HEALTH

CDC releases guides for health professionals, parents on FASDs

BY Michael Johnsen

ATLANTA The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday announced the availability of several new products that can guide in the identification, prevention and management of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders — disorders resulting from women drinking alcohol during pregnancy.

The products include a curriculum development guide for use with medical and allied health students and practitioners, and two reports from the National Task Force on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Effect, with recommendations on promoting and improving effective prevention strategies to reduce alcohol use and alcohol-exposed pregnancies, and on improving and expanding efforts regarding early identification, diagnostic services and quality research on interventions for individuals with FASDs and their families.

The products include the Competency-Based Curriculum Development Guide Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders for Medical and Allied Health Education and Practice, a guide designed to improve prevention, identification and management of FASDs, and can be used to develop educational programs and materials in a range of formats based on the needs of learners. Based on seven core competencies, it is intended for use with medical and allied health students and practitioners.

Also listed is the Reducing Alcohol-Exposed Pregnancies: A Report of the National Task Force on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Effect. This report reviews current evidence on prevention strategies to reduce alcohol use and alcohol-exposed pregnancies, provides recommendations on promoting and improving these strategies and offers future research directions in the field of FASD prevention. It also serves as a guide for those in the research and practice fields interested in selecting and implementing effective, scientifically-tested interventions for women at risk for an alcohol-exposed pregnancy.

And A Call to Action: Advancing Essential Services and Research on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders – A Report of the National Task Force on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Effect highlights 10 recommendations to improve and expand efforts regarding early identification, diagnostic services and quality research on interventions for individuals with FASDs and their families. The intent of this report is to guide federal, state and local agencies, researchers and clinicians, family support groups, and other partners on actions needed to advance essential services for individuals with FASDs and their families and to promote continued intervention research efforts.

The CDC also listed five things mothers should know about drinking during pregnancy:

  • Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause a baby to be born with birth defects and have disabilities. These conditions, called fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, or FASDs, are among the top preventable birth defects and developmental disabilities. FASDs can cause problems in how a person grows, learns, looks and acts. FASDs can also cause birth defects of the heart, brain, and other major organs. These problems last a lifetime;
  • There is no known amount of alcohol that is safe to drink while pregnant. All drinks with alcohol can hurt an unborn baby. A 12-ounce can of beer has as much alcohol as a 5-ounce glass of wine or a 1-ounce shot of liquor;
  • There is no safe time to drink during pregnancy. Alcohol can harm a baby at any time during pregnancy. It can cause problems in the early weeks of pregnancy, before a woman even knows she is pregnant;
  • Too many women continue to drink during pregnancy. About 1 in 12 pregnant women in the United States reports alcohol use. And about 1 in 30 pregnant women in the United States reports binge drinking (having five or more drinks at one time);
  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders are 100% preventable — if a woman does not drink alcohol while she is pregnant.

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NCPA, Roche Diagnostic team up with new online diabetic resource

BY Jim Frederick

ALEXANDRIA, Va. In an alliance with Roche Diagnostic, the National Community Pharmacists Association is giving its independent pharmacy members a new tool to expand their presence in the crucial market for diabetic care services and supplies.

NCPA has launched a new, online resource, dubbed the “Diabetes Supply Center,” through the organization’s Pharmacist e-Link. The Web site is designed to provide pharmacists with the information needed to serve patients with diabetes more effectively and make diabetic supplies a viable part of their business, according to the group.

The site helps pharmacists navigate the regulatory process for competitive bidding, accreditation or surety bonds, NCPA noted Monday. It also provides business tools, articles catering to pharmacists, news updates, expert opinion forums and a regular newsletter.

“Many independent community pharmacies are caught between the need to serve their patients with diabetes and navigating an excessive amount of government regulation and costs if they want to continue selling medical supplies such as diabetes testing strips,” said NCPA president Holly Whitcomb Henry. “NCPA is proud to partner with Roche Diagnostic to help community pharmacies better confront all of these challenges through the wide array of information found at the Diabetes Supply Center on Pharmacist e-Link.”

Added Luc Vierstraete, Head of Roche Diagnostic Care North America, ““The role of pharmacists continues to grow and evolve and Roche recognizes their important role in the health care community.”

An American Diabetes Association study in 2007 found 17.5 million people diagnosed with diabetes in America at a cost of $174 billion. The average patient spends approximately $2,500 at community pharmacies for diabetes medications and supplies.

For more information, visit http://www.pharmacistelink.com/accu-chek/.

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Momlogic.com, First Response launch Web series

BY Michael Johnsen

LOS ANGELES Momlogic.com, along with Church & Dwight and its fertilization, ovulation and pregnancy test brand First Response, on Friday launched the integrated marketing campaign Conception Diaries, a Web series that takes an intimate, first-hand look at the joys and frustrations of five women at different stages in their lives as they embark on the journey to conceive.

“Pregnancy planning can be a very anxious time in a woman’s life as there are lots of questions, hopes and fears”, stated Stacey Feldman, VP marketing on the First Response brand at Church & Dwight. “We are excited to be working with momlogic.com to empower these women with important information for their pregnancy journey.”

The series of personal video diaries and blogs will be posted live on momlogic.com, the Warner Bros. Women’s Digital Network, as well as a branded Conception Diaries microsite. Additional editorial content focused on a wide variety of pregnancy-related topics will offer readers information, tools they can download and online community groups.

“As we were creating the idea for momlogic.com’s Conception Diaries, we wanted this web series to be compelling to our target audience but also tailor this idea to fit the First Response brand,” stated Lisa Black, general manager of Warner Bros. Women’s Digitial Brands.

In addition, Conception Diaries features expert advice on pregnancy and pre-natal planning from momlogic.com OB/GYN Dr. Suzanne Gilberg Lenz and First Response Conception Counsel member Peter Ahlering.

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