Pharmacy consultations cut death, hospitalization rates

Patients may be less likely to die or be hospitalized from drug-related complications if they talk to their pharmacists about their prescriptions, new research finds. Intensive pharmacy consultations for patients taking “high-risk” medications contributed to an 8 percent drop in the number of drug-related deaths over two years, compared to the death rate among similar patients who received minimal or no pharmacy consultations, according to the study.

California Physicians Dropping Out of Managed Care

Only 58 percent of patient care physicians in California are accepting new patients with HMO coverage, and the “California Model” of loose networks of private practice physicians organized into large managed care practice organizations is unraveling, according to University of California research. “California led the nation’s charge into managed care. Our study of the state’s physicians tells us that California has now sounded the retreat,” said Kevin Grumbach, MD, director of the Center for California Health Workforce Studies. “Private physicians are starting to abandon HMOs, IPAs and managed care networks.”

Researchers to test smallpox vaccine

Researchers in Northern California are conducting a clinical trial that will test whether diluted doses of the smallpox vaccine produce adequate immunity in adults who have previously been vaccinated. The results of the federally funded study, for which volunteers are now being sought, will help shape U.S. policy on how the vaccine would be given in the event of a smallpox outbreak.

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