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Found 5 results

  1. Celiac.com 08/22/2018 - There’s been some data to support the idea that local pharmacists might have an important role to play in helping people with celiac disease to remain gluten-free by providing information about possible gluten in drugs, and even liaising with manufacturers for gluten information on the patient’s behalf, as needed. But how solid is your local pharmacist when it comes to celiac disease awareness? A team of researchers recently set out to evaluate pharmacists' knowledge of celiac disease, and to look for areas where further information may be beneficial. The research team included Carmela Avena-Woods, PharmD, BS Pharm; Robert A. Mangione, EdD; and Wenchen Kenneth Wu, PhD, MBA. They are all with St. John's University in Queens, New York. To gather data for their evaluation, their team sent a survey to community pharmacists who practice in a national chain pharmacy in one region of New Jersey and New York. A total of 418 pharmacists, just under 40%, responded to the survey. Sixty percent of the responses correctly noted that there are currently no federal regulations requiring manufacturers to designate medications as gluten-free. Still, forty percent got that wrong. Perhaps most alarmingly, of the pharmacists who claimed a basic or advanced understanding of celiac disease, only 27% correctly indicated that celiac disease is both an autoimmune and a chronic lifelong disease. Interestingly, twenty percent of pharmacists said they often suggested a change of diet to people with suspected celiac disease before a clinical diagnosis was made. This study suggests that community pharmacists have some understanding of celiac disease, but that additional celiac education is advisable if they are to play an integral role in helping people with celiac disease to maintain a gluten-free diet. Read more at: Am J Pharm Educ. 2018;82(2)
  2. Celiac.com 05/24/2018 - England is facing some hard questions about gluten-free food prescriptions for people with celiac disease. Under England’s National Health Plan, people with celiac disease are eligible for gluten-free foods as part of their medical treatment. The latest research shows that prescription practice for gluten-free foods varies widely, and often seems independent of medical factors. This news has put those prescribing practices under scrutiny. "Gluten free prescribing is clearly in a state of flux at the moment, with an apparent rapid reduction in prescribing nationally," say the researchers. Their data analysis revealed that after a steady increase in prescriptions between 1998 and 2010, the prescription rate for gluten free foods has both fallen, and become more variable, in recent years. Not only is there tremendous variation in gluten free prescribing, say the researchers, “this variation appears to exist largely without good reason…” Worse still, the research showed that those living in the most deprived areas of the country are the least likely to be prescribed gluten-free products, possibly due to a lower rate of celiac diagnosis in disadvantaged groups, say the researchers. But following a public consultation, the government decided earlier this year to restrict the range of gluten free products rather than banning them outright. As research data pile up and gluten-free food becomes cheaper and more ubiquitous, look for more changes to England’s gluten-free prescription program to follow. Read more about this research in the online journal BMJ Open.
  3. Celiac.com 07/20/2017 - In the face of budget cuts, and in a move that may offer a glimpse of things to come, doctors with the the UK's National Health Service are eliminating gluten-free food prescriptions for adults, beginning in parts of Devon. As of July 1, the Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) responsible for planning and buying the majority of healthcare services for local people have recommended limiting gluten free foods including bread, pasta, flour and multipurpose mixes, to under 18 years of age. That means that approximately 3,400 adults in Devon will no longer receive gluten free food prescriptions, a move calculated to save tax payers around £350,000 per year. The CCG says the action is part of a plan to encourage people to purchase items that they usually get via a physician's prescription. The new guidelines were allegedly developed with input from GPs, patients and other stakeholders. The patient letter from the CCG said: "Gluten free products are now widely available from shops and online, and are often sold to the public at prices that are considerably lower than the NHS pays when they are provided on prescription. Given greater availability and lower cost, the CCG says that the move makes sense. However, many gluten-free Devon residents are offended by what they see as an attempt to pass higher costs to them. One resident, Graham Devaney, of Umberleigh, said: "I think it's absolutely disgusting. I now won't be able to eat bread because for a small loaf of gluten free bread from Sainsbury's it costs about £3, and I can't afford that because I'm disabled." Read more at devonlive.com.
  4. Celiac.com 03/07/2017 - The Brits are having a bit of a dustup over the best way to help people support with celiac disease. Currently, Britain's National Health Service supplies prescriptions for gluten-free food staples for people with celiac disease. Seemingly, no one disagrees with medical experts that celiac suffers should get support from the National Health Service to buy certain staple gluten-free products. The question, at least from one side of the political spectrum, seems to be whether prescriptions are the best way to provide that support. And that question lies at the heart of the dustup. In a recent article, the British Medical Journal presents a 'head to head' case for and against gluten-free prescriptions on the NHS. In opposition to prescriptions, James Cave, a GP from Newbury, suggests an alternative would be a national voucher scheme or a personalized health budget for patients, so they receive the difference between the cost of gluten-free products and the prescription. Matthew Kurien clinical lecturer in gastroenterology, Professor David Sanders, and Sarah Sleet, Chief Executive of Coeliac UK make the case in favor of providing prescription access to gluten-free staple foods, and say that removing prescriptions unfairly discriminates against people with celiac disease. They explain "targeting gluten-free food prescriptions may reduce costs in the short term but there will be long term costs in terms of patient outcomes." They also note that there is no other example in the NHS of a disease having its treatment costs cut by 50-100 per cent. Read more at Plymouth Herald.com.
  5. The following was written for you by a pharmacy technician who recently escaped from their retail chain job but remembers it all too well: I would like to help you out with a best-practices guide on getting what you need from an understaffed, busy pharmacy. I am also on a ton of medications and have a lot of experience doing all of this for myself, but you guys don't have friends behind the counter that will drop what they are doing to help you. See the last section if you want that. So, you take a prescription to the pharmacy for a medication that is available in generic form. If it is brand name only, hopefully you asked your doctor if there is a generic alternative before you left with a script, but sometimes the name brand is the best for you or only thing available, and you have less options if it is not free of your allergen. Your pharmacy will fill it with whatever manufacturer they keep on hand, which sometimes changes because they are always looking at prices, supply/demand, and other complicated things. If your research/experience deems this brand to be not-okay, there are usually a lot of different generic brands for each med. Some things will affect the availability of a drug and there may only be 1 or 2 companies who make it, but 2 options are better than one when one is no good The easiest way for you to get results are: 1. Call the pharmacy at a less-busy time like mid afternoon, or go in in person and talk to them (Not in the drive through) when they aren't busy. If your medicine is a controlled substance you may want to bring something saying you have an allergy, they may not be keen on talking to you about what brands of hydrocodone they carry for safety reasons. 2. Talk to the pharmacist, let them know you found out about an allergen in this generic brand, and ask for them to get the person who does the ordering to get you a list of equivalent medication that they can order from their supplier. They may need to call you back but this should be very easily accessible for them as electronic ordering is all there is nowadays. (that way you don't bother with something not available in your area, etc.) 3. Get that list and look the meds up, hopefully one is allergen free verifiable 4. Ask the pharmacy to fill the RX with that "NDC" only. An NDC is a unique number for that manufacturer-made drug. Tell them to put a note in your electronic profile and a note on the shelf where they keep the product to prevent this from being overlooked. 5. The pharmacy may screw up and fill with their preferred brand sometimes on refills and such still, because the computers like to auto-substitute with their preferred brand, so physically check the med before you leave and have them fix it if needed. 6. I just have to add... Always be nice to your pharmacy staff, and don't treat the pharmacy and its drive-thru like a fast food place. These people do more than just count pills, they have a legal responsibility to not kill you. If you have special needs, you are more likely to get good service at an independent pharmacy, but sometimes you are like me and your insurance makes you go to a specific chain. *grumpyface* Also, if you are at your pharmacy a lot, bringing the staff treats and being super nice to them will probably get you preferential treatment when you walk up to the counter. Okay, I will admit my friends at -retail chain- told me to add that part. But it is all true!
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