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Weekly Summary -- January 11, 2019

Friday, Jan. 11, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Here are what Pharmacist's Briefing editors consider the most important developments for the week of January 11, 2019

Mom-to-Be's Flu Can Harm Her Unborn Baby

FRIDAY, Jan. 11, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Pregnant women who get a flu shot protect not only themselves, but also their developing baby, health officials report.

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Here's How the Government Shutdown Could Affect Your Health

FRIDAY, Jan. 11, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Tainted food, trash-filled parklands and even hungry kids: Public health could be increasingly at risk as the U.S. government shutdown drags into its 21st day, experts say.

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Foot Stools Move Human Stool Along

THURSDAY, Jan. 10, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- A simple potty stool under your feet might help cure constipation, researchers say.

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Fiber: It's Not Just for Adults

THURSDAY, Jan. 10, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- You know how important fiber is for overall health, making meals more filling and staying "regular."

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Drug May Delay MS Disability for Some

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 9, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- An immune system drug may help prevent or slow complications in a type of multiple sclerosis known as secondary progressive MS, a new study finds.

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Cancer Patients May Face Greater Risk of Shingles

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 9, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Newly diagnosed cancer patients may be at increased risk for the painful skin condition shingles, a new study finds.

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Friends' Vaping Could Pose Danger to Kids With Asthma

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 9, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Add another danger that e-cigarettes pose to teenagers: A new study finds secondhand exposure to vaping may raise the chances of asthma attacks in adolescents with the respiratory condition.

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Getting Flu Shot During Hospital Stay Is a Safe Bet

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 9, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Many doctors may worry about giving their hospital patients a flu shot, but a new study suggests they can relax.

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Even Older Drugs Are Getting Steep Price Hikes, Study Finds

TUESDAY, Jan. 8, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- It's a common belief that rising drug prices are due to the high cost of cutting-edge medications, with manufacturers charging a bundle to make back development expenses for their new products.

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As Medical Marketing Soars, Is Regulation Needed?

TUESDAY, Jan. 8, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Turn on prime-time TV and you'll likely see a pitch for arthritis or impotence pills, and maybe a cancer center. Advertisers spent nearly $10 billion marketing prescription drugs and medical services to the American public in 2016 -- five times what they doled out 20 years earlier, a new study finds.

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Suicide Risk Rises Following Cancer Diagnosis

MONDAY, Jan. 7, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- A cancer diagnosis can be tough to take, and a new study finds many patients contemplate suicide.

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AHA: Could Phosphate Additives in Foods Make You Less Active?

MONDAY, Jan. 7, 2019 (American Heart Association) -- A new study suggests that high levels of inorganic phosphate -- a preservative widely used in certain sodas, packaged meats and other processed foods -- may be a reason why the U.S. population isn't as physically active as it used to be.

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Flu Shot Crucial for Those With COPD

MONDAY, Jan. 7, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- If you suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a flu shot can be a lifesaver. But many of the millions with the lung condition don't get it, researchers report.

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Does Alzheimer's Unfold Differently in Black Patients?

MONDAY, Jan. 7, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Alzheimer's disease may be twice as common in black Americans as in whites, and scientists don't really know why.

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Persistent Opioid Use High in Head, Neck Cancer Patients

FRIDAY, Jan. 11, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Persistent opioid use at three and six months remains high among patients undergoing treatment for head and neck squamous cell cancer, according to a study recently published in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.

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U.S. Food Supply May Be at Risk Due to Government Shutdown

THURSDAY, Jan. 10, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Food inspections have declined due to the partial shutdown of the U.S. government, potentially putting the nation's food supply at risk.

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Transdermal HRT Not Linked to Increased Risk for VTE

THURSDAY, Jan. 10, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Oral hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is associated with an increased risk for venous thromboembolism (VTE), while transdermal preparations are not linked to increased risk, according to a study published online Jan. 9 in the BMJ.

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E-Cigarette Aerosol Exposure Tied to Asthma Symptoms

THURSDAY, Jan. 10, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Secondhand exposure to electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) aerosols may be related to asthma symptoms in youth, according to a study published in the January issue of CHEST.

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FDA: Chocolates, Candies May Be Contaminated With Hepatitis A

THURSDAY, Jan. 10, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- A public health alert about possible hepatitis A contamination in Modjeskas from Bauer's Candies was announced Thursday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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USPSTF Affirms Guidance for Hep B Screening at First Prenatal Visit

TUESDAY, Jan. 8, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection screening in pregnant women at their first prenatal visit. These findings form the basis of a draft recommendation statement published online Jan. 8 by the task force.

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Racial Differences ID'd in Some Biomarkers of Alzheimer's Disease

TUESDAY, Jan. 8, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Certain molecular biomarkers for Alzheimer's disease differ with race, according to a study published online Jan. 7 in JAMA Neurology.

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Exercise Can Consistently Lower Blood Pressure

MONDAY, Jan. 7, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Exercise can consistently yield reductions in blood pressure, according to a meta-analysis published online Dec. 18 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

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Gabapentin Improves Sexual Function in Provoked Vulvodynia

MONDAY, Jan. 7, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- For women with provoked vulvodynia, gabapentin improves sexual function compared with placebo, although overall sexual function is still lower than for pain-free controls, according to a study published in the January issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

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Daily Vitamin D Could Be a Lifesaver for Some COPD Patients

FRIDAY, Jan. 11, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Deadly lung attacks may be averted in some COPD patients with a daily dose of vitamin D, new research suggests.

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Flu Vaccination Safe for Hospitalized Patients

THURSDAY, Jan. 10, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Influenza vaccination during hospitalization is associated with reduced risk for readmission, outpatient visits, fever, and clinical evaluations for infection postdischarge, according to a study published online Jan. 8 in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

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Smartphone App Can Detect Early Signs of Opioid Overdose

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 9, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Specialized smartphone software can be used to detect early signs of opioid overdose, according to research published in the Jan. 9 issue of Science Translational Medicine.

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Long Work Hours Tied to Poor Glycemic Control in T2DM

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 9, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Long work hours (≥60 hours/week) are associated with poor glycemic control in young Japanese men with type 2 diabetes, according to a study published in the January issue of the Journal of Diabetes Investigation.

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No Increased Fall Risk With HTN Treatment in Older Women

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 9, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Treating high blood pressure (BP) is not associated with an increased fall risk among older women, according to a study published online Jan. 7 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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IC Nicardipine Promising for Tx of Spontaneous Coronary Slow-Flow

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 9, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Intracoronary (IC) administration of nicardipine seems to be highly effective in reversing spontaneous coronary slow-flow (CSF), according to a study published online Dec. 15 in the Journal of Invasive Cardiology.

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Measles Outbreak in New York State Largest in Recent History

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 9, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- There have been at least 112 confirmed cases of measles in Rockland and Orange counties and at least 55 in New York City in what officials say is the largest measles outbreak in New York state in recent history.

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Antibiotics Prescribed for Children More Often at Nonpediatric EDs

TUESDAY, Jan. 8, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Most emergency visits by children occur at nonpediatric emergency departments, which have more frequent antibiotic prescribing, according to a study published online Jan. 8 in Pediatrics.

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Meta-Analysis: Botulinum A Tops Placebo for Chronic Migraine

MONDAY, Jan. 7, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- For chronic migraine, botulinum type A injections are superior to placebo after three months of therapy, according to a meta-analysis published in the January issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

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Recent Nasal Preps Less Effective Than Injected Vax for Flu in Kids

MONDAY, Jan. 7, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- The quadrivalent live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV4) is less effective than inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV) against influenza A/H1N1pdm09 in all pediatric age groups, according to research published online Jan. 7 in Pediatrics.

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Rx Opioids Up Pneumonia Risk in Patients With, Without HIV

MONDAY, Jan. 7, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Prescribed opioids are associated with an increased risk for community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) requiring hospitalization among persons with and without HIV, according to a study published online Jan. 7 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Rituximab Beneficial in Secondary Progressive MS

MONDAY, Jan. 7, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- For patients with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS), treatment with rituximab is associated with a significantly lower Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score and delayed progression, according to a study published online Jan. 7 in JAMA Neurology.

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Flu Vaccine Cuts Flu-Related Hospitalization in COPD Patients

MONDAY, Jan. 7, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- For patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) hospitalization, influenza vaccination is associated with a significant reduction in influenza-related hospitalization, according to a study published online Jan. 4 in CHEST.

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Changes to Flu Shot Supply Chain Could Save Lives: Study

FRIDAY, Jan. 11, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- Problems with flu vaccine distribution in the United States may cost lives and pose a serious threat in the event of a flu pandemic, researchers warn.

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Increase in Brand-Name Drug Cost Mainly Due to Existing Drugs

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 9, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- The costs of oral and injectable brand-name drugs increased from 2008 to 2016, with most of the increase due to existing drugs, while new drugs accounted for cost increases in specialty and generic drugs, according to a study published in the January issue of Health Affairs.

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Medical Marketing Has Increased in Past 20 Years

TUESDAY, Jan. 8, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- From 1997 through 2016, there was an increase in medical marketing, especially direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising, according to research published in the Jan. 1/8 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Multimethod Approach Improves ID of Med Nonadherence

MONDAY, Jan. 7, 2019 (Pharmacist's Briefing) -- An approach involving a combination of provider report and pharmacy refill data can improve identification of medication nonadherence among youth with chronic kidney disease (CKD), according to a study published in the January issue of Pediatric Nephrology.

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