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Legislative battle brews in Arizona over pharmacy-based immunizations

BY Jim Frederick

TEMPE, Ariz. The Arizona Pharmacy Alliance is reportedly ruffling the feathers of physicians in the state with a new effort to overturn legal restrictions on the administering of immunizations by pharmacists.

A report from Capitol Media Services points to a turf battle percolating in the Arizona state legislature between the Pharmacy Alliance and a physicians’ group, the Arizona Academy of Family Physicians. The battle is over HB 2164, which would change state law to make it easier for patients to get flu shots without a doctor’s prescription.

“This new proposed legislation will expand the pharmacists’ scope of practice to allow pharmacists in Arizona to administer vaccines…to patients 18 years or age and older using board-approved protocols,” the pharmacy group noted in a statement.

It’s a question of easing patient access to needed medical services, the Pharmacy Alliance argues. Pharmacists in the state can already administer some types of vaccinations and acute-care medications, provided they have a doctor’s signed authorization. The new bill, which has already been passed through the Arizona House Committee on Health and Human Services with the backing of the Arizona Retailers Association, would eliminate the requirement for a prescription.

As written, however, HB 2164 would still require pharmacists to notify a patient’s doctor within 24 hours of administering a flu shot or other vaccine, according to the Capitol Media Services report.

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Study: 13% of Americans aged 20 and over have diabetes

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Almost 13% of Americans aged 20 and older have diabetes, according to a new study.

Of those, 40% have been diagnosed, which is more than previous studies indicated, but the number of undiagnosed patients has remained flat, according to the study, published in the February issue of Diabetes Care.

The study was based on a national survey of more than 7,000 patients aged 12 and older interviewed between 2005 and 2006. The researchers compared the data to data gathered between 1988 an 1994.

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CVS/pharmacy holds 2nd annual ‘For All the Ways You Care’ contest

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS/pharmacy has announced that it is holding its second annual “For All the Ways You Care” contest created as a way to celebrate and honor caregivers nationwide.

“CVS/pharmacy is committed to caring for women and those they care for. We are pleased to see the For All the Ways You Care community continues to grow as people exchange stories and discuss all aspects of caregiving,” stated Rob Price, SVP, marketing and advertising for CVS/pharmacy. “Thousands of stories have been shared on ForAllTheWaysYouCare.com since it launched last year, and we continue to be truly amazed by the selfless devotion demonstrated by so many caregivers.”

The site is a growing community that serves as forum for people to share a story about someone who has touched their life or how they personally have touched another’s.

For the stories submitted between Oct. 5, 2008 and March 1, 2009, CVS/pharmacy and a panel of judges will select a group of finalists and ultimately a grand-prize winner whose stories best represent a nurturing spirit and dedication to others. The finalists will be honored for their inspirational stories at a luncheon and luxury weekend in New York City in May. In addition, nine finalists will each receive $10,000 and the grand-prize winner will receive $25,000 from CVS/pharmacy.

Panelists include Lee Woodruff, author and wife of ABC News correspondent Bob Woodruff; Dr. Roseanna Means, founder of Women of Means, a program of volunteer doctors who provide free medical care to homeless women and children; Tina Sharkey, BabyCenter chairman and global president; and Rosemary Ellis, Good Housekeeping editor-in-chief. Panelists will post their own personal caregiving stories on the Web site.

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