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Progress report: Transatlantic Taskforce on Antimicrobial Resistance has adopted 17 recommendations

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the European Commission on Tuesday released the first progress report of the Transatlantic Taskforce on Antimicrobial Resistance. The report renews the commitment of U.S. and European Union health authorities to pursue specific goals in their joint battle against antimicrobial resistance.  

“The partnership offers a unique perspective to tackle antimicrobial resistance worldwide,” said Jimmy Kolker, HHS assistant secretary for global affairs.  “We hope that the positive outcomes of this partnership will serve as a global model as we continue to work on this critical issue.”

TATFAR identified and adopted 17 recommendations for collaborations between the United and the European Union. Implementation of the recommendations has been carried out through increased communication, regular meetings, joint workshops and the exchange of information, approaches and best practices.  Moving forward, one new and 15 existing recommendations will serve as the basis for partner agencies in the United States and the European Union to focus on areas where common actions can deliver the best results in prevention and control of antimicrobial resistance. 

“Antimicrobial resistance is a priority of the European Commission, and international cooperation is key in addressing this serious cross border and global health threat. I am positive that our renewed commitment to TATFAR can make a tangible contribution in the area of global health security,” said John Ryan, acting director for Public Health in the European Commission.

TATFAR was created following the 2009 United States-European Union presidential summit with the goal of improving cooperation between the United States and the European Union in three key areas: appropriate therapeutic use of antimicrobial drugs in medical and veterinary communities, prevention of healthcare- and community-associated drug-resistant infections and strategies for improving the pipeline of new antimicrobial drugs. In 2013 it was decided to renew TATFAR for another two-year term.

The full report is available at CDC.gov/drugresistance/tatfar/report.html.

 

 

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Innovative Products touts head lice prevention during summer months

BY Michael Johnsen

EAST MEADOW, N.Y. — Innovative Products on Tuesday showcased its Gotcha Covered preventive solution for head lice. Gotcha Covered offers a non-toxic range of lice prevention products for parents who are concerned about preventing an infestation of lice in their children’s hair. 

“Lice know no geographical boundaries, and we know that parents everywhere need to feel confident their children will be free of head lice all year-round at both school and camp,” the company said. “The issue tends to get more attention during the school year; however, parents should remain diligent during the summer months, as kids are swapping baseball caps, sporting equipment and are more closely interacting during the summer.” 

Gotcha Covered offers a shampoo, conditioner, leave-in detangler, styling gel and a surface spray. The suggested retail price is $9.99.  

Gotcha Covered is now available online at drugstore.com and Walgreens.com, the company announced, and also is available online at HBAProducts.com, as well as at Dexter Pharmacy, Ehrhardt Pharmacy, HomeTown Pharmacy, People’s Pharmacy and Value Drugs.

 

 

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CDC: Half of all Americans take one or more prescription medications

BY Michael Johnsen

ATLANTA — About half of all Americans reported taking one or more prescription drugs in the past 30 days during 2007-2010, and 1-in-10 took five or more, according to "Health, United States, 2013," the government’s annual, comprehensive report on the nation’s health that was released Wednesday. Use increased with age: 1-in-4 children took one or more prescription drugs in the past 30 days compared to 9-in-10 adults aged 65 years and older.

The annual growth in spending on retail prescription drugs slowed from 14.7% in 2001 to 2.9% in 2011.

Cardiovascular agents — used to treat high blood pressure, heart disease or kidney disease — and cholesterol-lowering drugs were two of the most commonly used classes of prescription drugs among adults aged 18 years to 64 years and 65 years and older from 2007 to 2010. Nearly 18% of adults ages 18 years to 64 years took at least one cardiovascular agent in the past 30 days. Among adults ages 65 years and older, 70.2% took at least one cardiovascular agent and 46.7% took a cholesterol-lowering drug in the past 30 days from 2007 to 2010. The use of cholesterol-lowering drugs in this age group has increased more than seven-fold since 1988 to 1994.

The use of cholesterol-lowering drugs among those ages 18 years to 64 years has increased more than six-fold since 1988 through 1994, due in part to the introduction and acceptance of statin drugs to lower cholesterol. Other commonly used prescription drugs among adults ages 18 years to 64 years were analgesics to relieve pain and antidepressants. The use of antidepressants among adults ages 18 years and older increased more than four-fold, from 2.4% to 10.8% between 1988 to 1994 and 2007 to 2010. 

Other commonly used prescription drugs among those ages 65 years and older included analgesics, blood thinners and diabetes medications.

The prescribing of antibiotics during medical visits for cold symptoms declined 39% between 1995 to 1996 and 2009 to 2010. 

Drug poisoning deaths involving opioid analgesics among those ages 15 years and older more than tripled in the past decade, from 1.9 deaths per 100,000 population in 1999 to 2000 to 6.6 in 2009 to 2010.

In 2012, adults ages 18 years to 64 years who were uninsured for all or part of the past year were more than four times as likely to report not getting needed prescription drugs due to cost as adults who were insured for the whole year (22.4% compared to 5%). 

This is the 37th annual report prepared for the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics. 

"Health, United States, 2013" features 135 tables on key health measures through 2012 from a number of sources within the federal government and in the private sector. The tables cover a range of topics, including birth rates and reproductive health, life expectancy and leading causes of death, health risk behaviors, healthcare utilization, and insurance coverage and health expenditures.  

The full report is available at CDC.gov/nchs.

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