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Pharmacy groups brief Congress on health, cost benefits of MTM

BY Jim Frederick

WASHINGTON Extending a long campaign to educate federal lawmakers on the value of pharmacy-based patient care services, three pharmacy groups Tuesday briefed members of Congress on the benefits of pharmacist-provided medication therapy management.

Hosting the briefing: the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, the National Community Pharmacists Association and the Iowa Pharmacy Association. The event was moderated by Edith Rosath, SVP pharmacy affairs and chief economist at NACDS, and included participants from the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy, Mirixa and the University of Iowa. Rep. Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa, also addressed the informational briefing.

The briefing panel discussed patient-care benefits of MTM, the practical impact on providing healthcare to rural and underserved populations, and the cost-saving potential for inclusion within comprehensive healthcare reform legislation.

“As the face of neighborhood healthcare, pharmacists are medication experts, and are uniquely in tune with their patients’ medication needs and requirements,” said NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson. “Pharmacist-provided medication therapy management enhances the pharmacist-patient relationship, improves communication and dialogue, encourages proper patient adherence to medication regimes, and provides unique and individual healthcare services, especially to those patients who suffer from chronic disease.”

Anderson thanked lawmakers “for listening to the nation’s medication experts at today’s informational briefing,” and cited the benefits of MTM and other pharmacy services. Those innovations, he told members of Congress, “have the ability to transform the healthcare delivery system in America and improve individual health care, encourage a healthier population while also reducing overall costs.”

NCPA EVP and CEO Bruce Roberts also addressed the gathering, admonishing lawmakers that pharmacists “are much more than the purveyors of a commodity. They offer a wide array of services that can maximize the benefits of medications for patients.

“That’s why we strongly support medication therapy management and believe those efforts can be buttressed through the legislative process,” Roberts added. He praised Rep. Loebsack, in particular, for his efforts to expand MTM services.

“Now more than ever, as we discuss healthcare reform and improving medication adherence, embracing pharmacist-provided MTM is a no-brainer,” Roberts noted.

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The Swan Princess 2 set to release this August

BY Anna Mcgrath

CULVER CITY, Calif. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment announced a sequel to the family-friendly movie, “The Swan Princess,” which will be available in DVD format Aug. 18.

“The Swan Princess 2: The Secret of the Castle,” continues the love story from its original with the reunion of Princess Odette and Prince Derek with their old friends Jean-Bob (the frog), Speed (the turtle) and Puffin (the bird) as they attempt to recover the Magic Orb from the evil Clavius. 

Suggested retail price is $14.94 and rated G.

Also available from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment are “The Swan Princess Special Edition” and “The Swan Princess: The Mystery of the Enchanted Kingdom,” both in sparkling princess packaging.

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Colorectal cancer rates increasing in young adults

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK Despite overall declining rates of colorectal cancer in the United States, recent studies show that the number of adults with colorectal cancer younger than 50 years old is increasing.

Rising obesity rates and changes in diet, including a higher intake of fast food and red meat, are said to be possible causes for the increase. According to a study posted in the June 2009 issue of Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention, further evidence is needed to confirm causes for the trend and to determine possible prevention and early detection strategies.

Since the mid 1980s, colorectal cancer rates in individuals 50 years and older have been decreasing, most prominently in recent years thanks to a rise in routine cancer screenings. The colorectal cancer rate has declined by 2.8% amongst men and 2.2% amongst women annually.

On the contrary, the rate of colorectal cancer found in individuals 50 years and younger, who do not generally go for routine screenings, is increasing. A study led by Rebecca Siegel at the American Cancer Society looked at data from 1992 to 2005 involving individuals 20 to 49 and found that incidence rates of colorectal cancer increased 1.5% per year in men and 1.6% per year in women. Young adults ages 20 to 29 years were found to face the most substantial increase in colorectal cancer.

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