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Study: Antimicrobial-resistant MRSA revealed; may reverse infection decline

BY Michael Johnsen

ATLANTA — A new resistant strain of methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus may be on the rise due to the frequent use of over-the-counter antibacterial ointments, according to a study to be published in the October issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

As reported by CNN.com, Japanese researchers made the finding after testing 259 MRSA strains for susceptibility to bacitracin and neomycin, two of the antibacterial ingredients commonly found in such OTC ointments as Neosporin and Polysporin.

According to the report, resistance to bacitracin and neomycin was only found in USA300, a type of MRSA found in the United States. Because triple-antibiotic ointments are widely used in the United States, and rarely outside of the U.S., researchers determined that there may be a link.

The USA300 strain of MRSA still can be treated with vancomycin and other drugs, the report noted, but doctors in the United States should be aware the ointment therapy may not be effective in USA300 infections.

Before this report, all indicators have pointed to the decline of MRSA infections. In 2010, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that invasive (life-threatening) MRSA infections in healthcare settings declined 28% from 2005 through 2008. In addition, the study showed a 17% drop in invasive MRSA infections that were diagnosed before hospital admissions in people with recent exposures to healthcare settings.

That study complemented data from the National Healthcare Safety Network that found rates of MRSA bloodstream infections occurring in hospitalized patients fell nearly 50% from 1997 to 2007.

"Taken together and with other reports such as the March 2011 ‘CDC Vital Signs’ article, these studies provide evidence that rates of invasive MRSA infections in the United States are falling," the CDC noted on its MRSA website. "While MRSA remains an important public health problem and more remains to be done to further decrease risks of developing these infections, this decrease in healthcare-associated MRSA infections is encouraging."

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Compounding pharmacies not under FDA jurisdictional authority, federal judge rules

BY Alaric DeArment

HOUSTON — A recent federal court ruling could have big implications for compounding pharmacies.

The case of US v. Franck’s Lab, Inc., in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, concerned pharmacies that compound medications for animals. The Food and Drug Administration brought the case against Ocala, Fla., pharmacist Paul Franck, saying that the use of active pharmaceutical ingredients in compounding veterinary drugs for nonfood producing animals was illegal. But judge Timothy Corrigan disagreed, ruling that the Food and Drug Administration did not have jurisdictional authority over the compounding of medications by a licensed pharmacy as long as the pharmacy’s activities were not manufacturing. Rather, Corrigan ruled, that authority rests with individual state Boards of Pharmacy because Congress did not grant it to the FDA when it enacted the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1938.

"Not only does it clearly refute the FDA’s attempts to exert unauthorized jurisdiction over compounding; it is sharply critical of the FDA’s approach towards veterinary compounding in particular," International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists president John Herr said. "Judge Corrigan correctly ruled that Congress never intended the FDA to prohibit the use of APIs in veterinary compounding. He also clearly stated what IACP has said for years: The FDA does not have jurisdiction over the traditional practice of pharmacy compounding."

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FyrFlyz has world on a string

BY Allison Cerra

GREAT NECK, N.Y. — i-Star Entertainment has introduced FyrFlyz, a new bow-tie-shaped spinning toy on a string.

Featuring multicolored LED lights that spin while attached to a short string, FyrFlyz create unique lighted patterns and challenges kids ages 8 years and up to perform tricks, shows and expand their imagination, the company said. FyrFlyz, available in a variety of colors, is about 3 in. long and features an on/off switch.

FyrFlyz are available at such stores as CVS/pharmacy, Rite Aid, Toys "R" Us and other retailers for a suggested retail price of about $8.99.

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