PHARMACY

CVS Health makes MMR vaccine available across 2 Arizona counties

BY Michael Johnsen
WOONSOCKET, R.I. – As Arizona public health officials work to stop the spread of a measles outbreak, CVS Health is offering measles-mumps-rubella vaccine at more than 140 locations to people living in Maricopa and Pinal Counties, the areas exposed to confirmed cases of the illness, the company announced Friday. 
 
"Immunizations are an important part of preventive care and a critical way to prevent the spread of serious diseases, like measles," stated Andrew Sussman, EVP and associate chief medical officer of CVS Health, and president of MinuteClinic. "Our CVS pharmacists and MinuteClinic nurse practitioners are ready to provide measles vaccinations to people living in Maricopa and Pinal Counties, and can help ensure that patients stay up to date on vaccinations in the future."
 
Both CVS Pharmacy stores and MinuteClinic walk-in medical clinics in the area have vaccines available to protect patients against measles.
 
The MMR vaccine may be effective if given within the first three days after exposure to measles. It is important for anyone who has not been vaccinated to receive the MMR vaccine to ensure protection from future measles exposure.
 
Patients ages nine and older can receive the MMR vaccine at CVS Pharmacy locations. At MinuteClinic, nurse practitioners provide the recommended second vaccination to children 4-6 years old. 
 
The first dose, usually given at 12 months, is not available at CVS Pharmacy or MinuteClinic. 
 
People are considered immune to measles if they have received two MMR vaccines or were born before 1957 and have received one MMR vaccine. Pharmacy and medical clinic staff can assist patients in determining whether the vaccine is covered by their insurance plan.
 
Measles was declared eliminated from the U.S. in 2000 thanks to a highly effective vaccination program. Eliminated means that the disease is no longer constantly present in this country. However, measles is still common in many parts of the world, including some countries in Europe, Asia, the Pacific, and Africa. 
 
Worldwide, an estimated 20 million people get measles and 146,000 people, mostly children, die from the disease each year. Every year, measles is brought into the United States by unvaccinated travelers (Americans or foreign visitors) who get measles while they are in other countries. Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk.
 
 
 
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Mylan launches generic Cleocin

BY David Salazar
PITTSBURGH — Mylan on Friday launched its generic of Cleocin (clindamycin palmitate hydrochloride) solution. The drug is indicated to treat serious infections caused by susceptible anaerobic bacteria and susceptible strains of streptococci, pneumococci and staphylococci when less toxic alternatives aren’t appropriate. 
 
The product had U.S. sales of about $30.9 billion for the 12 months ended March 31, according to IMS Health. Mylan’s generic will be available as a 75 mg/5 mL oral solution. 
 
Today’s launch is the fifth for Mylan in a week, having earlier launched generics of Vidaza injection and Rythmol capsules, as well as the first generics of Nuvigil and 50-mg Doryx
 
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Ky. WellCare, Ky. Pharmacists Assn. team on naloxone access

BY David Salazar
TAMPA, Fla. and LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Two Kentucky health organizations have teamed up in an effort to provide naloxone to patients who need it. WellCare Kentucky — a subsidiary of WellCare Health Plans — is making 1,000 twist-on naloxone nasal atomizers available for free, and pharmacists will provide them to Medicaid recipients and patients who don’t have insurance without a prescription, to be given to parents, spouses, roommates or friends to administer in case of an emergency. 
 
“WellCare and the Kentucky Pharmacists Association are being proactive in helping people battle opioid addiction,” WellCare SVP, division president and Medicaid product Kelly Munson said. “We believe in educating toward prevention, assisting and treating when needed, and being ready in cases of emergency.”
 
The atomizers are foam cones that can twist onto the naloxone syringe and allows the drug to be delivered as a nasal spray rather than as an injection. Pharmacists began picking up the atomizers Friday in Louisville. Medicaid recipients and individuals without insurance who want to receive a take-home naloxone with an atomizer can check with their local pharmacy for availability, and those who don’t receive Medicaid benefits can check with their health insurer for information about how to get naloxone.
 
“It's important for family and friends of people struggling with opioid addiction, especially those who are recovering, to have access to naloxone in an easy-to-use application,” Kentucky Pharmacists Association president Chris Clifton said. “We are grateful to WellCare of Kentucky for their generous contribution, which absolutely can save lives.”
 
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