PHARMACY

Study suggests Plavix may help infants with heart problems

BY Drew Buono

RALEIGH, N.C. A new study sponsored by Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi-Aventis found that their anti-clotting drug Plavix can be helpful to children under the age of 2 with heart problems, according to the Washington Post.

The children involved 92 children who had various typed of heart problems that put them at high risk of developing life-threatening blood clots.

Most of the children had hypoplastic left heart syndrome, which involves a poorly functioning small ventricle that leaves children weak and blue in color. Other children had floppy or imperfect heart valves, and one had Kawasaki disease, which causes inflammation in coronary arteries. Many were facing multiple surgeries, and three-quarters already had shunts in their hearts to keep their blood flowing properly.

The children were divided into a treatment group and a placebo group. Those in the treatment group received one of four doses of Plavix, ranging from .01 to .20 milligrams per kilogram of body weight per day over a period of one-to-four weeks.

The study found that the optimal dose for infants and toddlers up to 24 months was 0.2 milligrams per day.

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Boom in pharmacy openings leads to shortage of pharmacists

BY Drew Buono

ALEXANDRIA, Va. and ST. LOUIS, Ill. Pharmacies are booming in business and as a result new stores are being built at a rapid pace, so much so that there aren’t enough pharmacists to fill the new job openings, according to published reports.

According to the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, there were 3,600 full-time openings for pharmacists throughout the nation last year reported by 37,000 member stores.

The reasons for the shortage, according to the National Community Pharmacists Association, are changes in insurance policies and federal regulations, which have made drugs more available to people. Also, the number of prescriptions being dispensed has grown from 2 billion to 3.2 billion in the last decade.

In Illinois, the state is trying to solve the shortage by opening more pharmacy schools. “I think a lot of new schools coming on board here will help alleviate the problem,” Phil Medon, dean of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy, said. “We haven’t had any graduates, yet, but long-term expansion at existing schools—plus new schools—are designed to help alleviate the shortage.”

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MTBC receives Microsoft partner honor

BY Drew Buono

SOMERSET, N.J. MTBC, an information technology company has received the distinguished Gold Certified Partner status in the Microsoft Partner Program. The company focuses on revenue cycle management and electronic medical record solutions.

As a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, MTBC has demonstrated expertise with Microsoft technologies and platforms. MTBC’s IT staff has successfully completed a series of examinations demonstrating the company’s competency and aptitude in utilizing and delivering Microsoft’s advanced technologies. MTBC gains access to a rich set of tools designed to help its physician clients realize improved billing and practice management solutions.

“We are very pleased to have attained Microsoft Gold Certified Partner status,” said David Rosenblum, president of MTBC. “Our Microsoft gold certification further distinguishes us from our competition. It will assist us as continue to leverage technology and deliver Internet-based revenue cycle and practice management services that enable medical providers to streamline and increase collections, while reducing associated costs.”

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