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Sunscreen Rules: Too Much Intervention?

Monday, May 20th, 2013

This is the time of the year when people take full advantage of the nice weather and get out into the sun. You can get a nice natural shot of vitamin D, something everyone needs. Or is this just a myth?

Pharmacists are here to answer these perplexing questions, make specific product recommendations, and generally guide their customers through the summer season. The goal is to keep their patients healthy and happy. Pharmacy Times is here to provide pharmacists with the latest research and important updates for skin and eye health, the theme of this issue. With roughly 30 million Americans using tanning salons annually, increased tanning—including artificially—has led to increased rates of skin cancer. See "Sunburn Protection: New Rules for Sunscreens" for up-to-date coverage and useful guidance for patients.

The news that the federal government has released new guidelines for sunscreen products may not surprise pharmacists, who know that the overexposure to the sun's rays is harmful and does cause cancer. As we report, "The FDA has identified and forbidden the use of misleading terms, such as 'waterproof,' 'sweatproof,' and 'sunblock,'" when it comes to sunscreen products. Yet this may give the consumer something to think about.

Is this being intrusive? There is a place for regulations, and certainly, when it comes to protecting the public's health guidance is important. But is it the role of the government or should it be the role of the industry to provide it? Limited government intervention is an important principle to value—and it seems that there are situations where less is more. Is this one of them?

As health professionals who are called upon to provide answers for seasonal health questions, as well as overall health, pharmacists have weighed in on over-the-counter products for 17 years in our annual Pharmacists' OTC Recommendations survey. The results, coming in June, offer valuable help for the consumer as well, especially for summer months and seasonal recommendations.

For the second year, Pharmacy Times has collaborated with U.S. News & World Report to offer this extremely useful survey and related patient guides and articles in ways that can be easily accessed—online and via an iPad and iPhone app.

This is our own entrepreneurial spirit at work, which takes a long-standing service for pharmacists and makes it new and relevant for a wider audience. Please watch for the launch of this year's OTC Guide next month.

Thank you for reading!

Mike Hennessy
Chairman/Chief Executive Officer
Blog Info
Mike Hennessy, President, Chairman, CEO
Blog Description
Mike Hennessy shares his views and perspectives on issues that affect pharmacists.
Author Bio
ABOUT MIKE HENNESSY, President, Chairman, CEO

Mike Hennessy is President, Chairman, and CEO of MJH & Associates and Intellisphere, LLC, publisher of influential journals in health care, finance, and politics, including Pharmacy Times. Pharmacy Times is a clinically based, monthly journal providing practical information pharmacists can use in their everyday practice. Each issue contains articles and features covering medication errors, drug interactions, patient education, pharmacy technology, disease state management watches, patient counseling, product news, pharmacy law, and specialty pharmacy. Pharmacy Times is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) as a provider of free continuing pharmacy education.

As a businessman, entrepreneur, and publisher of magazines, iPad editions, projects, and Web sites that focus on the needs of health care professionals, Hennessy is intimately familiar with the challenges these professionals face every day in today's competitive practice environment. News & Views: Hennessy's Highlights dissects health care policy issues, the impact of pharmacy on national health care, and the critical issues that concern pharmacists as the new health care reform legislation is debated.

As publisher of Pharmacy Times, Mr. Hennessy launched the Next-Generation Pharmacist Awards in partnership with Parata Systems, to recognize the achievements of pharmacists in health care. "As the leader in pharmacy publishing, Pharmacy Times is shining a light on the critical role of the pharmacist in today's health care world and providing invaluable insight into the profession," Mike Hennessy, chairman, chief executive officer, and president said. "We are proud to recognize individual pharmacists in this 2nd annual awards program."

Pharmacy Times is published by Intellisphere, LLC, a leading provider of health care publishing, research, information, and education. Operating within both traditional and digital media channels, Intellisphere serves the needs of health care professionals through an extensive suite of magazines, journals, e-mail databases, Web sites, events and personal meetings. Intellisphere reaches more than half a million health care professionals through Pharmacy Times, Specialty Pharmacy Times, The American Journal of Managed Care, The American Journal of Pharmacy Benefits, MDNG, HCPlive.com, Oncology & Biotech News, Oncology Net Guide, Contemporary Oncology, and Oncology Net Guide: Nurses' Edition.
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