PHARMACY

CVS study shows flu shots can help reduce hospital stays

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. Influenza vaccinations can help reduce the risk of hospitalization in patients with chronic conditions, according to a study by CVS Caremark being presented today at the annual meeting of DMAA: The Care Continuum Alliance in Hollywood, Fla.

The yearlong study, which evaluated 19,908 participants enrolled in a common chronic disease management program, monitored the impact of influenza vaccination on subsequent hospitalization rates for all participants. The results indicated that for chronic disease patients who received the influenza vaccine there was a 19 percent reduction in hospitalization for all causes and a 24 percent reduction in flu and pneumonia-related hospitalizations.

“This data furthers our understanding of the positive impact of influenza vaccinations,” stated Marsha Moore, senior vice president of medical affairs for CVS Caremark. “The results are an example of how our Proactive Pharmacy approach can help patients dealing with chronic conditions benefit from the positive impact of an annual influenza vaccination and can be an important tool for communicating the need for flu vaccine in this patient population.”

Influenza vaccination is one of the universal recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for a specific cohort of patients of all ages, including those with chronic disease, as well as elderly and pediatric patients.

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PHARMACY

King announces acquisition of Alpharma

BY Alaric DeArment

BRISTOL, Tenn. King Pharmaceuticals will acquire Alpharma in a deal worth $1.6 billion, King said Monday.

Alpharma had rejected a $33-per-share bid King made earlier, but accepted the most recent $37-per-share bid.

Alpharma, based in Bridgewater, N.J., has lately sought regulatory approval for painkillers designed to thwart abuse, such as Remoxy, a liquid capsule-based formulation of oxycodone.

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Viagra under investigation for effect on athletes

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK The World Anti-Doping Agency is investigating whether the drug Viagra gives athletes a competitive advantage on the playing field.

The drug, known generically as sildenafil citrate and made by Pfizer, works by opening the blood vessels. According to published reports, some experts have said this could give athletes more endurance by increasing the bloodstreams ability to deliver oxygen.

If studies indicate that Viagra does give athletes an advantage, WADA will consider listing it as a performance-enhancing drug.

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