Posts Tagged ‘ pharmacy ’

Pediatric Retail Clinics’ Convenience Debated

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

A growing number of retail stores are offering pediatric care services, examining kids with minor health issues and saving parents a trip to the doctor’s office.  A new study published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics is taking a closer look at whether these retail clinics are as effective as they are convenient.  More from Time.com:

Researchers from Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis report that even families with well-established relationships with a pediatrician take advantage of pediatric retail clinics to take care of their children’s minor health issues, even if they are staffed with non-pediatric health care personnel.

Why? The researchers surveyed 1,484 parents from 19 Midwestern pediatric practices who said that they took their kids to the clinics out of convenience; 74% of the parents said they first considered going to their pediatrician, but 37% decided on the retail clinic because it had hours that conformed better with their schedules.

In a corresponding editorial, Dr. Edward Schor of the Lucille Packard Foundation for Children’s Health in Palo Alto, California wrote that such decisions may become more commonplace: “Retail-based clinics reflect systemic changes occurring within the health care industry to which pediatric practices must adapt.” Retail clinics, which are typically run by nurse practitioners and physician assistants, are not only convenient, but cost patients about 30% to 40% less than office practices. Most of these clinics are located in retail pharmacy stores, while others are operated by hospitals or doctors’ groups.

The lower cost and increased convenience of the clinics are putting pediatricians on the defensive, and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) formally opposes them as an appropriate venue for care of infants and children. AAP officials question the quality of care patients receive, stemming from the fact that children may see different practitioners at each visit.

Image: Mother and child at pharmacy, via Shutterstock

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CVS Admits to Accidental Children’s Pill Switch

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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