PHARMACY

Drugs to treat obesity might also treat some viruses, researchers say

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Researchers at Princeton University and the University of Rochester have found that obesity drugs may be able to treat several viral infections, they have reported.

Their study, published in the Sept. 28 issue of the journal Nature Biotechnology, found that stopping the body’s production of fatty acids using obesity drugs also prevents viruses from reproducing. Humans don’t need fatty acids, but viruses need them to develop the outer coatings that allow them to infect cells.

The researchers used the human cytomegalovirus, one of the herpes-related viruses that causes mononucleosis, but they said the drugs could be used to target more dangerous viruses such as HIV and hepatitis C because studies have linked both to increased fatty acid production.

 

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Albertsons begins $4.99 generic prescription drug program

BY Jenna Duncan

BOISE, Idaho Albertsons today announced the launch of Albertsons Rx-tra Savings prescription discount program. The membership-based program offers 30-day supplies of more than 500 generic prescription drugs for $4.99. Albertsons pharmacies are also discontinuing the “Meet or Beat” pricing program, the company said.

Generic drugs included in the program include treatments for asthma, depression, diabetes, heart disease and other health issues.

To join the program, members can pay a one-time $10 fee at the pharmacy to cover all members of the household. To launch the program, for a limited time Albertson’s is giving away $10 Albertsons gift certificates to those who sign up. 

Albertsons operates 250 units in Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, New Mexico and Texas.

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APhA encourages more patient-pharmacist communication

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON The American Pharmacists Association is urging customers to get to know their pharmacists for American Pharmacists Month, APhA said Wednesday.

“Pharmacists are on the frontlines of helping patients get the most out of their medications,” APhA chief executive officer and executive vice president John Gans said.

 

“As our population ages, and more people become dependent on medications than ever before, pharmacists will play an increasingly prevalent role on the healthcare team and in improving medication use and advancing patient care.”

An APhA survey has shown that almost 70 percent of consumers don’t know their pharmacists’ names, so during its campaign, the organization plans to “underscore the link between knowing your pharmacist and the safe and effective use of medications” and inform consumers of some of the patient-care services that pharmacists offer.

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