PHARMACY

Stericycle partners with National Safety Council to combat opioid crisis

BY Gisselle Gaitan

Stericycle, a company focused on providing essential highly specialized compliance-based solutions has partnered with the National Safety Council. The Chicago-based company will be the exclusive medical disposal partner for the “Stop Everyday Killers” national education campaign addressing the opioid epidemic.   

“Our nation is in the midst of the worst drug crisis in recorded history, but we know there are things we can do to save lives,” Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council, said. “The campaign honors those who have been lost to this epidemic while also offering hope and empowering visitors to take action. One of the simplest things they can do is clean out their medicine cabinets, and Stericycle is making that much easier. We are proud to collaborate with them on this important issue.”

Launched in Chicago, the “Stop Everyday Killers” campaign unveiled the interactive art installation titled, Prescribed to Death: A Memorial to the Victims of the Opioid Crisis. A wall made of medicine pills, each individually carved with imaged of the 22,000 people who died within the last year due to prescription overdoses will be featured. Additionally, a new pill bearing a human face will be 3D printed on the site and added to the wall every 24 minutes to represent someone dying every 24 minutes from an opioid overdose.

“We are pleased to work with the National Safety Council on this incredible campaign and hope it will shine a light on our country’s opioid crisis as well as the options to help combat the problem,” Charles A. Alutto, president and chief executive officer of Stericycle said. 

Stericycle will be providing complimentary Seal&Send medication disposal envelopes to everyone who visits the memorial to ease the process of returning unused pills. As part of the industry’s most comprehensive pharmaceutical disposal program, Stericycle’s Seal&Send Envelopes are a safe, reliable and anonymous method to easily mail unused medicines for disposal.

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Finnish, Swedish researchers take steps toward Type 1 diabetes vaccine

BY David Salazar

Two countries with the world’s highest incidence of Type 1 diabetes are working together to develop a vaccine for the illness, noting that a recent model in mice prevented virus-induced diabetes. The researchers at Sweden’s Karolinska Instituet and Finland’s university of Tampere said that this presents a clinically relevant model for Type 1 diabetes in humans, and that it had no adverse effects on vaccinated animals. 

“These exciting results showing that the vaccine completely protects against virus-induced diabetes indicate the potential that such a vaccine has for elucidating the role of enteroviruses in human Type 1 diabetes,” Karolinka Instituet professor Malin Flodström-Tullberg, whose group worked on the pre-clinical studies, said.

The University of Tampere currently is working to develop a vaccine that develops more viruses than the one used in the mouse model, with all of the proposed viruses having been implicated in Type 1 diabetes.

“The experiments here are important steps towards the clinical use of novel enterovirus vaccines,” University of Tampere professor Heikki Hyöty said. “Such a vaccine is under further development by Vactech and its collaborator Provention Bio for testing in a clinical setting.”

 

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CDC: Tdap vaccinations in pregnant women up 50% since 2009

BY David Salazar

A recent Morbidity and Mortality Weekly report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showcases an increase in the number of pregnant women who opt to receive a tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid and acellular pertussis, or Tdap, vaccine.

The report highlights research from Boston University’s Slone Epidemiology Center found that in 2015, 51% of pregnant women in the control group of its Birth Defects Study received the Tdap vaccination — up from less than 1% who had done so before 2009. It noted that Tdap vaccination during pregnancy went from 5% in 2010 to 9% in 2012, with the 2012 number tripling to 28% in in 2013.

“Although approximately half of mothers who gave birth to control infants in the most recent year of the study received Tdap during pregnancy, this proportion remains far below the ACIP recommendation that all pregnant women be vaccinated during each pregnancy,” the report said. “Newborns at highest risk for pertussis-associated complications are too young to be vaccinated, but Tdap vaccination during pregnancy can reduce the potential for morbidity (9) and mortality in this vulnerable population.”

The study also highlighted the possibility to pharmacy to play more of a role in administering Tdap vaccines. According to the research, 96% of the Tdap vaccines were administered in a traditional healthcare setting, while 1% were given in the pharmacy/supermarket setting, with the remaining 3% receiving the vaccine in work or school settings, or government settings.

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