PHARMACY

Novo Nordisk’s Levemir approved for children ages 2 to 5 years

BY Alaric DeArment

PRINCETON, N.J. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a treatment for Type 1 diabetes in children ages 2 to 5 years.

Drug maker Novo Nordisk announced Tuesday the additional approval of Levemir (insulin detemir [rDNA origin]). The insulin already was approved for Type 1 diabetes in older children and adults and Type 2 diabetes in adults, and the drug maker said the new FDA approval made Levemir the only basal insulin analog for use in the 2 to 5 year age group.

"Our biggest challenges and top priorities when treating some of the youngest children with Type 1 diabetes are safety and reducing the risk of hypoglycemia," said, Mark Sperling, editor-in-chief of the journal Pediatric Diabetes, referring to low blood sugar. "Levemir, with its approval from the FDA, is a particularly welcome addition to our treatment options for some of our youngest patients with Type 1 diabetes."


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PHARMACY

BD introduces syringe with smaller needle for diabetes patients

BY Alaric DeArment

FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J. — Medical supply manufacturer BD has released a syringe with a shorter needle designed to reduce discomfort in patients with diabetes who must inject insulin, the company said Tuesday.

BD announced the introduction of the ultra-fine 6mm needle, saying more than 80% of patients expressed a preference for it in trials, and a recent article published by the American Association of Diabetes Educators recognized the safety and efficacy of shorter needles.

The needle is designed to deliver insulin subcutaneously in adults and children.


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PHARMACY

Pharmacists key to collaborative care model

BY Jim Frederick

It’s getting progressively easier for pharmacy to prove its worth.

Case studies demonstrating the value of collaborative care health programs involving pharmacists keep pouring into the nation’s medical record. Among the latest is a slew of initiatives from around the United States aimed at improving patients’ blood pressure scores and other health measurements.

A health improvement advocacy group called the Community Preventive Services Task Force took a hard look at no fewer than 77 of those initiatives in a major study of the value of collaborative care health delivery models. What emerged from that study, clear as crystal, was the value pharmacists bring to integrated healthcare teams.

"When pharmacists were added to teams, the median improvement in the proportion of patients with controlled blood pressure was considerably higher than the overall median increase for this outcome," the task force concluded.

The projects were based on "team-based care organized primarily with nurses and pharmacists working in collaboration with primary care providers, patients and other professionals," according to the group. Pharmacists were key to successful efforts to lower patients’ blood pressure, both by helping them "understand the importance of taking their medications as prescribed" via medication therapy management, and by "helping patients adhere to their medication regimen can help patients improve their health, as well as reduce healthcare costs" the task force reported.

Are these kinds of collaborative health initiatives taking root in your community, or within your own pharmacy? What kind of impact are you seeing? As always, please let us know.

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