PHARMACY

Women with diabetes may be at risk for hearing loss, research finds

BY Allison Cerra

DETROIT — Female diabetes patients may experience a greater degree of hearing loss as they get older, particularly if their condition is not well-controlled by medication, according to a new study conducted at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

Researchers at the hospital reviewed records for 990 patients that had audiograms performed between 2000 and 2008 at Henry Ford. Patients were categorized by gender, age (younger than 60 years old, between ages 60 to 75 years and older than 75 years old), and if they had diabetes. Those with diabetes were divided into two groups: well-controlled or poorly controlled, as determined by the American Diabetes Association guidelines. After examining patients’ pure tone average — a measurement that determines hearing level at certain frequency — as well as speech recognition, the team evaluated pure tone average ranges that focus on the frequency at which most people speak, in addition to the very high frequencies used in music and alarms.

The Henry Ford team concluded that women ages 60 to 75 years with poorly controlled diabetes had significantly worse hearing, compared with those with well-controlled diabetes and the control group. What’s more, women younger than 60 years old — regardless of whether or not it was being controlled — had worse hearing than nondiabetic women. Meanwhile, there was no significant difference in hearing between men with diabetes that well-controlled or poorly controlled, as well as those men who did not have diabetes.

"A certain degree of hearing loss is a normal part of the aging process for all of us, but it is often accelerated in patients with diabetes, especially if blood-glucose levels are not being controlled with medication and diet," said Derek Handzo, of the Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery at Henry Ford. "Our study really points to importance of patients controlling their diabetes, especially as they age, based on the impact it may have on hearing loss. Younger males in general have worse hearing, enough so to possibly mask any impact diabetes may have on hearing. But our findings really call for future research to determine the possible role gender plays in hearing loss."


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PHARMACY

Impax licenses migraine drug rights from AstraZeneca

BY Alaric DeArment

HAYWARD, Calif. — Impax Pharmaceuticals said Wednesday that it obtained exclusive U.S. commercial rights to a drug for migraine headaches made by AstraZeneca.

Impax Pharmaceuticals, the branded drugs arm of Impax Labs, said it would make quarterly payments of $130 million to AstraZeneca during 2012, afterward paying the Anglo-Swedish drug maker tiered royalties on future sales of the drug Zomig (zolmitriptan). Impax is licensing Zomig’s orally disintegrating tablet and nasal spray formulations. Zomig had sales of $163 million during the 12-month period ended in September 2011, according to Impax.

"We are pleased to obtain a licensing agreement for Zomig, consistent with our goal to increase the revenue and financial contribution of our Impax Pharmaceuticals business to Impax Labs," Impax Pharmaceuticals president Michael Nestor said. "The Zomig product franchise fits well with the capabilities of our neurology-focused specialty sales force."

 


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NACDS Foundation releases second wave of funding via Community PREP

BY Allison Cerra

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The charitable arm of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores once again has released funding that will support 15 new residencies for recent pharmacy graduates.

The NACDS Foundation said that the funding, made through the Community Pharmacy Residency Expansion Project, will award an additional $750,000 in grants to support the residencies. The $1.5 million Community PREP program, established in December 2010, helps expand educational opportunities for recent pharmacy school graduates by pairing them with faculty members and preceptors to oversee residents’ learning experiences in patient-centered pharmacy practice sites, NACDS Foundation said.

“Community PREP provides essential funding to expand hands-on clinical research and education opportunities for community pharmacy’s future leaders,” NACDS Foundation president Kathleen Jaeger said. “Under the expert guidance of pharmacy veterans, residents will hone their abilities to deliver patient-centered health services and contribute to the evidence-base for community pharmacy-based clinical practice. These educational partnerships between pharmacy schools and community pharmacy practice sites provide exceptional opportunities to advance research and pharmacy education, and ultimately improve patient healthcare outcomes.”

Click here for an application.


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