June 1 Pharmacy Week in Review: New Hepatitis C Virus Guidelines and Lyme Disease Prevention
This weekly video program provides our readers with an in-depth review of the latest news, product approvals, FDA rulings, and more. Our Week in Review is a can't miss for the busy pharmacy professional.
Nicole Grassano, Host: Hello and welcome to the Pharmacy Times News Network. I’m Nicole Grassano, your host for our Pharmacy Week in Review.
The American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases and the Infectious Diseases Society of America has issued new hepatitis C virus (HCV) guidelines for unique populations, Pharmacy Times reported. These guidelines provide new testing and management recommendations for pregnant women, individuals who inject drugs, men who have sex with men, and individuals who are incarcerated. The guidelines call for testing all pregnant women for HCV infection, especially at the initiation of prenatal care, and also testing all individuals who inject drugs or have injected drugs in the past. In addition, annual HCV testing is recommended for sexually active HIV-infected adolescents, and adult men who have sex with men. The guidelines also recommend HCV-antibody testing followed by HCV-RNA testing for those who are incarcerated and are antibody-positive.
In the United States, an estimated 300,000 new Lyme disease infections occur each year, according to the CDC, Contemporary Clinic reported. The disease is spread through bites from infected blacklegged ticks. These arachnids are typically found in grassy or wooded areas, most often in New England, the mid-Atlantic states, and the upper Midwest, but they can also be found in California, Oregon, and Washington. Individuals who camp, hike, play, or work in these places are most susceptible to tick bites. One way to help prevent tick bites is to avoid walking through tall bushes, thick leaves, or other vegetation, as well as to walk in the center of trails. Ticks generally need 36 to 48 hours to feed on an individual’s blood and can leave a red, expanding, rash that often resembles a bullseye. The rash won’t hurt or itch, but a bite can also come with fatigue, chills, fever, and body aches.
A single-tablet HIV treatment regimen may produce better patient outcomes than multi-tablet regimens, according to new research published in AIDS Care and reported on by Specialty Pharmacy Times. Once-daily regimens have become the standard of care for patients with HIV, but they often include a multi-tablet regimen. The researchers sought to determine whether reducing the pill burden to only a single daily pill could further improve adherence, retention in care, and virologic outcomes among patients. To determine which treatment approach had better outcomes, the researchers studied more than 1000 patients at a non-VA Texas clinic who were just beginning HIV treatment from January 2008 to December 2011.
Pharmacists may get more questions about Nicorette Mini lozenge mints if their patients have seen a new commercial for the smoking cessation aid. In the spot, called 'Andrew’s Why,' a dad is tired of sneaking up to the attic for a cigarette when he was supposed to be quitting, so he starts using Nicorette Mini lozenge mints to reduce the urge to smoke. According to the commercial, behavioral support increases the chances of kicking the smoking habit.
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