National Council on Aging launches flu shot drive with CDC targeting seniors
WASHINGTON — The National Council on Aging last week introduced a new national Flu + You campaign to improve vaccination rates among seniors.
“Each year in the U.S., about 9-out-of-10 flu-related deaths and more than 6-out-of-10 flu-related hospitalizations occur in adults 65 and older,” stated Richard Birkel, acting SVP healthy aging and director of NCOA’s Self-Management Alliance. “For this reason NCOA wants … to ensure that people in this age group and those who care for them fully understand the importance of annual immunization and the vaccine options available to them."
As part of the Flu + You initiative, Carolyn Bridges, associate director for adult immunizations at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Birkel will be participating in interviews with media across the nation.
The Flu + You campaign also will be conducting regional programming in Arizona, Florida and Pennsylvania — all states with large populations of older adults — to reach local residents with information about the dangers of influenza and vaccine options for adults 65 years and older.
NCOA’s Flu + You campaign is made possible through a collaboration with Sanofi Pasteur.
NextGen, Nipro Diagnostics create telemedicine capability monitoring diabetes patients
HORSHAM, Pa. — NextGen Healthcare Information Systems on Wednesday announced a telemedicine agreement with Nipro Diagnostics that would enable users of the company’s NextGen Ambulatory EHR instant access to data points captured by patients at home who are using the Nipro TrueResult blood-glucose monitoring system.
“Home monitoring will become even more important as healthcare providers move toward patient-centered medical home and accountable care organization models,” stated Scott Decker, president of NextGen Healthcare. “Seamlessly integrating data directly from a patient’s meter into NextGen Healthcare’s Ambulatory EHR provides physicians with the necessary tools to better manage the health of their patients with chronic disease while also affording them the ability to reduce hospitalizations and improve quality of life. This allows patients to stay at home healthier and longer before requiring interventions.”
The Nipro Diagnostic Blood Glucose interface imports blood-glucose readings from the TrueResult device into NextGen Healthcare’s Ambulatory EHR, allowing users to view and graph the information captured. The NextGen Nipro Glucose Meter Interface enables electronic downloading of glucose measurements from a Nipro Diagnostics blood-glucose meter into the EHR, automatically populating the appropriate templates and fields, where data can be viewed and analyzed by a physician.
Physicians will gain an immediate benefit from seamlessly performing diagnostic tests with direct entry of information into a patient’s chart, the company stated, eliminating the need to manually re-enter patient data while streamlining processes, reducing data entry errors and increasing efficiencies.
FDA approves Teva biosimilar
JERUSALEM — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a biosimilar drug made by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries for a condition that results from certain chemotherapy treatments, the drug maker said Thursday.
Teva announced the FDA approval of Tbo-filgrastim (XM02 filgrastim) for treating neutropenia, a condition in which the number of white blood cells is decreased, making patients more susceptible to life-threatening bacterial infections. The company sought approval using a biologics license application, or BLA, the same approval pathway used for novel biotech drugs because while the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act created a regulatory approval pathway for biosimilars, the regulations have not yet been established.
Teva markets filgrastim in Europe under the trade name Tevagrastim, which is a biosimilar version of Amgen’s Neupogen. Teva plans to market tbo-filgrastim starting in November 2013, under an agreement with Amgen.
"As a company dedicated to bringing needed medicines to patients, we are delighted with the approval of tbo-filgrastim, which offers physicians and their patients undergoing chemotherapy a new supportive care treatment option," Teva president of global research and development and chief scientific officer Michael Hayden. "The approval of tbo-filgrastim demonstrates Teva’s strong commitment to providing patients with new treatment options. It expands upon Teva’s existing oncology portfolio with the addition of the first biologic and supportive care agent for oncology patients."