HEALTH

Kansas pharmacists, law enforcement team up to combat meth

BY Michael Johnsen

WICHITA, Kan. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation and the Kansas State Board of Pharmacy on Wednesday partnered with independent druggist Dandurand, among others, on a pilot program designed to help combat methamphetamine through MethShield, a real-time, web-based tool that enables pharmacists, retailers and law enforcement officials to track the sale of medications which can be diverted to create methamphetamine.

The pilot program begins this week at 128 pharmacies and drugstores across 62 counties and will run for one year.

Kansas currently uses a written logbook system to track pseudoephedrine sales, which doesn’t allow for the sharing of real time information between pharmacists and law enforcement officials. MethShield alerts law enforcement in real time if an individual is attempting to make an illegal purchase.

“Obviously, reducing criminal activity related to meth production and distribution is a key driver behind this program, but MethShield will also be good for consumers and local pharmacists,” stated Michael Coast, president of the Kansas State Board of Pharmacy. “MethShield will ensure that consumers have access to the medicines they need and that local pharmacies will be able to sell these essential over-the-counter medications.”

MethShield is the United States’ version of a highly successful nationwide electronic log system initially developed in Australia. The number of Meth labs in the Australian state of Queensland—which is twice the size of Texas and home to roughly 4.2 million people—decreased by 37 percent in the first year MethShield was deployed in the state.

“MethShield has a proven track record of success and that’s because it was developed by pharmacists for pharmacies,” stated MethShield president Shaun Singleton.

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HEALTH

Supplement company to pay $2.5 million to FTC

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON A dietary supplement maker has agreed to pay $2.5 million to settle a Federal Trade Commission charge of false advertising, the FTC announced Tuesday.

The FTC filed a complaint against the North American Herb & Spice Co. and owner Judy Kay Gray, alleging that the company falsely claimed that three of its oregano-based supplements—Oreganol P73, Super Strength Oreganol P73 and Oregacyn—were scientifically proven to prevent or treat colds and the flu, strengthen the immune system and kill germs ranging from mold and yeast to hepatitis C and avian bird flu virus.

Under the settlement, the company is forbidden from making said claims about their products unless they are true, not misleading and based on reliable scientific evidence.

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Study shows Type 2 diabetics respond well to timely weight loss

BY Alaric DeArment

A study published online Tuesday in the journal Diabetes Care indicates that people recently diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes can retain better control of their blood pressure and sugar by losing weight soon after diagnosis.

The study looked at 2,574 patients aged 21 through 75 with recent diabetes diagnoses over a five-year period starting in 1997. The 12 percent of patients classed in the “weight loss” group—those who had lost an average of more than 25 pounds—were more likely to have control over their blood pressure and sugar.

Type 2 diabetes affects more than 20 million Americans.

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