PHARMACY

USA Drug houses first three MedBasics in-store clinics in Little Rock

BY Antoinette Alexander

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. MedBasics Family Health Centers announced that it has opened the first three in-store clinics in Little Rock inside USA Drug retail locations.

“We are pleased to have MedBasics help us create a one-stop health and wellness destination for our patients,” stated USA Drug senior vice president of pharmacy Mark McGrew. “MedBasics offers a convenient and affordable way to access medical services, especially when our customers’ own doctors’ offices are closed, or when a costly trip to the emergency room seems their only option.”

The walk-in clinics, which treat acute illnesses, are staffed by licensed nurse practitioners who are supervised by physicians.

“MedBasics is not meant to replace a doctor-patient relationship, but rather to supplement that relationship by providing routine medical care at times and locations that are more convenient for patients,” stated Lisa Taylor, MedBasics’ clinical director.

MedBasics, which was founded in 2006 and is based in Irving, Texas, plans to open an additional 47 clinics inside USA Drug locations over the next few years.

USA Drug has more than 150 stores operating under the USA Drug, Super D Drugs, May’s Drug Stores, Drug Warehouse, Med-X Drug and Ike’s Discount banners.

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Study shows infrared thermometer helps cut down on diabetic foot ulcers

BY Drew Buono

WASHINGTON A new study published last month in the American Journal of Medicine showed that a new infrared digital thermometer decreases the chance of a diabetic receiving a foot ulcer, according to published reports.

Foot ulcers each year strike 600,000 U.S. diabetics, who are slow to notice they even have a wound because diabetes has numbed their feet. Worse, foot ulcers are so slow healing and vulnerable to infection that they’re to blame for most of the roughly 80,000 amputations of toes, feet and lower legs that diabetics undergo each year.

Using the thermometer reduced the number of high-risk patients who got foot ulcers by nearly two-thirds, according to Armstrong who studied 225 diabetic veterans.

The thermometer works by measuring the difference in temperature around the foot, looking for hot spots that can signal inflammation, which correlates to tissue injury. Patients measure half a dozen spots on each foot. When the thermometer signals a hot spot, they put up their feet for a day or so until the temperature normalizes. Easing pressure before the skin cracks lets the body heal more easily than it can with a full-blown wound.

“Heat is one of the most sensitive things, one of the first things that happens when we begin to have tissue breakdown,” says Crystal Holmes, a University of Michigan podiatrist who has begun prescribing the thermometers.

The results of the study, which took place over 18 months, showed that 12.2 percent of patients who did standard foot checks got ulcers, compared to 4.7 percent of those who used the thermometers.

The thermometer, called the TempTouch and made by Xilas, is currently available by prescription only.

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AstraZeneca to conduct comparison between Crestor and Lipitor

BY Drew Buono

LONDON AstraZeneca announced that it will conduct a clinical trial comparing its cholesterol-fighting drug Crestor with Pfizer’s cholesterol drug Lipitor, the world’s best selling drug, according to Reuters.

The new trial, called SATURN, would compare the drugs’ ability to reduce the progression, or induce regression, of atherosclerosis, the main cause of cardiovascular disease, following two years of treatment in patients with coronary artery disease. Crestor was recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration to fight atherosclerosis.

AstraZeneca said the first of around 1,300 patients in the SATURN trial would be enrolled later this month and the study was expected to complete in 2011.

Lipitor had sales of $12.9 billion, compared to Crestor’s $2 billion in 2006.

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