HEALTH

CPhA responds to Attorney General Brown’s characterization of pharmacists as ”drug dealers”

BY Michael Johnsen

SACRAMENTO, Calif. In a press release issued Tuesday, the California Pharmacists Association took exception to an inflammatory reference made by Attorney General Jerry Brown that likened behind-the-bench pharmacists to street corner drug dealers, calling for the Attorney General’s office to issue a retraction.

“It is highly inappropriate for the Attorney General to make such a comparison when pharmacists are on the front lines of health care, protecting patients every day,” stated Lynn Rolston, CPhA CEO.  “Pharmacists have been found to have one of the highest levels of public trust. The Attorney General’s attempt to the discredit the profession by publicly disparaging pharmacists is insulting and without merit.”

Brown made the remark March 13, during a press conference regarding arrests made in the investigation of Anna Nicole Smith’s death. “Somebody died here,” Brown said, referring to Smith’s 2007 death of an overdose at the age of 39. “People think those drug dealers on the street corner are the only threat. People in white smocks in pharmacies and with their medical degrees are a growing threat.”

According to a press release issued by the Attorney General’s office last Friday, “the appropriate prescribing and dispensing practices of licensed doctors and pharmacies is under investigation.”

“CPhA is fully supportive of the AG’s goal of tackling illegal prescribing and abuse by patients through the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System,” Rolston said.

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Hyland’s Borneman receives honorary degree from University of Sciences in Philadelphia

BY Allison Cerra

KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. The University of Sciences in Philadelphia recently awarded an honorary doctorate of science degree to Hyland’s Jack Borneman, III, Hyland’s announced Tuesday.

The honor was granted at the University’s 188th Founders’ Day celebration and is in recognition of Borneman’s lifetime commitment to the development and regulation of homeopathic medicine within the United States.

“We are very proud to have Jack Borneman as a member of our team,” stated Jack’s son J.P. Borneman, chairman and CEO, Hyland’s. “We are especially pleased to have University of the Sciences honor his lifetime of work with this honorary degree. His work in homeopathic medicine has been passionate and ceaseless. As this industry grows, we know we owe a tremendous sense of gratitude to [Jack] and his contemporaries for all they have done and continue to do.”

University president Philip Gerbino addressed Borneman’s leadership in the healthcare industry, stating that, “[He] has been at the forefront of standards and change for homeopathy, creating a foundation from which future generations of homeopaths can continue to build upon.”

In 1980, Jack Borneman was a founding director of the newly incorporated Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia Convention of the United States, and in 1983, he was elected the second president of the organization.

In the course of his 25 years as president, his leadership evolved HPCUS into a respected international body of scientists and experts consulted by governments worldwide as the leader in homeopathic regulation. His work has led to the wide availability of standardized, high-quality medications to the general public. In August 2008, Borneman assumed the role of HPCUS chairman.

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Study: Energy drinks boost blood pressure, heart rate

BY Michael Johnsen

DETROIT People who have high blood pressure or heart disease should avoid consuming energy drinks, according to a Henry Ford Hospital study released Tuesday.

Researchers found that healthy adults who drank two cans per day of a popular energy drink experienced an increase in their blood pressure and heart rate.

No significant changes in EKG measurements were reported.

The increases in blood pressure and heart rate were insignificant for healthy adults, but could prove harmful to people with a heart-related condition, concluded James Kalus, senior manager of Patient Care Services at Henry Ford Hospital and lead author of the study.

“Based on our findings, we recommend that people who have hypertension or heart disease and are taking medication for them to avoid consuming energy drinks because of a potential risk to their health,” Kalus said.

Researchers believe the caffeine and taurine levels in energy drinks could be responsible for increases in blood pressure and heart rate. The brand of energy drink used in the study was not identified because most energy drinks on the market boast similar levels of caffeine and taurine, a non-essential amino acid derivative often found in meat and fish. The caffeine levels in energy drinks are equivalent to at least one to two cups of coffee, the researchers noted.

The study is slated for publication in The Annals of Pharmacotherapy.

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