HEALTH

Study shows parents speak to teens about OTC abuse

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON A new Partnership/Metlife Parents Attitude Tracking Study indicates that 65% of parents are talking to their teens about the dangers of using over-the-counter cough and cold medicine to get high, up from 55% in 2007.

“We know that parents play a critical role in keeping their kids drug-free,” stated Linda Suydam, president of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association. “It is great news that more and more parents are exercising that power and talking to their kids about cough medicine abuse just as they would about any substance abuse behavior.”

Nationwide statistics from the National Institutes of Health’s Monitoring the Future study show a slight overall decline in teen cough medicine abuse. ”That is one of the reasons the Partnership is so committed to helping parents have these important conversations with their teens.”

“The data are encouraging, since we know that kids who learn a lot from their parents about the risks of drugs are up to 50% less likely to ever use  drugs,” stated Steve Pasierb, president of the Partnership for a Drug-Free America.

CHPA works with the Partnership and other interested organizations on a number of initiatives targeting teen cough medicine abuse. All of the association’s efforts can be found on http://www.StopMedicineAbuse.org.

“Our member companies are steadfast in their commitment to prevent teen cough medicine abuse,” Suydam stated. “But we know that our work is far from over. With the help of such partners as the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, and D.A.R.E. America, we will continue our efforts to make sure all parents are aware of this substance abuse behavior and most importantly, talking with their children about it.”

The PATS-Parents 2008 is a nationally projectable survey of 1,004 parents of children in grades 4-12 and was conducted by the Partnership with major funding from MetLife Foundation.

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HEALTH

Swine flu case count climbs to 141 across 19 states

BY Michael Johnsen

ATLANTA According to the figures released Friday morning by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of domestic swine flu cases now total 141 across 19 states, up from 109 cases across 11 states reported Thursday.

The state tally now includes Arizona (4), California (13), Colorado (2), Deleware (4), Illinois (3), Indiana (3), Kansas (2), Kentucky (1), Massachusetts (2), Michigan (2), Minnesota (1), Nebraska (1), Nevada (1), New Jersey (5), New York (50), Ohio (1), South Carolina (16), Texas (28) and Virginia (2). The only death reported so far has come out of Texas.

As of early this morning, the World Health Organization reported 331 confirmed swine flu cases internationally, though those numbers do not yet reflect CDC’s latest update. Mexico has reported 156 confirmed human cases of infection, including nine deaths.

The following countries have reported laboratory confirmed cases with no deaths — Austria (1), Canada (34), Germany (3), Israel (2), Netherlands (1), New Zealand (3), Spain (13), Switzerland (1) and the United Kingdom (8).

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N.Y. drug stores, organizations band together to fight off swine flu

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK The swine flu story first broke Friday, April 24, and quickly grew in prominence on the evening news with each chilling update from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. On April 24, it was 20 cases in three states. By Friday, May 1, there were 141 cases across 19 states and counting.

 

The concerns are growing and real. The Food Marketing Institute announced the cancellation of an industry gathering in Dallas next week and a great number of schools have been closed across the country — even where there were no confirmed cases of swine flu — all out of those concerns.

 

 

The federal government quickly declared a state of emergency, and as part of that, the CDC began distributing some 11 million doses of Tamiflu to all 50 states from its Strategic National Stockpile. For all the good that does, because the common American doesn’t have access to the national stockpile of anything. At least not at this preliminary stage. But they do have access to their neighborhood drug store.

 

 

To date, the greatest cluster of swine flu exists in New York City, and each of the prominent drug store retailers in that city — CVS, Duane Reade, Rite Aid and Walgreens — reported an increase in demand for antivirals like Tamiflu and Relenza, hand sanitizers and facemasks. That demand included a nine-fold increase for antivirals nationwide on Monday, April 27 as compared to the 26 days prior, according to an initial analysis by SDI. Which is telling, because what it means is that in a time of crisis when consumers are looking for immediate solutions, they turn to their neighborhood pharmacists for both products and information — one supermarket pharmacist in upstate New York reported she was fielding between 10 and 15 questions per day around swine flu. That’s one shift, and that was early in the week.

 

 

And nurse practitioners are also more and more becoming a healthcare resource for consumers — the Convenient Care Association representing more than 1,200 member clinics in 30 states announced that its members are prepared to help consumers with any swine flu concerns — be it questions or a preliminary diagnosis.

 

 

All of this boils down to one simple truth — pharmacy, with its breadth and depth of healthcare products and services — is the de facto front line of healthcare delivery. Concerned consumers only need walk into their local pharmacy to get all that they require — a prescription from their doctor or nurse practitioner filled, hand sanitizers and facemasks for disease prevention or sound advice from a knowledgeable and practiced healthcare professional.

 

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