March 6 Week in Review: Colorado To Become 1 of First States to Allow Patients to Get Prescriptions from Pharmacists; Intake of Dairy Milk Can Increase Risk of Breast Cancer Up to 80%

Published Online: Friday, March 6th, 2020

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.

Colorado is on its way to becoming 1 of the first states in the country to allow patients to get prescriptions for drugs that prevent HIV infection at the pharmacy, Pharmacy Times reported. The HIV Infection Prevention Medications Bill was introduced by Representatives Alex Valdez and Leslie Herod to help reduce the rates of HIV infection in Colorado. The bill is intended to prevent a health insurance carrier from requiring a covered person to undergo step therapy or to receive prior authorization before receiving HIV infection prevention drugs. State legislation gathering bipartisan support would allow pharmacists to screen a customer for HIV via a blood test and consultation, followed by a prescription of either the daily prevention pill, and pre-exposure prophylaxis.

Although flu activity has decreased for the second week in a row, it has remained at a high across the United States for the month of February, Contemporary Clinic reported. In the CDC’s most recent FluView report, visits to health care providers for influenza-like illness decreased from 6.1% last week to 5.5% this week, while all regions remain above their baselines. The overall hospitalization rate was similar to what has been seen during recent previous influenza seasons at this time of year. However, rates in school aged children and young adults are higher than in past seasons. The CDC estimates that so far, this season has seen 32 million flu illness, 310,000 hospitalizations and 18,000 deaths related to influenza. The overall rates of hospitalization and death, severity indicators, are considered moderate to low.

Intake of dairy milk can increase the risk of breast cancer by up to 80%, Specialty Pharmacy Times reported. According to study authors, consuming as little as one-quarter to one-third cup of dairy milk per day was associated with an increased risk of breast cancer of 30%. Researchers evaluated the dietary intakes of nearly 53,000 women, all of whom were initially cancer-free. During follow-up there were 1057 new breast cancer cases. Although the possible reasons for this association are not confirmed, the study authors said that it may have to do with the sex hormone content of dairy milk.

Pharmacists may get more questions about Cosentyx, if patients have seen a recent commercial for the prescription medication. In the spot, called “Treating Multiple Symptoms” the narrator explains that patients can feel real relief with less joint pain and swelling, less tenderness, and clearer skin. According to the commercial, Cosentyx is a prescribed medical injection that is intended to treat adults who suffer from moderate to severe plaque psoriasis when taken regularly as prescribed.

For more great coverage and practical information for today’s pharmacist, visit our website and sign up for our Daily eNews. And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Thanks for watching our Pharmacy Week in Review. I’m Nicole Grassano at the Pharmacy Times News Network.

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