Pharmacy ideal for proactive health interventions
A smoking cessation program developed by the University of California San Francisco School of Pharmacy will be deployed through Safeway pharmacies, the university announced. As part of the program, Safeway pharmacists will receive special training in counseling techniques.
It’s one of the first partnerships of its kind and another example of how community pharmacy will be stepping into a more preventive healthcare role. You can expect to see more types of these smoking cessation programs along with other proactive health interventions tackling weight loss and encouraging healthier behaviors.
That’s not a hard prediction to make — pharmacists are the most accessible healthcare provider out there. And the environment in which they operate is not only similarly easy to access but also can be loaded with technology-driven interactive tools.
Health kiosk developer SoloHealth recently partnered with the William J. Clinton Foundation’s 2013 Clinton Health Matters Initiative on building and distributing a tobacco-cessation education module across its SoloHealth Station kiosks, which should number 4,000 by the end of the year.
The next preventive health arena where pharmacists can play an increasingly important role is weight loss. Remember, it wasn’t too long ago there was an initiative featuring a retailer/health insurer partnership that worked toward encouraging healthier food shopping behaviors.
First, this will be an active area because tackling weight loss as a preventive healthcare initiative will deliver a greater disease-prevention yield. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, obesity is not only tied to increased morbidity, but also an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, some cancers, diabetes, osteoarthritis and disability.
Second, there are a lot of Americans who are considered obese, and a disease-prevention program operating out of a convenient pharmacy setting will reach more people. Between 1988–1994 and 2009–2010, the prevalence of obesity among preschool-age children 2–5 years of age increased from 7% to 12%, NCHS noted. And the prevalence of obesity among school-age children and adolescents increased from 11% to 18%, respectively.
From 1988–1994 and through 2007–2010, the percentage of adults 20 years of age and over with grade 1 obesity (a body mass index between 30 and 34.9) increased from 14% to 20%. Those with grade 2 obesity (BMI of 35–39.9) nearly doubled, from 5% to 9%, and those with grade 3 or higher obesity (BMI of 40 or higher) rose from 3% to 6%.
W.Va. senators, representative introduce prescription drug abuse bill
WASHINGTON — Two Democrats from West Virginia are sponsoring legislation in the House and Senate to combat prescription drug abuse.
Sen. Jay Rockefeller announced that he and Rep. Nick Rahall had introduced the bills, both called the Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, due to a dramatic increase in deaths and overdoses from prescription drugs in their state; the two originally introduced the bills in 2011, and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., also is cosponsoring the new bill. Rockefeller said West Virginia has one of the highest rates of drug overdose deaths in the country, and 90% of drug-related deaths result from misuse and abuse of prescription drugs, particularly opioid painkillers.
With 22 million people abusing painkillers since 2002, prescription drugs are second only to marijuana among the most widely abused drugs, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
"I’ve reached out to West Virginians — healthcare providers, schools, pharmacists — asking for new ideas on how to reduce prescription drug abuse," Rockefeller said. "This legislation reflects that real, on-the-ground feedback from West Virginia."
The bills include new training requirements for healthcare professionals before they can be licensed to prescribe these drugs; consumer education on the safe use of painkillers and preventing diversion and abuse; basic clinical standards for safe use and dosage of pain drugs; increased federal support for state prescription drug monitoring programs; and comprehensive reporting of opioid-related deaths to help guide solutions.
FDA approves Teva ADHD drug
JERUSALEM — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a generic drug for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder made by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, the Israeli generic drug maker said.
Teva announced the approval of dextroamphetamine and amphetamine extended-release capsules, a generic version of Shire’s Adderall XR, in the 5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg, 25 mg and 30 mg strengths. Teva sells a generic version of Adderall XR under a 2006 license and distribution agreement with Shire as part of a settlement of a patent lawsuit that Shire filed against Teva subsidiary Barr Pharmaceuticals. Teva has the right to be supplied the product by Shire until April 2014.
Generic and branded versions of the drug had sales of about $2 billion in 2012, according to IMS Health.