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Vaccine refusal tied to pertussis outbreak

Parents refusing to vaccinate their children against pertussis (also known as whooping cough) might have played a role in the deadly 2010 outbreak in California – this according to a new study published in the October issue of Pediatrics.   In 2010, 9,120 cases of pertussis were reported in California, the most since 1947. This new study examines the role of clusters of individuals who refused the vaccine.   The study, “Nonmedical Vaccine Exemptions and Pertussis in California, 2010," analyzes non-medical exemptions for children entering kindergarten from 2005 through 2010, and pertussis cases ...

Governor Brown signs CURES bill

On Friday, Gov. Brown signed into law a bill that will provide funding for ongoing maintenance and staffing of the Controlled Substances and Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES). CURES is an online database that allows authorized users, including physicians, pharmacists, law enforcement and regulatory boards, to access information about a patient’s controlled substance prescription history. The new law will provide $9 million annually to maintain the database. The bill builds on funding provided through the 2013 budget to upgrade the system.   The mission of CURES is to prevent pharmaceuticals ...

NEPO surveys L.A. physicians' immunization practices for adults

Each year, vaccine preventable diseases impact the lives of millions of people in the United States. While there have been tremendous gains in vaccinating and preventing infectious diseases in children under the age of 18, due in part to the establishment of the Vaccines for Children Program in 1994, the complexity of reaching adults in need of recommended vaccinations often varies by age group, risk factors, existing medical conditions and medical insurance coverage.   Last year, the California Medical Association Foundation’s Network of Ethnic Physician Organizations (NEPO), in collaboration with the ...

Legislature passes CURES bill

The California Assembly has unanimously passed a bill (SB 809) that will provide $9 million annually to upgrade and maintain the Controlled Substances and Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES). CURES is an online database that allows authorized users, including physicians, pharmacists, law enforcement and regulatory boards, to access information about a patient’s controlled substance prescription history. The bill now heads to the governor’s desk.   The California Medical Association (CMA) changed its position on the bill from neutral to support after negotiating significant amendments to the bill that will make ...

April is 'National Donate Life' month

In honor of Donate Life month, the California Medical Association (CMA) and the CMA Foundation are encouraging physicians to talk to their patients about the importance of organ and tissue donation, particularly in underserved ethnic communities.   Currently, more than 117,000 men, women and children are awaiting organ transplants in the United States, more than half of those being multicultural patients. That’s because some diseases of the kidney, heart, lung, pancreas and liver that are best treated through transplantation are found more frequently in these populations. For example, African Americans and ...

Encourage your patients to participate in 'National Prescription Drug Take Back Day'

More than six million Americans abuse prescription drugs, this according to the 2011 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The study also revealed more than 70 percent of people abusing prescription pain relievers got them through friends or relatives, a statistic that includes raiding the family medicine cabinet.   The California Medical Association (CMA) has long recognized that a comprehensive approach is needed to address this serious issue. Successfully preventing drug abuse requires a public health focus, promotion of physician education and public ...