PHARMACY

NACo prescription discount card now available to Weld County, Colo., residents

BY Allison Cerra

WELD COUNTY, Colo. — The National Association of Counties is offering residents of Weld County, Colo., free prescription discount cards that provide patients an average of 24% savings off the retail price of prescription medications.

The NACo prescription discount card program, which was founded in 2004, has expanded across the United States to include more than 1,400 counties. The cards are available for Weld County residents at the Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment, as well as online.

"Recognizing the difficulties many of our residents face when trying to pay for their healthcare needs, we are happy to be able to provide them with the prescription discount card," said Gaye Morrison, director of communication, education and planning for the Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment. "This card offers residents ­ insured and uninsured significant savings on prescription medications."


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Vitals.com: Flu vaccination rates evenly split

BY Alaric DeArment

LYNDHURST, N.J. — Despite the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommending that most people get flu shots, many members of the public remain skeptical, according to a new survey by Vitals.com.

Vitals, a website that helps patients find doctors, asked users whether they had received a flu shot in the last 12 months. Of 1,678 respondents, 818 responded that they had not. Chief of pediatric infectious diseases and vice chairman Leonard Krilov at Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola, N.Y., said "unfounded" skepticism of the shot accounted for the large number of people who had not received it, skepticism based on the belief among some that the vaccine can cause flu due to some of its side effects.

"The standard flu shot is not live," Krilov said. "You may get a little pain at the injection site, but you cannot get the flu from the vaccine."

According to the CDC, between 3,000 and 49,000 people die from the flu each year.


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University of Texas to offer pharmacy tech certification program

BY Alaric DeArment

AUSTIN, Texas — The University of Texas is launching a certification program for pharmacy technicians, the school said.

The university’s Professional Development Center, part of its Division of Continuing and Innovative Education, will begin classes in February. Students in the 14-week program, which includes a 120-hour internship at a local pharmacy, will learn the skills needed to work as pharmacy technicians, under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist.

"As our population ages and health care becomes more and more important, I anticipate there will be increased employment opportunities in all areas of health care, including pharmacy workers," PDC director Liliya Spinazzola said. "I am so excited that PDC offers this important career training. Students will walk away from the program with important skills and knowledge that they can put to good use — either on the job or toward earning the pharmacy technician certification credential."

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