can lead to other crippling health issues.”

The program is available at www.diabetescontrolforlife.ca and is supported by the company’s Glucerna brand of nutrition product.

According to a recent study, overweight patients with Type 2 diabetes fared better when participating in a total diabetes management program than patients in a control group who received usual care. The patients who participated in the program reduced hemoglobin A1c and fasting glucose—two key indicators of diabetes control—as well as blood pressure levels, weight and waist circumference. These findings, published in the American Diabetes Association 66th Scientific Sessions Abstract Book and the International Diabetes Federation 2006 Meeting Abstract Book, demonstrate the value of such a structured intervention in significantly helping people with diabetes control their disease.

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PHARMACY

Researchers develop online tool for tracking children’s immunizations

BY Drew Buono

ATLANTA Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed an online tool to help parents and pediatricians adjust childhood immunization schedules when one or more vaccinations are missed.

When a child falls behind in the vaccination schedule, doctors must determine when it’s appropriate to give any missed vaccines or future vaccines. This usually requires the creation of a personalized catch-up schedule for each child, something that’s often done while the child sits in the treatment room. The online tool is designed to ensure that missed and future vaccines are given without violating guidelines regarding vaccines and doses.

“Physicians have been telling us for years that they needed a computerized program to tell them when to give vaccines after a child misses scheduled immunizations. Now this tool is available for health care professionals and parents to use, and they are excited to use it,” said Larry Pickering, executive director of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and a collaborator on the project.

When using the tool, a doctor or parent inputs a child’s date of birth and previous immunization dates. The program then creates a personalized schedule of the recommended dates to administer all future vaccines. It offers two options—administer the vaccines as soon as possible or administer the vaccines when recommended.

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HHS awards contracts for speedy flu identification test

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON If the world ever faced an avian influenza pandemic, how would doctors distinguish it from the seasonal flu?

Health and human services department secretary Mike Leavitt announced Thursday that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had awarded $12.9 million in contracts to two pharmaceutical firms for the development of tests that could distinguish the common flu from the lethal H5N1 form within three hours.

The two companies are San Diego-based Nanogen, and Gaithersburg, Md.-based Meso Scale Diagnostics, each of which received about $6.5 million for the contracts. The contracts provide funding of up to $10.4 million for Nanogen and $12.1 million for Meso Scale Diagnostics for further developments up to three years.

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