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Pharmacy Choice and Access Now pushes for passage of Pa. vaccination bill

BY Alaric DeArment

PITTSBURGH — A consumer group is urging the Pennsylvania state legislature to increase access to vaccines for children and teenagers.

Pharmacy Choice and Access Now said Wednesday it was encouraging the Pennsylvania General Assembly to support House Bill 776, which would pharmacists to help increase immunization rates among children ages 7 years and older, with parental consent. The bill, sponsored by Republican state Rep. Seth Grove, has received support from educators, healthcare professionals and students.

"Being vaccinated is critical to staying healthy at all ages," University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy dean Patricia Kroboth said. "Expanding pharmacists ability to administer vaccinations would be a big step toward correcting this and improving the health of people of the commonwealth. Pharmacists are trained and ready to help ensure that all school-age children and teenagers are properly vaccinated, and this legislation would give them the ‘go-ahead’ to fulfill that mission."

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends annual flu shots for everyone ages 6 months and older, and state law requires all children entering seventh grade to receive vaccinations against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, parents can face many obstacles when getting their children vaccinated. For example, annual visits to the doctor may not coincide with the need for a vaccine, and it may be difficult to get vaccinated in areas with physician shortages, while work schedules may make doctor appointments difficult to schedule. By contrast, pharmacies are usually open in evenings and on weekends and often offer vaccinations on a walk-in basis.

 

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Most patients with rheumatoid arthritis spend $1,000 out of pocket, even if they have insurance

BY Alaric DeArment

PHILADELPHIA — The results of a large survey of patients with rheumatoid arthritis have been published, the company that conducted the survey said Wednesday.

The RA in America 2013 survey included 1,055 respondents with RA at all four stages of the disease — ranging from mild to very severe — who reported symptoms like hand and wrist pain and swelling, general body stiffness, knee pain and fatigue. Such symptoms occurred most frequently in patients between 45 years and 54 years. Respondents reported using a wide range of pharmacologic and complementary and alternative therapies, and 59% report spending more than $1,000 per year out of pocket despite most having health insurance. Almost one-quarter of respondents report being on disability, and 24.6% report that the disease affects their personal relationships; 29.6% report effects on professional development; and 30.6% report effects on relationships with their children.

"We were very pleased at the level of participation we received with this survey," Health Union president Tim Armand said. "For the general public, the results shed light on what it’s like to live with RA, and the results will help RA patients themselves see how others live with and manage the disease."

 

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Hamacher Resource Group to talk front-end strategy to pharmacy students

BY Michael Johnsen

WAUKESHA, Wis. — Hamacher Resource Group on Wednesday announced it will present a session about pharmacy layout, design and merchandising principles on Sept. 3 to third-year students in the Pharmacy School at Concordia University, in Mequon, Wis. 

Tom Boyer, a 19-year veteran of the retail consumer healthcare industry, national account manager and co-owner at HRG, will present these topics to help students understand the importance and profit potential of the front-end of the pharmacy. Boyer’s presentation includes merchandising guidelines to create a shopping experience that both improves customer satisfaction and boosts front-of-store sales.

“The students can connect their practice/experiential training both behind the counter and in the front-end, to the tools and services that Tom describes in his presentation," suggested Dean Arneson, dean of the Pharmacy School. 

This is Boyer’s second year presenting the importance of front-of-store merchandising to the Concordia pharmacy students. He also has given similar sessions at other pharmacy schools across the country, urging future pharmacists to pay attention to their customers’ needs and design their front end to encourage a pleasant shopping experience.

 

 

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