Walgreens tapped for national award for its flu vaccination efforts
WASHINGTON Walgreens will be honored later this month for the contributions made to Americans’ preventive health through its massive immunization program during the 2009 to 2010 influenza season.
The National Influenza Vaccine Summit, co-sponsored by the American Medical Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, announced that Walgreens’ had garnered one of four 2010 NIVS Immunization Excellence awards in the category of “corporate campaign” for its nationwide flu shot campaign. The awards honor “the value and extraordinary contributions of individuals and organizations towards improved adult, and/or childhood influenza vaccination rates within their communities,” according to the organization.Walgreens, along with three other health organizations, will receive the awards at the National Influenza Vaccine Summit in Scottsdale, Ariz., on May 18.
Behind Walgreens’ recognition: a huge, nationwide immunization and outreach campaign. “Pharmacists, nurse practitioners and physician assistants administered over 7 million seasonal and H1N1 influenza vaccines across more than 7,000 stores during the 2009-2010 influenza season,” noted the NIVS. The campaign underscored a “commitment to improve public health through ensuring the availability of an easy and convenient source of information and patient care services,” the group added.
“Utilizing the company’s and its employees’ knowledge, skills and resources, Walgreens implemented a campaign that included collaboration with local county health departments in all 50 states and territories, state and federal government agencies, CDC, Influenza Summit partners, the Association of State and Territory Health Officers (ASTHO), and the pharmacy and medical communities,” NIVS added in a statement. “The reach of their services included assisted living facilities, religious centers, shopping malls, schools, community centers and other locales.”
The Summit is composed of more than 400 members representing more than 100 public and private organizations with an interest in addressing and resolving influenza and influenza vaccine issues, according to the group. For more information, contact the Summit’s website at www.PreventInfluenza.com.
Pharmacy owns medication adherence issue
WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT Of all the cells in the big organism known as health care, pharmacy is the right one to own the issue of medication adherence, as National Association of Chain Drug Stores president and CEO Steve Anderson pledged it would when commenting on a study published in the journal Health Affairs.
(THE NEWS: NACDS hails journal article’s emphasis on pharmacy’s role in medication adherence. For the full story, click here)
A physician treats a patient and writes a prescription, while a nurse supplements the physician’s care, but the pharmacist has an ability to help monitor patients’ drug treatment after they return home from their appointments, and the pharmacist can make sure they take their drugs the way they’re supposed to, while also ensuring that the therapies physicians prescribe are appropriate.
As healthcare professionals, pharmacists can do this through collaboration with other providers and thus play a significant role in patient care. But as the authors of the study wrote, pharmacists are often underused, so it’s up to them and the organizations that represent them to ensure that patients, payers and other providers know the widening variety of roles they can fulfill.
Study: Metformin may be used to treat other diseases
CINCINNATI A diabetes drug widely available as a generic doesn’t work the same way experts have long thought it did, and that means it could find use in treating other diseases as well, researchers at the University of Cincinnati found.
Led by UC Metabolic Diseases Institute scientific director George Thomas, the researchers think the drug metformin could be used in patients with cancer, tuberous sclerosis and other conditions. The drug is used primarily to treat Type 2 diabetes and works by blocking production of sugar and increasing sensitivity to insulin.
Experts had long thought that the drug disabled the mammalian target of rapamycin, or mTOR complex by first deactivating tuberous sclerosis complex proteins through an enzyme called AMPK. But the UC team found that it disables mTOR using another enzyme, called RAG GTPase.
“We’ve poked a hole in dogma,” Thomas said. “Scientists can and should go back and ask about things they had crossed off their list.”