Arizona Pharmacy Flash
Oct. 9, 2012

Pertussis increase in Maricopa County
Since Jan. 1, there has been a 240 percent increase in confirmed pertussis cases reported to the Maricopa County Department of Public Health compared with the same time period during 2011. This represents a nearly 600 percent increase compared with 2010.

Pertussis should be suspected in all symptomatic infants, children and adults regardless of immunization status. Fully immunized children can still develop pertussis and present with milder symptoms, as vaccine efficacy is not 100 percent and wanes with age. In 76 percent of cases, infected adults or older children in the household are the source of infant pertussis. Infants frequently become seriously ill with complications of pertussis and often require hospitalization.More

AzPA Fall Pharmacy Conference
Need Law CE? Attend the AzPA Fall Pharmacy Conference on Oct. 20, 2012 and you could win $500!More

Pharmacist volunteers wanted for homeless outreach free medical clinic
Health Outreach through Medicine and Education (H.O.M.E.), established in 1998 by Midwestern University-Glendale, is a multidisciplinary group of healthcare students (pharmacy, osteopathic medicine, podiatry, etc.) and licensed professionals who provide free medical care for homeless men, women and children at three Phoenix area homeless shelters: Central Arizona Shelter Services, United Methodist Outreach Ministries and Vista Colina. Licensed pharmacists volunteer in four-hour sessions at evening free clinics. Time commitment is flexible. Duties include oversight of pharmacy students as they dispense medications and counsel patients. Please consider this unique, rewarding experience. For more information please contact Jane Abrams, PharmD.More

Pharmacy-Based Immunization Services Certificate Training Program
Date: Monday, Nov. 12
Space limited to 20 registrants. Click to register. More

Flu vaccine roundup
The Arizona HAI Advisory Committee is partnering with the Grand Canyon Chapter of the Association for Infection Preventionists (APIC) to support Arizona Infection Prevention Week (IPW). The goal of 2012 Arizona IPW is to heighten awareness of the need to protect everyone from infections. On Wednesday, Oct. 17, we will be tracking the number of vaccines administered to the public to beat last year's statewide influenza vaccine record. Learn more. More

Not an AzPA member? Join today
Not an AzPA member? Join the only statewide association representing all pharmacy professionals in all pharmacy practice settings. With over 1,500 members, we are a leading association of pharmacists spreading the news and events of our industry.More

CDC, FDA advise not using products made by New England Compounding Center
American Society of Health-System Pharmacists
With the death toll from a nationwide outbreak of meningitis at five, two federal agencies recommended that all healthcare personnel cease using any product made by New England Compounding Center. Thirty-five people to date have been diagnosed with meningitis after receiving an epidural injection of preservative-free methylprednisolone acetate suspension prepared by the Massachusetts-based compounding pharmacy, Benjamin Park of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said during a recent news conference. Specimens from five of these people were found to contain fungus.More

FDA shuts down thousands of illegal Internet pharmacies
Medical News Today
The Food and Drug Administration has taken charge of a dangerous upturn in illegal online pharmacies that sell dangerous, unapproved medications to consumers. In collaboration with international regulatory and law enforcement agencies, the FDA took legal action against more than 4,100 internet pharmacies via criminal charges, seizure of illegal products and removal of websites.More

Arizona pharmacy helps medicine taste better for patients
The Arizona Republic
When Lori Allen's grandmother was in hospice care years ago, her caregivers crushed a pain medication with some sugar in an effort to provide relief with a more palatable taste. The medication still tasted awful. Because Allen is an experienced pharmacist, she explored what was necessary to make medicines taste better for those who can't swallow easily. The solution — even for animals — was compounding. Her pharmacy, Mixtures, will mix a prescription from scratch to tailor it perfectly to a patient's needs.More

Nonprescription medication abuse more common than perceived
Medical News Today
Nonprescription drugs are just as probable to cause poisoning as prescription drugs, a new study suggests. The most common medications that warranted a consultation with the toxicologist were sleeping pills, muscle relaxants, opioid pain relievers and non-opioid relievers. In 2011, there were 35 deaths from medication overdose, 10 from opioids, and eight from non-opioid pain medication.More

Florida congressmen say Rx-drug supply is limited, asks DEA to clarify efforts for stakeholders
Orlando Sentinel
At a time when some chronic-pain patients complain it is nearly impossible to find a pharmacist in Florida willing or able to fill prescriptions for painkillers, 13 members of Congress are calling on the federal drug agency to offer guidance and collaboration to industry stakeholders. In a letter sent to DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart, the group said pharmacy owners say it is difficult to obtain certain controlled substances because the supply from wholesalers has been severely limited or shut off.More

Milk thistle no better than placebo for treating hepatitis C infection
Pharmacy Practice News
Even at very high doses, the herbal extract milk thistle, silymarin, does not improve disease status or relieve symptoms in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. "Silymarin did not provide greater benefit than placebo for patients with treatment-resistant chronic HCV infection," wrote lead author Dr. Michael W. Fried, professor of medicine and director of hepatology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. More

Contraception for women with cancer
Medscape News (free subscription)
The Society of Family Planning has issued guidelines about the contraceptive choices of women diagnosed with cancer. The society points out that although chemotherapy and radiation therapy can compromise fertility, many women remain fertile. The type of cancer and the specific risks posed to the patient will affect her contraceptive options. Hormones are known to play a role in the development of breast cancer; therefore, the use of combined contraceptive pills or progestin-only pills is not recommended in women undergoing treatment for breast cancer. In these women, the copper intrauterine device seems to be the best choice. For women who receive tamoxifen as part of their cancer treatment, the intrauterine system seems to offer the most benefit. Its use will counteract the proliferative effects of tamoxifen on the endometrium while concurrently providing effective contraception.More

FDA withdraws approval of generic antidepressant
Medscape News (free subscription)
The antidepressant Budeprion XL 300 mg, one of the generic formulations of extended-release bupropion hydrochloride, is not therapeutically equivalent to Wellbutrin XL 300 mg, the brand-name extended-release formulation, and will be removed from the market by the drug's manufacturers, according to an update from the Food and Drug Administration. Budeprion XL 300 mg is manufactured by Impax Laboratories and is marketed by Teva Pharmaceuticals USA.More

Mylan sues FDA for approval of generic version of Diovan
Bloomberg Businessweek
Mylan Inc. sued the Food and Drug Administration for approval to sell a generic version of Novartis AG's heart pill Diovan after a competitor failed to get the drug on the market in time. Mylan, in a lawsuit filed in federal court in Washington, said Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd. forfeited its right to six-month exclusivity to sell the generic drug by not winning FDA approval. Mylan argues the FDA's refusal to approve its sale of the drug is arbitrary and capricious and an abuse of discretion. More

FDA OKs extended release liquid ADHD medication
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorders is now a common diagnosis with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimating that almost one in 10 children aged 4-17, has at some time, received a diagnosis of ADHD. Common treatment strategies for ADHD include cognitive-behavioral therapy and pharmaceuticals. The Food and Drug Administration has now approved Quillivant XR, the first once-daily, extended-release liquid methylphenidate available for patients with ADHD.More