PHARMACY

NBA Cares brings vaccine awareness to Milwaukee

BY Allison Cerra

MILWAUKEE NBA Cares is continuing its efforts to encourage teens to get vaccinated to prevent contracting potentially life-threatening diseases.

In partnership with the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine, NBA Cares has enlisted Basketball Hall of Famer and former Milwaukee Bucks player Bob Lanier and current Milwaukee Bucks player and Vaccines for Teens spokesperson Jerry Stackhouse to bring the national awareness campaign to the local community. To tip off the local campaign, Lanier and Stackhouse appeared at the Roosevelt Middle School of the Arts in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to urge parents of preteens and teens to discuss adolescent vaccinations with their family physicians.

Teens are at risk for influenza, including seasonal strains and the H1N1 virus, as well as other serious infectious diseases such as meningococcal disease (including meningitis) and whooping cough (pertussis).  The basketball superstars and local community leaders agree that because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other leading medical groups recommend vaccination for preteens and teens against influenza, meningococcal disease, whooping cough and human papillomavirus, it is now more important than ever to help protect preteens and teens in the Milwaukee area from potentially life-threatening complications of these diseases.

“Vaccination can help teens grow into healthy adults, and is beneficial for the students at Roosevelt Middle School of the Arts and for teens throughout the Milwaukee area,” said Stackhouse.  “In basketball, the best offense is a good defense, and the same holds true for protecting teen health.”

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PHARMACY

NACDS names Guckian state affairs chief

BY Jim Frederick

ALEXANDRIA, Va. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores has named Sandra Kay Guckian, a pharmacy and policy veteran of the organization, as VP state government affairs.

Guckian, nee Sandra Jung, will oversee the work of five state government affairs directors based in regions throughout the U.S., as well as an administrative assistant based at NACDS headquarters. She reports directly to Carol Kelly, NACDS’ SVP government affairs and public policy.

In addition to leading the state government affairs team, Guckian manages state-level legislative and regulatory advocacy in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and the District of Columbia.

Guckian replaces Gary Wirth, who has left the association to pursue other interests, according to NACDS spokesperson Chrissy Kopple. The appointment is effective immediately.

Guckian is one of the longest-serving members of NACDS’ management team, and last served as VP and deputy director of state government affairs. NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson called her promotion “the latest step in the transformation of NACDS to maximize its strategic focus and effectiveness.

“In her 13 years at NACDS, Sandra has established a reputation as a member-focused, highly substantive and strategically oriented leader who is absolutely passionate about pharmacy,” said Anderson. “Sandra is well equipped to work collaboratively with NACDS member company representatives, with state association partners, and with her dedicated colleagues on the state government affairs team and throughout NACDS to help advance pharmacy at all levels of government for the ultimate benefit of patient care.”

Guckian earned her B.S. in Pharmacy and M.S. in Pharmacy from The University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy, and completed an accredited residency at Parkland Memorial Hospital.  She has practiced as a pharmacist in a variety of settings including community retail pharmacy, hospital pharmacy and home health care practice.

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FDA: Certain prostate cancer drugs may cause other health problems

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. The Food and Drug Administration is investigating a possible link between drugs commonly used to treat prostate cancer and a risk of serious health problems, the agency said Monday.

The FDA said it was conducting a safety review of gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists, saying they have been associated with a “small increased risk” for diabetes, heart attack, stroke and sudden death. The agency is suggesting that healthcare professionals monitor men using the drugs, but that patients should not stop using them unless directed to do so. It also cautioned that it had not made any conclusions about whether the drugs cause an increase in the risk of developing heart disease and diabetes.

GnRH agonists include such branded drugs as Abbott’s Lupron (leuprolide acetate), Watson’s Trelstar (triptorelin pamoate) and several generic drugs.

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