PHARMACY

CDC launches second annual Get Smart About Antibiotics Week

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON Taking antibiotics when not needed threatens both individuals and the public, and government officials have enlisted pharmacists to promote smart use of antibacterial medicines.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has launched its second annual Get Smart About Antibiotics Week, which takes place from Monday, Oct. 5, through Friday, Oct. 9. The CDC said pharmacists around the country have joined the campaign to educate patients on when to use and when not to use antibiotics.

Antibiotics are designed to treat bacterial infections, but many patients use them to treat colds and flus, which result from viral infections, and many physicians feel pressure from patients or parents to prescribe antibiotics, especially during the flu season. Not only will antibiotics not work on these infections, but patients taking them place themselves at risk of contracting bacterial infections resistant to antibiotics.

“We are very pleased to have pharmacists as partners in this important effort,” Get Smart program medical director Lauri Hicks said in a statement. “They are extremely knowledgeable and can make a big difference in public health.”

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RediClinic set to offer H1N1 vaccine, FluMist

BY Antoinette Alexander

HOUSTON RediClinic is reinforcing its role as a local resource for prevention and treatment of seasonal illnesses by providing FluMist nasal flu vaccine and gearing up to offer the H1N1 vaccine when it becomes available.

As previously reported by Drug Store News, the retail-based clinic operator is offering FluMist in its Houston and Austin locations.

In addition, the clinics expect to offer the H1N1 vaccine when it is projected to become available in mid-October. For those patients experiencing flu-like symptoms, RediClinic offers diagnostic tests and treatment options to help them get healthy as quickly as possible.

“All of our clinicians are prepared to share information and advice with patients interested in learning how to prevent these illnesses, and our clinics are open seven days a week and after school and work on weekdays to ensure that patients have access to care when they need it most,” stated Nancy Ross, RediClinic nurse practitioner.

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NACDS, NCPA file lawsuit against Minnesota over Medicaid cuts

BY Allison Cerra

ALEXANDRIA, Va. Just a few days after announcing lawsuits against three states, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association have declared that the state of Minnesota unlawfully cut patient access to Medicaid.

Additional state-based associations, including the Minnesota Pharmacists Association, the Minnesota Retailers Association and other businesses, filed as co-plaintiffs in the lawsuit. The co-plaintiffs claim the state violating the Social Security Act, which required states to adjust reimbursement rates as a result of reductions to the average wholesale price of drugs.

“MPhA is deeply disappointed in the decision of the Department of Human Services to not exercise its authority and responsibility to assist pharmacies in what will be a devastating blow to their ability to provide services to their patients,” said Julie K. Johnson, Pharm.D., EVP and CEO, Minnesota Pharmacists Association.

As previously reported by Drug Store News Wednesday, California, New York and Washington were also accused of denying patient access and quality care to Medicaid patients.

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