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HEALTH CARE NOTEBOOK: New law to create panel on dementia | Hospitals join to solve drug dearth

by Kat Stromquist | March 21, 2021 at 8:17 a.m.

New law to create panel on dementia

A bill that create a group of legislators and stakeholders focused on Alzheimer's disease and dementia in Arkansas was signed into law Wednesday.

Act 391 of 2021 forms the Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia Advisory Council. The committee will study the conditions' impact, look for holes in care coverage and help implement the state Alzheimer's disease plan.

The group will make recommendations to the Legislature on related policy.

Stakeholders are to include state agency leaders, physicians, long-term-care and hospital lobbyists, heads of professional organizations, caretakers of people living with Alzheimer's disease, ombudsmen, researchers and others.

About 60,000 people in Arkansas, or roughly 2% of the state's population, are thought to have Alzheimer's disease or another condition that causes dementia.

Alzheimer's disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S., falling behind conditions such as cancer, heart disease and stroke, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Hospitals join to solve drug dearth

Arkansas Children's hospital joined a group of health care providers that will work to curtail medication shortages for pediatric patients, a news release said last week.

The Children's Hospital Coalition: Powered by Phlow includes the Arkansas facility and 10 more children's hospitals around the country. Other participants include Boston Children's Hospital, Cincinnati Children's and Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago.

Drug shortages are thought to disproportionately affect children's hospitals, the release said. The problem was underscored by shortages of essential injectable medications during the coronavirus pandemic.

Leaders from the member hospitals will work together and with Phlow officials to help solve weaknesses in the pediatric medicine supply chain and ensure "a reliable supply of high-quality, affordable essential medicines to treat children."

Phlow is a Virginia-based pharmaceutical company.

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