The Weekly Roundup: Immunization Misinformation (2.22.19)

February 22, 2019 | Pamela Youngberg

Even as a widespread outbreak of measles worries health officials in the Pacific Northwest, Facebook is under fire for spreading anti-vax messages via group recommendations. The algorithms that power websites where Americans get often inaccurate health-related information from, says Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), “are not designed to distinguish quality information from misinformation or misleading information, and the consequences of that are particularly troubling for public health issues.” The Wall Street Journal is reporting that another social platform, Pinterest, has stopped returning search results for “vaccination” in an effort to curb misinformation. Studies have even connected immunization with better heart health, which makes February a great time to talk with patients about vaccines like Tdap. Besides being a public health threat, there’s no doubt that immunizations create opportunities for both revenue—but what can pharmacists do to promote them, especially among the unscientifically inclined? Here’s a place to start: Check out this audio discussion with some of the misinformation surrounding vaccination, and feel free to share the link with your patients via email or across your social media feeds.

Here are a few other stories that might be of interest:

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The Weekly Roundup: Advocacy at Work (2.15.19)

February 15, 2019 | Pamela Youngberg

Earlier this month, Jessica Astrup Ehret, a pharmacist from our Sterling Pharmacy in Northfield, MN, testified before the Minnesota Senate on a bill that would provide greater oversight of PBMs. The goal is to increase visibility in the supply chain and eliminate PBM self-dealing. Pharmacists’ legislative involvement is critical to the success of measures like this one, according to Tony Post, director of government affairs for Smart-Fill. “Proprietors in independent pharmacy are fighting tooth and nail to make it in this business,” he said. “They need to get active, now, calling legislators and urging passage of bills like this in their states. They have a chance to make a dent.” Most state pharmacy associations have legislative trackers (like this one in Minnesota), or check out this resource to stay on top of legislation in your state and nationally.

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