PHARMACY

U.S. adults pass on immunizations, report finds

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON More than 30% of seniors in 36 states had not received vaccinations for pneumonia in 2008, despite recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to a new report.

The report, “Adult Immunization: Shots to Save Lives,” comes from Trust for America’s Health, the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation around the same time that medical journal The Lancet retracted an influential story alleging a connection between the measles-mumps-rubella vaccination for children and autism.

Oregon has the highest immunization rate, but even there, 26.8% of adults ages 65 years and older were not vaccinated. Washington, D.C., had the lowest rate, with 45.6% of seniors not immunized. Millions of American adults go without recommended and routine vaccinations every year, the report found; 2.1% of adults have had the tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough vaccine over the last two years, while 36.1% were vaccinated for seasonal flu in 2008, and 10% of women have had the human papillomavirus vaccine. Overall, this leads to as many as 50,000 preventable deaths and $10 billion in healthcare costs each year.

“Thousands of lives could be saved each year if we could increase the number of adults who receive routine and recommended vaccinations,” Trust for America’s Health executive director Jeffrey Levi said in a statement. “We need a national strategy to make vaccines a regular part of medical care and to educate Americans about the effectiveness and safety of vaccines.”

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NACDS names Roger Merrill ‘Pharmacy Great Communicator’

BY Alaric DeArment

ALEXANDRIA, Va. An executive from Perdue Farms received the National Association of Chain Drug Stores’ “Pharmacy Great Communicator” designation, NACDS announced Thursday.

Roger Merrill, a medical doctor and Perdue’s chief medical officer, received the designation on account of comments he made during a lecture last month at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, quoted in trade publications.

“Pharmacists could be hugely helpful in our patient-care continuum,” Merrill said in one of his comments. “Pharmacists know more than I do about drugs and drug treatment.”

The NACDS gives the award to people who “raise the public’s awareness of pharmacy’s ability to help patients improve their health-and-wellness, while reducing long-term healthcare costs, through strategies such as boosting medication adherence.”

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Fruth Pharmacy raises funds for Cabell Huntington Hospital Foundation

BY Alaric DeArment

POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. Fruth Pharmacy has started a fundraising drive for a local hospital, the regional retail pharmacy chain announced this week.

Fruth said that for every gallon of Fruth milk sold in its stores, 5 cents will go to the Cabell Huntington Hospital Foundation to help with the building of a new children’s hospital designed to serve southern West Virginia, eastern Kentucky and southeastern Ohio, with the goal of raising $25,000 in 2010. Broughton Food Co., which produces milk for Fruth, will add a new label to milk containers featuring the Children’s Hospital logo.

“Fruth Pharmacy is proud and honored to make a strong commitment to the Children’s Hospital project,” Fruth president Bob Messick stated. “The children of West Virginia deserve to have a modern, state-of-the-art facility to meet their healthcare needs.”

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