PHARMACY

Hearing loss may result from diabetes

BY Drew Buono

WASHINGTON According to a new study, hearing loss may be a complication from diabetes, after the researchers found hearing loss to be about twice as common in people with the chronic disease as those who do not have diabetes, as reported by Reuters. Diabetes may cause hearing loss by damaging the nerves and blood vessels of the inner ear, according to the researchers.

The researchers analyzed data from 5,140 adults age 20 to 69 who were given hearing tests. Low- or mid-frequency hearing impairment of mild or greater severity was detected in 21 percent of the 399 people with diabetes and 9 percent of the 4,741 who did not have it. High-frequency hearing impairment of mild or greater severity was present in 54 percent of those with diabetes compared with 32 percent of those without it, the study found.

The differences in hearing between diabetics and non-diabetics occurred among both men and women and in all racial and ethnic groups, education levels and income levels, the researchers said.

“Hearing loss may be an under-recognized complication of diabetes. As diabetes becomes more common, the disease may become a more significant contributor to hearing loss,” researcher Catherine Cowie of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, said in a statement.

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California information-sharing bill struck down by Assembly

BY Drew Buono

LOS ANGELES A California bill aimed at sharing people’s prescription medication information with mass mailers did not receive a single vote of support in the Assembly Health Committee after being approved by the Senate on May 29, according to the Los Angeles Times. The bill, SB 1096, was written by Sen. Ron Calderon, D-Montebello, who will most likely not reintroduce it, even though he reserved the right to do so.

In presenting the legislation Tuesday, Calderon described it as a boon to consumers, especially those with chronic medical conditions. He said it would allow drugstores to send letters to people reminding them to take their medication or refill a prescription.

The problem with the bill, besides the fact that the patients did not want their prescription medical history shared with someone other than their doctor, is that the bill did not state who would be paying for the reminder letters and which patients would receive them.

According to the Times, it appeared that pharmaceutical companies were behind the funding in an effort to bring in more money on their respective medicines. Also, another provision stated that people who wanted to not be on the mailers would have to opt-out of the program, instead of opting into the program by stating that they would be okay with their information shared.

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CCPA: track-and-trace mandate could cost pharmacies $110,000 per store

BY Alaric DeArment

ALEXANDRIA, Va. Implementing a track-and-trace system would cost drug store chains $84,000 to $110,000 or more per store in the first year, according to a study that examined the safety of the prescription drug supply chain and the potential effects of a federally mandated system.

The study, released by the Coalition of Community Pharmacy Action, examined the safety of the prescription drug supply chain and the potential effects of a federally mandated track-and-trace system. It also found that existing security measures since 2005, including changes in state laws and steps the chains themselves have taken, have already cut the risk of counterfeit drugs entering the supply chain. The study found no cases of counterfeit drugs in the normal distribution channels since 2005, and most of the problems were from Web sites distributing drugs illegally.

The cost estimate was based on costs of computer hardware software, infrastructure, labor and other resources.

The CCPA is comprised of the National Community Pharmacists Association and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores.

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