Bronchodilators best therapy for COPD patients
YARMOUTH, Maine - A review of current treatment guidelines for the management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), published in the New England Journal of Medicine, reaffirmed the central role of bronchodilators as the preferred therapy for the management and treatment of COPD. According to the article, inhaled bronchodilators are the foundation of COPD treatment because they improve airflow. The article also notes that since most patients have at least moderate airflow limitation when first evaluated, they are likely to require regularly scheduled bronchodilation and to derive benefit from a long-acting bronchodilator as initial therapy.
NCPA: Independents see 23% boost in 2003
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Gross margins at independent community pharmacies rose to 23.8%, up from 23.5% in 2002, according to the National Community Pharmacists Association’s 2003 data on independent pharmacies. Total and prescription sales also showed strong growth in 2003. Preliminary data suggests that independent community pharmacies exceeded $3.2 million in total sales in 2003, which represents growth of 12% over 2002 figures. Prescription volume remained steady. The average independent pharmacy dispensed 56,100 prescriptions in 2003, which translates to an average 180 prescriptions. Last year there were 23,956 independent pharmacies nationwide, accounting for 42% of the total number of pharmacies.
Ear infections may raise kids’ asthma risk
YARMOUTH, Maine - New research suggests that ear infections might raise a child’s risk for asthma. Children having three or more ear infections were 57% more likely to develop asthma compared to those with no history of ear infections, according to a study published in Chest. Researchers analyzed health data collected between 1988 and 1994 on more than 7,500 children. Researchers, however, said the findings were not conclusive, but one theory why the correlation exists suggests that viruses or bacteria that cause ear infections might also upset a child’s immune system and encourage asthma.