HEALTH

GPhA joins the Partnership for Safe Medicines

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON The lobby for the generic drug industry is joining the fight against counterfeit drugs.

The Generic Pharmaceutical Association announced Tuesday that it had joined the Partnership for Safe Medicines, which works to protect the global prescription drug supply chain from counterfeit and contraband drugs.

“GPhA and its member companies are committed to medicines of the highest quality, safety and effectiveness,” a statement by GPhA read. “We are pleased to add our voice to those of PSM members working to inform consumers, healthcare professionals and policy-makers about the dangers of counterfeit medicines.”

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Type 2 diagnoses propel diabetes epidemic

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON —Diabetes quickly has grown into one of the top disease epidemics in the United States, with the American Diabetes Association estimating it to affect close to 24 million Americans. Growth mostly has occurred among those with Type 2 diabetes.

A report by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality helped show what the epidemic looks like on the ground. According to the report, released last month, there were more than 7.7 million hospital stays for patients with diabetes in 2008, resulting in $83 billion in hospital costs, or 23% of total hospital costs.

Class and geography had a lot to do with hospitalization rates, according to the report. When broken down by ZIP code, rates were higher in low-income areas than in high-income areas, with 3,232 hospitalizations per 100,000 people in the lowest-income areas, compared with 1,762 per 100,000 people in those areas with the highest incomes.

Among U.S. regions, the South had the highest rates, with 2,829 per 100,000 people hospitalized, while the West had the lowest, with 1,866 per 100,000 hospitalized. Not surprisingly, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the South and West also have the highest and lowest rates of obesity, respectively, a major factor in the rise of Type 2 diabetes. Eight-of-the-9 states with obesity rates more than 30% as of 2009 are in the South, while 9-of-the-17 states with rates less than 25% are in the West, including Colorado, the only state in which fewer than 20% of residents are obese.

Top 10 most common principal reasons for hospitalization among patients with diabetes in 2008

*Based on all-listed diagnoses; includes % of total hospitalizations for patients with diabetes†Based on records with diabetes as a secondary diagnosis (e.g., for hospitalizations with a principal diagnosis of congestive heart failure, 41.6% have diabetes as a coexisting condition) Source: AHRQ, Center for Delivery, Organization and Markets, Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, Nationwide Inpatient Sample, 2008
RANK PRINCIPAL DIAGNOSIS #OF HOSPITAL STAYS AMONG PATIENTS WITH DIABETES* %OF HOSPITAL STAYS WITH DIABETES AS A COEXISTING CONDITION†
1 Diabetes 519,522 (6.7%) NA
2 Congestive heart failure (nonhypertensive) 424,147 (5.5%) 41.6%
3 Coronary atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) 346,054 (4.5%) 37.7
4 Pneumonia 290,709 (3.8%) 25.1
5 Septicemia 224,842 (2.9%) 28.4
6 Acute myocardial infarction (heart attack) 220,760 (2.9%) 34.2
7 Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and bronchiectasis 219,743 (2.8%) 30.7
8 Nonspecific chest pain 212,706 (2.8%) 29.3
9 Cardiac dysrhythmias 196,293 (2.5%) 24.6
10 Complication of device, implant or graft 194,516 (2.5%) 28.4

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‘C’-ing that scars go away

BY DSN STAFF

GUILFORD, Conn. —Mitchell-Vance Labs is in the process of launching a new scar product to add to its ScarAway offering that could appeal to a whole new consumer in search of scar therapy—ScarAway for C-sections.

The therapy may have direct appeal to 1-in-4 new mothers, which is the number of women who give birth by Cesarean section in the United States. According to the March of Dimes, the national weighted average of C-section births is 25.2%, but the percentage of C-sections performed climbs higher than 30% in three states—Mississippi (31.1%), New Jersey (30.9%) and Louisiana (30.4%).

The product features an extended-length, medical-grade silicon scar sheet ideal for placement over C-section cuts.

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