HEALTH

SDI: Antiviral prescriptions on the rise

BY Michael Johnsen

PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa. According to SDI’s Vector One: National, antiviral prescriptions rose dramatically last week to more than 648,000, an increase of more than 73% in the past two weeks, Surveillance Data reported Wednesday.

Antiviral prescriptions have climbed each week since the week ending Aug. 21, but the increases in the past two weeks have been significant. More than 640,000 prescriptions were filled for Tamiflu in the week ending Oct. 23, up more than 28% from just over 502,000 the week before.

At 648,000, the volume of antiviral prescriptions last week was higher than at any point last season, and approximately 40% higher than the most active antiviral prescription week during the spring pandemic wave: 271,169 in the week ended May 1.

“While there is always variability in flu activity each year, including antiviral prescription trends, this year we are well above prescription volumes we’ve seen in years past and significantly higher than any October on record,” stated Laurel Edelman, SDI’s VP clinical accounts. “This trend is also being seen in our weekly local tracking and consolidation of electronic healthcare claims, where we’ve seen submissions, representing physician office visits for influenza, increase an average 30% each week since the beginning of September.”

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Report: PSE sales plummet in Washington, Mo., as Rx-only ordinance is enacted

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK A white donkey painted in black stripes does not a zebra make. In fact, all you really have is a donkey and a whole lot of paint. Something similar could be said here, because a 92% reduction in PSE sales does not correlate with a 92% reduction in the number of meth addicts cruising the streets.

 

The fact is a 92% reduction in PSE sales doesn’t add up to much of anything positive.

 

 

What you are more likely to have with a 92% reduction in PSE sales is considerably more legitimate consumers suffering from colds than legitimate meth addicts suffering from withdrawal. You’ll certainly have a 92% reduction in cough-cold revenue that pharmacies in today’s economy need more than ever, especially now just as the H1N1-influenced cold-and-flu season kicks off in earnest. And with that, you will also have a 92% reduction in the tax revenue collected from the sale of these medicines.

 

 

On the flip side, you might have something close to a 92% increase in the number of local employees utilizing sick days, seeing as how they’re now more likely to suffer from their cold symptoms than trek to the local doctor’s office for a PSE prescription.

 

 

Yet, even as local Missouri municipalities like Washington and Union attempt to throw more black paint on this donkey, 25 miles to the east, where PSE sales are up 8%, local law enforcement there reported they weren’t concerned about any meth addicts relocating to a ready supply of PSE. In fact, the sheriff of St. Louis county suggested to The St. Louis Dispatch that he wasn’t concerned that an 8% lift in PSE sales meant anything more than the fact that the cold and flu season had arrived in the mid-West. He wasn’t concerned, he said, because St. Louis county actually employs an electronic logging system for sales of PSE products. And armed with that system, law enforcement in St. Louis county can identify and round up any alleged meth addicts, a practice that incidentally pulls those meth addicts off the street without impeding access of a legitimate cold medicine to one legitimate cold sufferer.

 

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Study finds ‘dreaming the pain away’ helps young abdominal pain sufferers

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK A new study published in the journal Pediatrics found that children that suffer with abdominal pain can take the pain away with their imagination.

By using relaxation music and imagining such scenarios as floating on a cloud, researchers found that the method led to improvements in the severity of pain. In the study, children had 20 minute sessions of “guided imagery”, a concept which reduces discomfort while imagining a relaxed and peaceful environment.

The research followed on from studies showing hypnosis is an effective treatment for a range of conditions known as functional abdominal pain, which includes things like irritable bowel syndrome.

It has been estimated that frequent stomach pain with no identifiable cause affects up to 1-in-5 children, researchers said.

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