PHARMACY

New research finds link between insomnia, premature death

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK New research presented at Sleep 2009, the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, revealed that men with insonmnia or those who sleep less than six hours per night are at the highest risk of mortality. The mortality rate of the sample was 19.6% for men, versus 10.3% for women.

The study included data from 1,741 men and women who were randomly selected from central Pennsylvania. Participants were studied in a sleep laboratory; follow-ups were conducted over the course of 14 years for men and 10 years for women. “Insomnia” was defined by a complaint of insomnia, with duration of greater than a year, while “poor sleep” was defined as a complaint of difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep or early final awakening. Polysomnographic sleep duration was classified into two categories: people who slept greater than six hours, and those who slept for less than six hours.

“Based on clinical experience and pervious studies, we can speculate that medication and cognitive behavioral therapy, or a combination of the two, can be used to extend sleep duration and reduce the risk of mortality,” said study lead author Alexandros Vgontzas, MD.

Other studies also have found serious medical risks associated with insomnia and objective short sleep duration. Another study led by Vgontzas presented at Sleep 2009 found that insomnia with objective short sleep duration also is associated with increased risk of diabetes.

Authors of the study claimed that the findings indicated that people with insomnia should seek evaluation and treatment from their medical providers. Although the results suggested that people with insomnia have a lower risk for physical problems if their sleep duration is normal, they still are at increased risk for depression and may suffer from the behavioral effects of insomnia.

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PHARMACY

Target gives award to RelayHealth Pharmacy Solutions

BY Allison Cerra

ATLANTA Target has named RelayHealth Pharmacy Solutions a recipient of its 2008 “Partner Award of Excellence.” The award was recently presented to RelayHealth at the National Council for Prescription Drug Program’s Annual Conference in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Target annually recognizes vendor partners for their extraordinary passion for performance and dedication to the Target brand. RelayHealth Pharmacy Solutions earned the award by demonstrating innovative leadership, superior business practices and commitment to Target’s core strategies: differentiation, value and reliability. 

Notable areas of excellence were RelayHealth’s operational responsiveness and collaborative partnership in creating new services.

“We are proud to partner with [Target] to bring innovative solutions that enhance their operations and clinical services for their valued pharmacy patrons,” said Jeff Felton, president, RelayHealth Pharmacy Solutions. “This award is truly a tribute to the dedication of our entire team and recognizes our long-standing relationship.”

RelayHealth helps improve clinical and financial information management, patient safety and business performance. RelayHealth also provides network and claims processing connectivity services that add value and efficiency to more than 90% of the nation’s retail pharmacies.

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Vivus presents results of glucose-lowering investigational drug

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW ORLEANS An investigational drug for treating lowered blood sugar levels in obese patients who had not developed diabetes, according to results of a phase 3 trial presented Saturday at the American Diabetes Association’s 69th annual scientific sessions.

Drug maker Vivus said the trial of the drug Qnexa showed that while Qnexa lowered blood sugar, patients taking placebo experienced higher blood sugar after 28 weeks of treatment.

“Obesity is the leading cause of Type 2 diabetes,” lead investigator and Weill-Cornell University clinical professor Louis Aronne said in a statement. “Studies have shown that Type 2 diabetes can be treated effectively in most patients with significant weight loss.”

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