PHARMACY

HHS, DHS release pandemic vaccination guidelines

BY Drew Buono

WASHINGTON The homeland security and health and human services departments have released guidelines for allocating and targeting a pandemic influenza vaccine, they announced Wednesday.

The guidelines are meant to help community, local, state and Native American tribal leaders use vaccines to reduce the effects of a flu pandemic on public health and minimize social and economic disruptions.

“This guidance is the result of a deliberative democratic process,” HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt said. “All interested parties took part in the dialogue.”

HHS, in preparation for the guidelines, held a series of meetings throughout the country, at which it was determined that four concerns were universal:

  • Protect persons critical to the pandemic response and who provide care for persons with pandemic illness
  • Protect persons who provide essential community services
  • Protect persons who are at high risk of infection because of their occupation and
  • Protect children 

Some experts fear that a deadly flu strain, such as the H5N1 strain of avian influenza, could mutate into a form easily passed between humans and cause a global pandemic.

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PHARMACY

Expert panel recommends lifestyle changes for pre-diabetics

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK A panel of experts from the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists has recommended two approaches for treating patients with pre-diabetes.

In a statement released Wednesday morning, the panel recommended significant management of lifestyle to prevent the onset of diabetes. It also recommended preventing cardiovascular complications from developing.

Pre-diabetes is a condition in which patients have high levels of glucose or low tolerance to sugar, but don’t have high enough levels to be diabetic. The condition puts patients at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Pre-diabetes affects 56 million Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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SF pharmacy tobacco ban up for vote

BY Alaric DeArment

SAN FRANCISCO A San Francisco Board of Supervisors committee sent a proposed amendment to the city’s health code that would ban tobacco sales at pharmacies to the full board Thursday for a vote.

After the City Operations and Neighborhood Services Committee heard testimony from city government officials, industry representatives, anti-tobacco activists and pharmacy workers, Supervisor Carmen Chu, who chairs the committee, allowed it to go forward.

Proponents of the amendment say that pharmacies send a mixed message by selling cigarettes and medicines. Opponents call the proposed ban unfair because it exempts supermarkets and big-box stores that operate pharmacies.

The Board of Supervisors, the legislative body for the consolidated city and county of San Francisco, will vote on the amendment Tuesday.

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