News & Trends

FEBRUARY 19, 2012

Fink Honored With The Linwood F. Tice FrIend of APhA ASP Award

Joseph L. Fink III, BSPharm, JD, a regular contributor to Pharmacy Times, was the recent recipient of the 2012 Linwood F. Tice Friend of American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) Award. APhA recognized Fink for his “dedication to the advancement of student pharmacists” and his work with the University of Kentucky (UK) chapter of APhA-ASP.

Fink holds many positions in academia, including professor of pharmacy law and policy at the UK College of Pharmacy, professor of public health in the UK College of Public Health, professor of clinical leadership and management in the UK College of Health Sciences, and professor in the Martin School of Public Policy and Administration, where he served as acting director in 1998. He has previously received numerous accolades and distinctions in the field of pharmacy.

Fink is the longtime pharmacy law editor for Pharmacy Times, and is also the author of the journal’s monthly Pharmacy Law column. Fink can be heard each month on the Pharmacy Times iPad edition as well, for which he records an exclusive message about a pharmacy law topic.

This award is notable because it is student-nominated and was “established in 1988 to recognize an individual whose long-term services and contributions have benefited the American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP),” according to a UK press release. Fink will be officially recognized during the APhA Annual Meeting in New Orleans, March 9-12, 2012.

“Professor Fink has contributed to the pharmacy profession in many ways, but I feel that it is his contributions to his student pharmacists that will truly define his legacy,” a UK student noted.


Study Reveals Health Inequalities Within Socioeconomic Groups

Despite the expectation that health disparities between different socioeconomic group have grown dramatically, a new study found that health gaps among people within the same socioeconomic groups have actually widened over the past 24 years. In this time period, within-group gaps—or differences between people at the same education and income level—were larger than those between people at different education or income levels.

The study, which was published in the March 2012 issue of Social Science Research, was based on results from the National Health Interview Survey from 1984 to 2007. The self-reported survey is conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics, and includes approximately 30,000 people each year. Participants in the study were asked to rate their own health from poor to excellent on a 5-point scale, and were segmented based on various combinations of family income, education, employment status, age, race, and marital status.

Lead author Hui Zheng, PhD, assistant professor of sociology at Ohio State University, found that disparities in health were gender specific and based on population composition. Although he noted that all Americans generally gave themselves lower self-rated health scores over the 24-year period, men of the same socioeconomic class experienced a larger within-group gap. The authors also noted that men experienced a decrease in employment rate and were less likely to have salaries in the middle or high ranges.

“We need to find out more about how rising within-group income instability affects rising within-group health disparities,” Dr. Zheng explained. “If we can increase educational attainment and labor force participation, and increase social mobility, we will also probably decrease health disparities in our population.” PT


In PatIents WIth Diabetes, Decaf Coffee May Help Deter Dementia

Decaffeinated coffee may improve the way the brain uses glucose in patients with type 2 diabetes, according to new research published in Nutritional Neuroscience. The cognitive impairment that can occur as a result of problems with glucose metabolism in patients with type 2 diabetes is a known risk factor for dementia and Alzheimer disease.

Coffee is rich in chlorogenic and biogenic compounds, both of which have been shown to have beneficial effects on the brain—but the preventive benefits of coffee are complicated by potential cardiovascular side effects, such as increased blood pressure and cholesterol, which could lead to heart disease and stroke. A team of researchers led by Giulio Maria Pasinetti, MD, PhD, of Mount Sinai School of Medicine, hypothesized that decaffeinated coffee may be the best way to exploit the health benefits of coffee while avoiding the risk factors associated with caffeine intake.

In the study, investigators administered a green coffee supplement called Svetol to mice with diet-induced type 2 diabetes for a period of 5 months. They measured the genetic response of the mice after this period, and determined that supplementation with decaffeinated coffee allowed the brain to more effectively metabolize glucose in cellular respiration.

“Impaired energy metabolism in the brain is known to be tightly correlated with cognitive decline during aging and in subjects at high risk for developing neurodegenerative disorders,” noted Dr. Pasinetti. Introducing decaffeinated coffee products into the diet, he added, may “beneficially influence the brain, in particular promoting brain energy metabolic processes.”

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