Here’s a chilling statistic to ponder: Every 24 hours, more than 4,000 adults in the United States are diagnosed with diabetes, and some 200 die from its effects. That’s according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which also reports that diabetes afflicts roughly 26 million Americans and could eventually develop in another 79 million U.S. residents considered to have prediabetes.
Is America really ready to turn back the clock on healthcare reform? That question will be one of many confronting voters when they stand in the voting booth Nov. 6 and choose between President Obama — effectively endorsing his sweeping, if incomplete, overhaul of the nation’s vastly expensive and semi-dysfunctional health system — or his equally determined rival, Mitt Romney. The former Massachusetts governor has sworn he’ll begin working to kill the Obama era health reforms on his first day in office if elected president.
Every day now, it seems, health researchers keep coming up with new reasons why the troubled U.S. healthcare system needs to more effectively engage pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in its urgent search for more accessible and more cost-effective ways to deliver care and boost patients’ lifespans and quality of life.
Oh, Canada. In some ways, you’re showing your much bigger neighbor in the south the way forward in taking pharmacy to a higher level of practice. And if we’re smart, we’ll pay attention to the results.
The U.S. healthcare system's steady migration beyond the exclusive terrain of the physician practices, professional clinics and hospitals — and into the far more accessible and more cost-conscious world of retail pharmacy and health — continues to accelerate. The shift is dramatically expanding access to health services for millions of patients — many of them uninsured or underinsured — and elevating the status of retail clinicians and community pharmacists.
It wasn’t that long ago that the branded drug industry was seen as an unstoppable titan of American industry, churning out a steady stream of breakthrough therapies and blockbuster products. But a tsunami of expiring patents on such top selling drugs as Lipitor, Plavix and Seroquel, combined with a slowdown in research and development, flattened the growth curve in recent years and opened the door for the ascendancy of generic drugs.
Pharmacists got another opportunity this month to show their skills and help ease the healthcare system's growing financial crisis and resource shortage. Will it move the needle on true health reform and the expanding pharmacy practice model?