Fla. nurses, health officials urge teens to get meningitis vaccine
ORLANDO, Fla. Nurses and health officials in Florida have joined a campaign to educate parents about the dangers of meningitis.
The Florida Association of School Nurses and the Orange County Health Department are working with the Voices of Meningitis campaign to urge parents to vaccinate preteens and teenagers against meningococcal disease.
While the disease is rare, contracted by between 1,000 and 2,600 Americans each year, it is dangerous and can result in death in a child within a day, with a 10% fatality rate; survivors can also have serious complications, including amputation of limbs, brain damage and deafness. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends immunization for preteens and teenagers ages 11 through 18 years, as well as college freshmen living in dormitories, but only one-in-three adolescents ages 13 to 17 years in Florida is immunized, compared with the CDC’s goal of a 90% vaccination rate in 2010.
“School nurses are on the front lines with students every day, and our mission is to keep our students safe and healthy,” public school nurse Carolyn Seifert said. “We have joined Voices of Meningitis to help raise awareness and encourage parents to speak to their child’s school nurse or other healthcare provider about meningococcal vaccination before coming back to school.”
Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy names new VP operations
SWARTZ CREEK, Mich. Privately owned Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy has hired a new executive to oversee its day-to-day operations, Diplomat said Monday.
The company hired Robert Fleckenstein as VP operations, a position in which he will manage operations at Diplomat’s national distribution center, patient service operations, call center, oncology department and other services at its headquarters, reporting to SVP operations Jeff Rowe.
“It is a very exciting time for Diplomat Pharmacy, and I am very pleased to be part of the team,” Fleckenstein said. “As the individual responsible for operations at the new Great Lakes Biotech Center, I plan to develop the training modules and management tools that allow us to continue to grow efficiencly and effectively without losing sight of the patient-care model and the culture that has allowed us to reach this point.”
Fleckenstein previously served as VP pharmacy operations for Allion Healthcare and VP pharmacy operations at CVS ProCare Mail Service.
NCPA: Other options exist for mail-order pharmacy customers
ALEXANDRIA, Va. Planned cutbacks at the U.S. Postal Service, particularly cancellation of Saturday delivery, have had mail-order pharmacies and patients worried about how patients will get their medications in an efficient and affordable way, but the National Community Pharmacists Association is using the problem as an opportunity to promote independent pharmacies.
“The hand-wringing about what losing a day of mail services means for patients is overblown because common-sense remedies are available through independent community pharmacies,” NCPA acting EVP and CEO Douglas Hoey said. “Evidence suggests that Americans, whether they live in densely or sparsely populated areas, have access to independent community pharmacies that can fill the void, even providing home delivery services.”
The organization sent a letter Monday to U.S. Postal Regulatory Commission chairwoman Ruth Goldway to promote independents as an alternative to mail-order medication delivery.
“NCPA believes that other options exist to ensure patient access to needed medications if changes are made to mail delivery,” read the letter, signed by NCPA SVP government affairs John Coster. “These include eliminating mandatory mail-order programs that deny patients the opportunity to receive medications from their local community pharmacist, as well as utilizing home-delivery programs where community pharmacists deliver medications to the patient’s doorstep.”