PHARMACY

Fewer adults believe they had the flu this winter than years past, poll finds

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK Only 12% of adults think they had the flu this past winter, fewer than the 15% to 21% who thought they had the flu in other winters since 2004, Harris Interactive reported Friday.

There is no evidence, however, that flu shots should get the credit for the decline in the number of people with the flu, though conversely, Harris Interactive also cautioned in its release there is no evidence that flu shots didn’t contribute on some level.

 

“This is a complicated subject and there are several reasons for caution in interpreting these findings – for example, it would be erroneous to conclude that the flu vaccines used last winter had no effect,” the company stated, identifying the fact that self-diagnosis and self-reporting of the flu is unreliable and the fact that people most likely to get the flu may also be most likely to get the flu shot, thereby not contracting the flu.

 

The 39% of adults who had flu shots is almost the same as those who had them in two previous winters (40% in 2008-2009, and 36% in 2007-2008), Harris stated, despite the raised awareness associated with H1N1. Furthermore, for the third year running, the proportion of adults who believe they got the flu was the same (12%) among those who did and did not get flu shot, according to the Harris poll of 2,755 U.S. adults, surveyed online between April 12 and 19 by Harris Interactive.

 

Men and women were equally likely to have had flu shots (38% for men, 39% for women) and equally likely to believe they had the flu (12% for both men and women).

 

 

People under age 40 years were more likely than people over age 40 to report having had the flu.

 

Most (66%) of those who report having had the flu this winter believe they had a "regular flu." Only 13% believe they had the H1N1 flu virus. More than a fifth (22%) were not sure. This public perception runs contrary to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports throughout the past season, which identified the H1N1 virus as the overwhelmingly predominant virus throughout the season.

The proportion of adults who think they will have a flu shot next winter is the same as those who had one this last winter (39%), and they are mostly the same people. Only 3% of those who had a flu shot say they will not get one for this coming winter.

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Teva receives tentative approval for generic Sensipar

BY Alaric DeArment

JERUSALEM The Food and Drug Administration has granted tentative approval to Teva Pharmaceutical Industries’ generic version of an Amgen drug, Teva said Friday.

The FDA gave the tentative approval to cincacalcet hydrochloride tablets in the 30-mg, 60-mg and 90-mg strengths. The drug is a generic version of Amgen’s Sensipar, which has annual sales of $458 million, according to IMS Health. The drug is used to treat secondary hyperparathyroidism in patients with chronic kidney disease on dialysis.

Tentative approval means that the drug meets most of the conditions for approval, but the FDA cannot grant final approval because the patents covering the drug don’t expire until December 2016, according to FDA records. Teva and Amgen are currently involved in patent litigation concerning the drug in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, though a trial has not been set, Teva said.

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RediClinic introduces Teen Health Package

BY Antoinette Alexander

HOUSTON RediClinic is launching in time for summer camp and upcoming school sports a new health package designed specifically for teenagers.

 

The new Teen Health Package includes a physical exam, an acne consultation and an immunization review for $59.

 

 

"We all know that adolescence is a time of great change," stated Susan Cooley King, VP clinical services. "With this in mind, RediClinic created a special health package that addresses the specific health needs of a teen."

 

 

Physical exams are always in season. They are required by summer camps and for participation in school sports. During a RedlClinic physical, a clinician evaluates the teen’s medical history. The exam is then performed, checking their physical health including, but not limited to, chest and heart, lymph nodes, blood pressure and abdomen.

 

Patients of the Teen Health Package also will receive an evaluation of their acne issues and the clinician will make recommendations for the most appropriate treatment ranging from over-the-counter medications to prescriptions.

 

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, 85% of American teenagers are effected by acne.

 

 

Patients also will receive an immunization review whereby the clinician will review the teen’s immunization history, identify which vaccines the patient needs for school admission and administer the vaccines, for an additional charge if necessary.

 

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