HEALTH

Ross Valley Pharmacy develops medication management, diabetes counseling initiatives

BY Michael Johnsen

LARKSPUR, Calif. Ross Valley Pharmacy, an independent, locally owned pharmacy in Marin County, Calif., on Monday announced the availability of personalized medication management and diabetes counseling programs.

The MM program is designed to help local residents understand and reduce risk and side effects associated with taking multiple prescription and nonprescription drugs, supplements and vitamins.

Ross Valley Pharmacy’s counseling programs offer consumers the ability to create a profile that captures key information such as prescription and non-prescription drugs, vitamins, supplements, blood glucose levels, medical conditions, symptoms, height, weight and food by entering information on a customized version of TheCarrot.com’s popular, easy-to-use online platform. Once consumers, their family or caregivers enter the requested information, Ross Valley Pharmacy will assess the medication and/or diabetes profile and will schedule a one-on-one counseling session to educate and provide guidance on how to improve health outcomes. Patients with diabetes will be scheduled to see a Certified Diabetes Educator who evaluates blood glucose levels, medications and diet, the independent pharmacy stated.

“Many people often leave their doctor’s office not understanding why or how they should take prescribed medications,” stated Paul Lofholm, president of Ross Valley Pharmacy. “They look to a pharmacist to fill in communication gaps, but unfortunately, a pharmacist often doesn’t have all the information needed to provide comprehensive patient counseling. For example, at least 25% of medications consumed are over-the-counter drugs … these drugs, alone or when combined with other medications, vitamins and supplements, can produce harmful side effects. Our goals are to evaluate the aggregate effects of all the drugs an individual takes, educate consumers to better manage their health and arm them with the knowledge they need to ask their physicians the right questions.”

Examples of commonly unrecognized medication problems/issues include:

  • The decongestant pseudoephedrine can raise blood pressure;
  • There is an increased risk of liver damage when taking acetaminophen with Vicodin or Percocet;
  • Combining non-prescription Prilosec with such similar prescription stomach acid reducers as Aciphex or Protonix limits absorption of other medications and can lead to anemia;
  • Anti-depressants can trigger poor balance and falls;
  • People with epilepsy need to eat proteins because seizure-controlling drugs must bind to protein to work effectively;
  • Beta blockers, used to control blood pressure, can lower blood sugar;
  • Grapefruit juice slows the body’s ability to metabolize cholesterol-lowering Lipitor, leading to elevated blood levels of the drug; and
  • Calcium supplements halve the effectiveness of thyroid medications.

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HHS purchases 195 million doses of H1N1 vaccine

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Nearly 200 million doses of vaccine for novel A(H1N1) influenza could become available by this fall, according to published reports.

Reuters quoted a Department of Health and Human Services official as saying that the government had bought 195 million doses of vaccine. The U.S. population is approximately 300 million.

Since the flu strain appeared earlier this year, the World Health Organization has declared it a pandemic. Many health experts fear that if left unchecked, it could spark a devastating pandemic reminiscent of the 1918 Spanish flu, though that flu caused millions of deaths worldwide in part due to lack of medical technologies such as antiviral drugs.

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Diabetes educators get first taste of Nevella with Probiotics

BY Allison Cerra

INDIANAPOLIS Designed to boost the immune system and promote health, probiotics are gaining popularity at the grocery, and Nevella with Probiotics, made by Heartland Sweeteners, is the first and only such sweetener currently on the market. Diabetes educators will get an early preview of Nevella with Probiotics at their annual conference in Atlanta in early August, immediately prior to widespread availability across the country.

“We wanted to give the American Association of Diabetes Educators a first look at Nevella with Probiotics, since people with diabetes know the importance of maintaining a healthy weight and controlling blood sugar, and no-calorie sweeteners can help with that,” said Mike Servie, president Heartland Sweeteners. “Probiotics also show promise for enhancing the immune system, which is important for those with Type 1 diabetes.”

Unlike other foods enhanced with probiotics, the GanedenBC30 probiotic used in Nevella is shelf stable, and survives the digestive process to arrive in your gut where you need it. A single sachet of Nevella with Probiotics delivers greater efficacy than most other probiotics, including a cup of yogurt. Ganeden BC30 withstands baking temperatures better than other probiotics, so now consumers can add probiotic benefits to their favorite baked goods.

Nevella with Probiotics is available in 50-count, 100-count and 200-count packets, as well as 9.7-ounce recloseable bags perfect for baking. Major retailers such as Food Lion, A&P, Bi-Lo, HEB, Piggly Wiggly, Meijer and Dollar General will stock the sweetener beginning in late August.

KelloggsDRSNhttp://www.centerstoregrowth.com

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