CVS, one of the nation's leading pharmacy stores, is all about health. From selling medications to other health related items, CVS and their pharmacy try to make their customers feel better. The same, however, can't be said for the new policy they are imposing on their pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. Thanks to a new policy, the over 200,000 CVS employees around the country have until May 2014 to submit their weight, body fat, glucose levels and other vitals to insurance. If they don't comply, they'll have to pay a $50 fine per month, or $600 per year.
According to ABC News, “CVS, which is based in Rhode Island, said the health screening was voluntary and the company would never see the test results. CVS explained that its “benefits program is evolving to help our colleagues take more responsibility for improving their health and managing health-associated costs.”
Some employees, however say this is discriminatory and a way of shaming employees into weighing less. For those employees, some have even gone so far as to quit working for CVS entirely.
As a student in pharmacy technician courses, do you think this should be allowed? Is it discriminatory or does the pharmacy have this right?
While some diseases are cureable, others are known for being lifetime ailments. Although HIV and AIDS are no longer the death sentence they once were, they still require a plethora of pills every day to keep the disease at bay. For one Mississippi toddler, a lifetime filled of medications and doctors visits may not be necessary because doctors may have accidently cured her of HIV.
A baby girl was born two years ago to a mother who only discovered she was HIV positive during labor. Doctors took the unusual step of giving the newborn three heavy HIV medications (AZT, 3TC, and Nevirapine) all at once. The baby continued to recieve check ups and be monitored for the first year of her life, however, the hospital then lost contact with the mother and the baby stopped recieving medications.
When the doctors tracked her down again, they were anxious to see how far the diesease had progressed. Surprisingly, viral loads were undetectable despite not being treated for a year. Doctors are now calling her "functionally cured" of HIV.
"You have to be careful because this is just a single case and although the data looked pretty convincing that you got to be careful that this may not be broadly applicable to other situations," Dr. Anthony Fauci, with the National Institutes of Health, told ABC News Radio.
For those enrolled in Ashworth College's online pharmacy technician course, what do you think this means for the future of HIV and the future of treating this disease?
No matter what career field you're in, work can seem overwhelming and not ideal at times. That being said, some career industries are more fast paced and ever-changing than others. Working as a pharmacy technician is one of those career fields where you can meet new people, solve problems, help others and learn something new at all times. With this in mind, there are some tips to ensure you continue to love and find joy working in pharmacy technician careers.
There are many different pharmacies in a variety of sizes and locations around your area. From grocery stores to stand-alone pharmacies, hospitals to family owned independent stores, you can find one that fits your personality and ideal work schedule.
Find a pharmacy that is normally busy. While working in a slower paced pharmacy may seem easier, you'll learn more and have more of a challenge at one that has more patients. Not only that, but being busy makes the time go faster.
If you do find yourself with down time, use it to your advantage. Just because you graduate from pharmacy school, just like Ashworth College's pharmacy tech online program, you're never done learning. You can also use this time to get to know your patients because making a personal connection with them can be important.
Get to know your coworkers as well. You work with them every day and they can make coming in to work pleasurable or something you dread.
Asking questions is the best way to learn. Ask your coworkers or managers if you have a question about filling a perscription, working the computer, what a certain medication is or anything else. You can also ask questions to your patients to ensure you're helping them feel their very best.
What other tips do you have for being happy in your pharmacy career?
I donated blood today. It was my first time. I highly recommend it. After doing some research on blood donations for a class, I realized that the blood supply is a serious concern. It was a bit eye opening how few people actually donate blood, and how much blood is needed. I’m always looking for a way to improve myself and become a better person, and this fits me perfectly. Have you ever considered donating blood?
It doesn’t cost you anything but a little time (it takes less than an hour). And it will go to help someone and possibly save a life. There are no drawbacks to it. You probably won’t feel any different - you won’t even know you lost any blood, and your body will replenish it very quickly. Blood is effectively a renewable resource.
And yet so few people do it. 38% percent of Americans are eligible to donate blood, but less than 10% of those who are eligible actually do. That’s 10 million Americans who donate, but another 90 million eligible donors who don’t. In one particular study that I read, 40% of people age 18-29 (the healthiest and most eligible potential donors) who didn’t donate said they would, but nobody ever asked them.
I’m asking you now - will you donate blood? It will help someone who needs it. It is truly giving life to someone. Consider it please.
These days, it's easy to custom order or design your own anything. From shoes to paint colors, customizing what surrounds you is easy, so why not customize what goes inside of you? Pharmacists that work in compounding pharmacies personally mix a medication for you based on what you need at the time. CNN explains, "compounding pharmacists customize medications to fit an individual's needs. Doctors prescribe these custom medications when the manufactured drug won't work -- for example, when a dosage is too large, or a patient has an allergy to a dye or ingredient in the original product."
This practice was the norm and was the only way people got their medication until the 1950s when mass medication production began. Before that, those in pharmacy careers had to create the drugs themselves. Now, however, compounded perscriptions only make up 1-3% of all medications taken in the United States.
Many people know fish is good for their heart, but even with it's many benefits, it's not necessarily a food many people enjoy eating. For those who want the benefits but not the fishy taste, opting to take fish oil has been seen as a healthy alternative. Now a recent study is saying that taking fish oil suppliments may not be as heart healthy as was once thought.
While the omega 3s and fatty acids found in fish ar shown to lower blood pressure and reduce heart rythm abnormalities, the thought they could be used to prevent heart attack and stroke is being questioned. "Omega-3 supplementation did not statistically significantly reduce all-cause mortality, sudden and cardiac death (heart attack), or stroke," says Dr. Moses Elisaf.
The 20 studies this information was drawn from, which tracked 70,000 people, seemed to back up this finding, but the men and women in the study were already exisiting heart patients. This means they were already suffering heart problems before the study began. Now it is being debated whether only Omega 3 from actual food will help with heart problems or if the pills work, maybe just not on those who have already had heart conditions.
When a child lives off of chicken fingers and ice cream, it's hard to pretend they're getting the right amount of nutritious ingredients. Vitamins and minerals are what keeps the child healthy and when their diet is lacking in food groups, many parents turn to giving their child vitamins. Parents often find themselves asking those working in pharmacy careers to help them decide on which brand is best for their child. Even so, the pharmacists trust that the box is telling the truth about how many vitamins and minerals can be found in their product. For this reason, one popular children's vitamin company is being sued for misrepresenting what ingredients are in their drugs.
According to an article in CNN, "The amount of DHA -- an omega-3 fatty acid found in fish -- in Disney and Marvel Complete Tablets equaled only one-thousandth of what the marketers claimed per serving for children age 4 and older. For smaller children, the discrepancy was even more significant. Only five-10-thousandths of what the company claimed the pills contained on the packaging was in a serving of Disney and Marvel Complete tablets for children ages 2 to 4, court documents filed by the FTC alleged."
Will you be more careful about your child's vitamins?
Starting today, under President Obama's healthcare reforms, private insurance companies must start providing contraception pills for free. Even so, not all of the 97 million American women between the ages of 18-64 that are currently taking the pill will get co-pay free contraception today. For starters, only those who pay for private healthcare are eligable.
About 65% of this population does qualify, but 19 millon of them are uninsured and therefore, have to pay out of pocket. Another 17 million are on medicare and it's unknown whether they will be able to participate. Each state gets to decide whether medicare will pay for contraception in their respective state. According to CNN, even the 57 million women that have private health insurance may not get to participate. "If their plan has not changed since the Affordable Care Act was enacted in March 2010, it can be grandfathered in and does not have to adhere to the co-pay free rules," the site reads.
As a student in pharmacy school, what do you think of free birth control for the insured?
The Food and Drug Administration has recently approved the first medication that is designed to prevent the spread of HIV. This new medication, called Truvada, is a combination of two medications that already exist. This pill does show signs of improvement. According to an article by ABC News, "the study that led to the drug's approval found the risk of transmission among men who have sex with men decreased more than 40 percent. Furthermore, it showed a decrease of more than 70 percent in risk of transmission among heterosexual couples in which one partner was infected with HIV but the other was not."
The FDA has made it clear that this medicine should not be your only line of defense when trying to prevent the spread of HIV. They stress that using this along with another form of protection is much more likely to cut back on the spread of the disease.
Despite the benefits, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation calls the invention of this pill irresponsible and says that this pill will undermine all progress they have made in prevention efforts.
Many people are diagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADD) and rely on medicines such as Adderall to assist them in making it through the day. Because it's not only a popular medication to help with ADD and ADHD as well as a drug that often gets misused by those looking to focus more, the US Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning about counterfeit medication being made and sold on the Internet.
The FDA was alerted to this fake drug ring by Teva Pharmaceuticals after a consumer, who noticed misspellings on the fake product packaging, notified Teva Pharmaceuticals. Those who work in pharmacy careers urge customers to be extra careful when buying medication online. “It is very important that patients purchase product through legitimate channels,” Bradley said. “Websites that do not require prescriptions are not reputable,” said Denise Bradley, Teva's Pharmaceutical Vice President.