Tuesday, February 25th, 2014
The American Academy of Pediatrics has issued a policy statement urging parents not to use medical clinics at retail stores like CVS or Walgreens as their children’s primary care resource. More from Reuters:
Retail medical clinics, first opened in the U.S. in 2000, have popped up in grocery stores, drug store chains and “big box” stores. There were more than 6,000 such locations in the country as of 2012, according to the policy update published in the journal Pediatrics.
Representatives from Walgreens and CVS, both national drugstore chains with associated medical clinics at some locations, largely agree with the AAP guidelines and do not encourage people to use their services as primary care.
“We strongly encourage all patients to have a relationship with a primary care physician and medical home for ongoing medical needs and routine exams,” Walgreens spokesman Jim Cohn told Reuters Health.
The statement only refers to the types of clinics that are built into other businesses, not freestanding “urgent care” clinics, which have also grown in popularity and have some of the same drawbacks.
According to the authors of the statement, taking kids to retail clinics instead of primary care pediatricians fragments care, since the kids don’t always see the same medical provider. A child could have chronic ear infections or other long-term medical problems that seem to the providers at various retail clinics like unrelated single events.
Image: Mom and child at pharmacy, via Shutterstock
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Monday, March 5th, 2012
Parents in Chatham, New Jersey are alarmed to learn that as many as 50 children’s prescriptions for fluoride pills were accidentally switched with Tamoxifen, a powerful breast cancer drug, by a local CVS pharmacy between December 1 and February 20. CVS Caremark told The Associated Press that only a few children ingested the cancer medication, believing it to be the chewable fluoride tablet, and that those children are not likely to suffer any health effects.
From the AP:
“Fortunately, it’s very unlikely that this specific drug would cause any serious or adverse effects when used for only a short periods of time,” said Daniel Hussar, a professor with the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy at the University of the Sciences.
CVS said it had spoken with or left messages for every family whose child was dispensed a 0.5 mg fluoride prescription from its Chatham location within the past 60 days. The company issued a statement Friday that said it was “deeply sorry for the mistake that occurred,” although it did not explain how the mistake happened.
Mike DeAngelis, CVS Caremark’s director of public relations, has said that “most of the families we have spoken to did not indicate that their children received any incorrect pills.” No injuries related to the mix-up have been reported.
Officials say the two pills are similar looking but have distinctively different tastes. Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay and is usually prescribed by dentists for children, while Tamoxifen is used to treat breast cancer and blocks the female hormone estrogen.
Image: Pill bottle, via Shutterstock.
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