PHARMACY

CDC report shows young adults facing increases in obesity, injury rates and lack of health insurance

BY Alaric DeArment

ATLANTA Increases in obesity, higher injury rates and lack of health insurance are just three of the challenges that young adults aged 18 to 29 in the United States face, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The report, “Health, United States: 2008,” is the 32nd edition of the annual report, prepared by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics.

Highlights of the report, which includes a special section on young adults, include:

* Obesity rates have tripled to 24% between the periods between the early 1970s and 2006* Smoking rates among young women declined between 1997 and 2006 by nearly 20%, but not among young men; in 2006, 29% of young men were smokers* In 2005, accidental injuries, homicide and suicide accounted for 70% of deaths among young adults* Between 1999 and 2004, nearly 9% of those aged 20 to 29 reported depression, anxiety disorder or panic disorder in the past 12 months* In 2006, 34% of those aged 20 to 24 lacked insurance, compared to 21% of 18- and 19-year-olds and 29% of those aged 25 to 29* Between 2004 and 2006, 17% of those in the 18-to-29 group reported needing but not receiving medical care, prescription medicines, mental health care or eyeglasses due to lack of money

The report also revealed a number of trends among older adults.

* In 2006, life expectancies for men and women were 3.6 years and 1.9 years higher than in 1990, respectively, due to declines in death rates from heart disease, stroke and cancer* Between 2003 and 2006, 65% of men and 80% of women 75 and older had high blood pressure or were taking medication to treat it, compared with 36% of adults aged 45 to 54* Increased use of cholesterol-lowering drugs had partially contributed to a decline in the percentage of the population with high cholesterol* About 25% of adults 60 and older had diabetes between 2003 and 2006* Obesity rates remain high, but are not increasing as rapidly as before; more than a third of adults 20 and older were obese in 2005 and 2006

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FDA approves Takeda’s chronic hyperuricemia drug

BY Alaric DeArment

OSAKA, Japan The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new drug from Takeda for treating chronic hyperuricemia in patients with gout, the Japanese drug maker and its North American subsidiary announced last week.

Takeda said Friday that the FDA had approved Uloric (febuxostat) in the 40-mg and 80-mg strengths. It said the once-daily pill is the first new treatment option in more than 40 years for the condition. Tokyo-based Teijin Pharma discovered the drug and licensed it to Takeda for the United States market.

“The approval of Uloric offers clinicians and their patients who have hyperuricemia associated with gout a new treatment option that helps prevent uric acid production,” Takeda Global Research & Development Center Inc., U.S. president Nancy Joseph-Ridge said in a statement. “In the years that we’ve dedicated to studying patients who have gout, I know that many patients go to their doctor during a flare not understanding that gout is a chronic disease that needs to be managed on a long-term, daily basis.”

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NACDS to provide 85 pharmacy school scholarships

BY Alaric DeArment

ALEXANDRIA, Va. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation will give $172,000 in pharmacy school scholarships.

The foundation announced Wednesday that it gives the awards as part of its Pharmacy Student Scholarship Program. The amount includes 85 scholarships, including the Robert J. Bolger Scholarship and the Taro Research Foundation Scholarship. The NACDS Foundation gave 60 scholarships in 2007 and 40 in 2006. 

Students selected for Foundation scholarships must be enrolled as full-time pharmacy students, have experience in community pharmacy and have a desire to pursue a career in community pharmacy. 

The Robert J. Bolger Scholarship is named after the former NACDS president and CEO; Barr Labs, where Bolger served on the board for 14 years, sponsors the award. The recipients this year are University of Maryland School of Pharmacy student Rita Kasliwal and Texas A University Health Science Center Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy student Hui Yun. 

The Taro Research Foundation Scholarship is named for a private research foundation whose main purpose is to support public charitable organizations that conduct medical research, facilitate medical education and provide assistance to people with medical disorders. This year’s recipients are University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy student Sarah Providence and Duquesne University Mylan School of Pharmacy student Emily Lunz. 

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