HEALTH

Colmers seeks feedback from UMD School of Pharmacy about H1N1 virus

BY Michael Johnsen

BALTIMORE, Md. Concerning the current outbreak of H1N1, or swine flu, Maryland’s top health official asked for feedback from the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, with its network of pharmacists, on “what worked and what didn’t work,” the pharmacy school announced Monday.

John Colmers, Maryland secretary of health and mental hygiene, said during a recent meeting of the School of Pharmacy Board of Visitors that “we are not out of the woods yet. We have identified that this is a virus that is in our population, and we are in the phase now of lessons learned.”

He said his department is gathering data on medication and counseling provided by pharmacists during the outbreak.  Colmers said the availability of antiviral drugs was of great interest during the swine flu outbreak.

Although the federal government released 25% of its stockpile of medications and supplies for a possible pandemic, Colmers said, “We don’t understand the supply side.” He said a policy is needed to obtain better information on what is available during an outbreak.

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New warnings added to prescribing information for cancer drug

BY Michael Johnsen

ROCKVILLE, Md. The Food and Drug Administration last week posted a notification to healthcare professionals around the safety profile of the cancer drug Tarceva to its MedWatch Web site.

Adverse events associated with the drug include gastrointestinal perforation (including fatalities), bullous, blistering and exfoliative skin conditions including cases suggestive of Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis, in some cases fatal, and ocular disorders, including corneal perforation or ulceration have been reported during use of Tarceva.

The new safety information comes from routine pharmacovigilance activities of clinical study and postmarketing reports, the FDA stated.

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Durex introduces new product to lubricants line

BY Michael Johnsen

ATLANTA Durex last week introduced a new product to their Play range of lubricants that adds a burst of flavor to the line.

The new Flavor Fusion personal lubricant from Durex Play combines two flavored lubricants in one package — pina colada and passion cherry.

The smooth gel lubricants are sugar free, smooth and non-sticky, clear and non-staining, water soluble and safe to use with condoms

Durex category research has found a high interest level among consumers in experimenting with flavored lubricants, as high as 62%.

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