PHARMACY

Vitals.com: Flu vaccination rates evenly split

BY Alaric DeArment

LYNDHURST, N.J. — Despite the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommending that most people get flu shots, many members of the public remain skeptical, according to a new survey by Vitals.com.

Vitals, a website that helps patients find doctors, asked users whether they had received a flu shot in the last 12 months. Of 1,678 respondents, 818 responded that they had not. Chief of pediatric infectious diseases and vice chairman Leonard Krilov at Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola, N.Y., said "unfounded" skepticism of the shot accounted for the large number of people who had not received it, skepticism based on the belief among some that the vaccine can cause flu due to some of its side effects.

"The standard flu shot is not live," Krilov said. "You may get a little pain at the injection site, but you cannot get the flu from the vaccine."

According to the CDC, between 3,000 and 49,000 people die from the flu each year.


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University of Texas to offer pharmacy tech certification program

BY Alaric DeArment

AUSTIN, Texas — The University of Texas is launching a certification program for pharmacy technicians, the school said.

The university’s Professional Development Center, part of its Division of Continuing and Innovative Education, will begin classes in February. Students in the 14-week program, which includes a 120-hour internship at a local pharmacy, will learn the skills needed to work as pharmacy technicians, under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist.

"As our population ages and health care becomes more and more important, I anticipate there will be increased employment opportunities in all areas of health care, including pharmacy workers," PDC director Liliya Spinazzola said. "I am so excited that PDC offers this important career training. Students will walk away from the program with important skills and knowledge that they can put to good use — either on the job or toward earning the pharmacy technician certification credential."

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NACDS Foundation Dinner generates more than $1.77M

BY Antoinette Alexander

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation raised more than $1.77 million for scholarships, research and charitable activities from 114 benefactors at the 13th Annual Dinner held Tuesday night in New York City.

Funds generated by the dinner support improving patients’ health and quality of life by fostering understanding of prescription medicines, promoting medication adherence, enhancing patient care services at neighborhood pharmacies and educating future healthcare professionals.

Among the NACDS Foundation’s work, its donations support the new Community Pharmacy Residency Expansion Project to provide grants to colleges and schools of pharmacy for the development of 30 fully-accredited post-graduate residencies. Separately, the NACDS Foundation presents more than $500,000 in scholarships to pharmacy students annually.

“Consumers can benefit by better understanding their medicines, and tomorrow’s pharmacists will play an even greater role in advancing the public health through enhanced innovative services and care,” stated NACDS Foundation president Kathleen Jaeger. “The NACDS Foundation helps fulfill those necessities by leading an unparalleled effort to improve the public health through community outreach and fostering educational opportunities for the next generation’s pharmacy leaders.”

At the dinner, CBS Evening news anchor and managing editor Scott Pelley, an Emmy-award winning journalist, provided a keynote address informed by his decades of coverage of war-torn regions and access to the world’s decision-makers.

The NACDS Foundation also has partnered with the National Consumers League on its Script Your Future medication adherence public education campaign, having contributed the largest single donation to this initiative at more than $1 million.

The Script Your Future campaign has emerged as a top priority for U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Regina M. Benjamin, who also spoke at the dinner and reinforced the public health importance of medication adherence.
 

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