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Study: Some parents of young kids opt for alternative vaccination schedule

BY Allison Cerra

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — According to new research conducted by the University of Michigan, more than 1-out-of-10 parents of young children use an alternative vaccination schedule, a practice that may put children’s health at risk.

“Small decreases in vaccine coverage are known to lead to dramatic increases in the risk of vaccine preventable disease outbreaks,” said Amanda Dempsey, study author, assistant professor in the department of pediatrics and communicable diseases and a member of the Child Health Evaluation and Research Unit at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. “Not following the recommended schedule leaves kids at risk for these diseases unnecessarily.”

When it came to who developed the alternative schedule, 41% of the parents said they developed it, 15% said a friend developed the schedule, and 8% reported using a well-known alternative schedule developed by a pediatric expert (i.e., Dr. Bob Sears). What’s more, nearly one-third of parents (30%) said they had initially followed the recommended vaccination schedule, but many said they switched because it “seemed safer.”

The most commonly-delayed vaccines were measles-mumps-rubella (45%) and diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis (43%).

Among those parents that adhered to the regular vaccination schedule, 25% said they thought that delaying vaccination was still safer.

The study, which was published in Pediatrics, surveyed 771 parents of children ages 6 months to 6 years during May 2010.

Dempsey also noted that an alternative vaccination schedule potentially could lead to "underimmunizaton," which could put children’s health at risk.

“More resources need to be devoted to finding ways to successfully change where attitudes are going,” Dempsey said. “Clearly, this problem is not going to go away, and our data suggest it will actually get worse over time.”

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Kodak introduces limited-edition, Susan G. Komen EasyShare camera bundle

BY Allison Cerra

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Kodak has rolled out a limited-edition EasyShare camera bundle in partnership with Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

The Susan G. Komen Edition (C1530) camera bundle features a 14-megapixel camera with a 3x optical zoom and a Kodak Share Button in pink, as well as a slim camera case, 4GB memory card and wrist strap with pink ribbons. What’s more, $4 out of every purchase of the camera will be donated to Susan G. Komen for the Cure to help fight breast cancer.

"Kodak is pleased to offer a uniquely pink camera bundle in our first partnership with Susan G. Komen for the Cure during Breast Cancer Awareness Month," said Richard Ford, general manager for Kodak’s digital capture and accessories, Americas region. "Susan G. Komen is dedicated to raising awareness about this worthwhile cause and we are happy to team-up and get the word out to consumers with the launch of the EasyShare C1530 camera bundle."

The Kodak Susan G. Komen EasyShare camera bundle will carry a suggested retail price of $99.99 and will be available for a limited time on such retailer websites as Walmart.com, Kmart.com and more.

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ESI launches suite of services for pharma, biotech companies

BY Alaric DeArment

ST. LOUIS — Pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts has launched a suite of services for drug makers through HealthBridge Pharma & Biotech to provide a single-solution approach to patient care.

ESI said HealthBridge offered a full range of services to assist pharmaceutical and biotech companies in providing prescription products and services to patients, doctors and pharmacists. These include CuraScript Specialty Pharmacy, CuraScript Specialty Distribution, Freedom Fertility Pharmacy, risk evaluation and mitigation strategies, reimbursement, patient assistance programs, data and sales reporting, enhanced account services and customized adherence programs.

"Through our HealthBridge Pharma & Biotech suite of services, Express Scripts is a taking  bold, unified approach to helping pharmaceutical and biotech companies get their therapies and products to patients and healthcare providers," Express Scripts VP and chief trade relations officer Everett Neville said. "We are committed to providing the highest level of end-to-end services that will facilitate the safe, timely delivery of specialty prescriptions and programs to patients being treated for diseases, such as cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, hemophilia, HIV and multiple sclerosis."


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