March 2015 Briefing - Pharmacy

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Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Pharmacy for March 2015. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

USPSTF: Evidence Lacking for Routine Iron Supplementation

TUESDAY, March 31, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Taking iron supplements during pregnancy doesn't appear to significantly change any health outcomes for mother or infant, a new review shows. A second review -- this one on infants and toddlers -- found no evidence that iron supplements improved growth or development. The findings on pregnant women were released online March 30 in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The findings on children were published online March 30 in Pediatrics.

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Opioid-Induced Constipation Significant in Pain Patients

TUESDAY, March 31, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Opioid-induced constipation (OIC) is significant among noncancer pain patients, according to a study published online March 20 in Pain Medicine.

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An Apple a Day May Keep the Pharmacist Away

MONDAY, March 30, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Apple eaters are less likely to need a prescription medicine, according to new research. The study was published online March 30 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Glyburide in Gestational DM Linked to Complications

MONDAY, March 30, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- When used to treat gestational diabetes, glyburide has been linked to a number of complications in the infant, according to a new study. The report was published online March 30 in JAMA Pediatrics.

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AAP: Use Only Metric Dosing for Children's Medications

MONDAY, March 30, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The best way to measure liquid medications for children is in metric milliliters, according to a committee from the American Academy of Pediatrics. Accidental medication overdoses send more than 70,000 children to U.S. emergency departments each year, according to background information with the statement, which was published online March 30 in Pediatrics.

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Multiple, Inappropriate Meds Taken by Older Cancer Patients

MONDAY, March 30, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A pharmacist-led comprehensive medication assessment shows that a high number of older oncology patients use multiple and/or inappropriate medications. The findings were published online March 23 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Individual Short-Term Responses to Antiplatelet Therapy Vary

MONDAY, March 30, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with ischemic heart disease, responses to antiplatelet therapy (APT) vary between pre-discharge and one week after discharge from hospital, according to a study published online March 21 in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

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Discontinuing Statins for Terminally Ill May Improve QOL

FRIDAY, March 27, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Discontinuing the use of cholesterol-lowering statins in terminally ill patients may improve their quality of life, according to a new study published online March 23 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Physician/Pharmacist Model Can Improve Mean BP

FRIDAY, March 27, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A physician/pharmacist collaborative model can improve mean blood pressure (BP), according to a study published online March 24 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

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Perception of Crisis Mode Tied to Patient Info Exchange Issues

THURSDAY, March 26, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Hospital staff members who perceive their unit is trying to do too much too quickly are more likely to also perceive problems in exchanging patient information across units, according to a study published in the March issue of the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

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FDA Warns Against Amiodarone Use With Hepatitis C Meds

WEDNESDAY, March 25, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Symptomatic bradycardia can occur when amiodarone is taken with new hepatitis C medications, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns.

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Greater Use of Antibiotics Tied to Higher Odds of Diabetes

WEDNESDAY, March 25, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Repeated use of certain antibiotics may increase a person's risk for type 2 diabetes, new research suggests. The study was published online March 24 in the European Journal of Endocrinology.

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FDA: Eylea Approval Expanded to Include Diabetic Retinopathy

WEDNESDAY, March 25, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of Eylea (aflibercept) has been expanded to treat diabetic retinopathy among people with diabetic macular edema, the agency said Wednesday in a news release.

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FDA Approves New Treatment for Anthrax

WEDNESDAY, March 25, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Anthrasil, Anthrax Immune Globulin Intravenous (Human), has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat patients with inhalational anthrax in combination with appropriate antibacterial drugs.

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Meds Not Stents in Patients With Intracranial Arterial Stenosis

TUESDAY, March 24, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Using stents rather than medication alone to keep narrowed arteries open in the brain may actually increase patients' risk of stroke, according to the results of a new trial. The report was published in the March 24/31 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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2015 Diabetes Standards Focus on Individualized Tx Approach

TUESDAY, March 24, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Therapeutic decisions for diabetes should be individualized, considering factors such as ethnicity and cardiovascular risk, according to an ideas and opinions piece published in the March 24 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Hormone Therapy Not Detrimental to Women on Statins

MONDAY, March 23, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Hormone therapy is associated with a reduced risk of all-cause mortality in women treated with statins, according to a study published in the April issue of Menopause.

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α-Tocopherol Disappearance Depends on Lipids

MONDAY, March 23, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Plasma α-tocopherol disappearance rates depend on lipid concentrations, not on age or sex, according to a study published online March 4 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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Electronic Solutions Underway for Rx Prior Authorizations

FRIDAY, March 20, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Efforts are underway to offer technological solutions to the burdens associated with prior authorizations, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

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Valacyclovir Cuts Viral Load in HIV-1+/HSV-2 Seronegative

FRIDAY, March 20, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The prodrug valacyclovir (valACV) reduces viral load in HIV-1 infected herpes simplex virus (HSV)-2-seronegative patients, according to a study published online March 3 in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

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Mongersen Linked to Improved Remission in Crohn's Disease

WEDNESDAY, March 18, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with Crohn's disease, treatment with an oral SMAD7 antisense oligonucleotide, mongersen, is associated with significantly higher rates of remission and clinical response versus placebo, according to a study published in the March 19 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Incremental Innovation Impedes Progress on Generic Insulin

WEDNESDAY, March 18, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Despite the widespread availability of generic drugs, insulin has shown that generics are not an automatic phase in the life cycle of a drug, according to an article published in the March 19 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Antipsychotics May Up Risk of Premature Death in Dementia

WEDNESDAY, March 18, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Antipsychotic drugs used to treat the delusions, hallucinations, agitation, and aggression that occur in many people with Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia may increase the risk of premature death more than previously thought, a new study suggests. The study was published online March 18 in JAMA Psychiatry.

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FDA Approves Cholbam for Rare Bile Acid Synthesis Disorders

WEDNESDAY, March 18, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Cholbam (cholic acid) capsules have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat adults and children with bile acid synthesis disorders and peroxisomal disorders, the agency said in a news release.

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Joint European, U.S. Statement Issued on Insulin Pump Safety

WEDNESDAY, March 18, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Modern insulin pump technologies could be further improved by adopting a more rigorous, standardized, and transparent approach to safety, according to a joint scientific statement from the European Association for the Study of Diabetes and the American Diabetes Association. The statement was published online March 16 in Diabetes Care.

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Lack of Agreement for Meds Reconciliation Responsibilities

WEDNESDAY, March 18, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- There is a lack of agreement among clinicians about who is responsible for specific roles in the medication reconciliation process, according to a research letter published in the March issue of the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

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Genetic Variation Impacts Aspirin/NSAID Link to CRC Risk

TUESDAY, March 17, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have been identified which confer differential benefit for aspirin and/or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) use in relation to colorectal cancer risk, according to a study published in the March 17 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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More Than 16 Million Americans Have Gained Coverage Under ACA

TUESDAY, March 17, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The Obama Administration reported Monday the largest drop in the number of Americans without health insurance since the Johnson administration expanded health coverage through Medicare and Medicaid 50 years ago.

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Propranolol Seems Prophylactic Against Infantile Hemangiomas

MONDAY, March 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Propranolol seems to be prophylactic against infantile hemangiomas, according to a case report published online March 16 in Pediatrics.

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Getting Heard May Be Key to Getting New Job

FRIDAY, March 13, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Your voice may be the key to landing a new job, researchers report in an upcoming issue of Psychological Science.

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HealthDay/Harris Poll: More Americans in Favor of Vaccination

THURSDAY, March 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- In the wake of the measles outbreak that has generated headlines for months, more Americans now say they have positive feelings toward childhood vaccinations, according to a new HealthDay/Harris Poll.

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More Support for 'Timing Hypothesis' in HRT Use

THURSDAY, March 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- There's yet another study looking at the potential dangers of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for menopausal symptoms, and this one supports the notion that the treatment may not help women's hearts. The findings were published online March 10 in The Cochrane Library.

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Long-Term NSAID Use Beneficial in Knee Osteoarthritis

THURSDAY, March 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with knee osteoarthritis, long-term nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) use is associated with improvements in symptoms and disease progression, according to a study published in the March issue of Arthritis & Rheumatology.

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Clinical Trial Data Often Not Reported in Timely Manner

THURSDAY, March 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers are not promptly reporting the results of clinical trials to ClinicalTrials.gov, according to an article published in the March 12 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Guidelines Provided for Viscosupplementation in Knee OA

WEDNESDAY, March 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with knee osteoarthritis, the evidence should be considered before recommending viscosupplementation, according to a case vignette study published in the March 12 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Age, Race May Affect Tx Decision Regret in Prostate Cancer

WEDNESDAY, March 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Age, race, and other factors may influence treatment decisional regret among men with prostate cancer, according to research published online March 3 in Cancer.

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Melatonin Use in Children Raises Safety Concerns

WEDNESDAY, March 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Considerable safety concerns surround use of melatonin for children with sleep disorders, according to a review article published online Feb. 3 in the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health.

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CVD Risk Up With Androgen Deprivation Tx in Prostate Cancer

WEDNESDAY, March 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For men with prostate cancer (PCa), the risk for incident cardiovascular disease (CVD) is increased with androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), according to a study published online March 2 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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HSV-2 Vaccine Shows Promise in Experimental Research

TUESDAY, March 10, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A new study in mice hints at the success of a vaccine against the herpes simplex virus. The research was published online March 9 in eLife.

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Limited Evidence Supporting Herbal Meds in GI Disorders

TUESDAY, March 10, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Limited evidence supports use of herbal remedies in gastrointestinal disorders, and the lack of quality control must be considered, according to research published in the March issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Educational Intervention Can Cut Inappropriate PPI Prescriptions

MONDAY, March 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A monthly educational intervention paired with a web-based quality improvement tool is feasible for increasing the proportion of inappropriate proton pump inhibitor (PPI) prescriptions discontinued at hospital discharge, according to a study published online Feb. 24 in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

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FDA Approves Cresemba for Serious Fungal Infections

MONDAY, March 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Cresemba (isavuconazonium sulfate) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat invasive aspergillosis and invasive mucormycosis, the agency said Friday in a news release.

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FDA Approves First Biosimilar Drug in U.S.

FRIDAY, March 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Zarxio (filgrastim-sndz), the first biosimilar product approved in the United States.

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Most Cancer Patients Involve Family in Treatment Decisions

FRIDAY, March 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Most lung and colorectal cancer patients involve family members in treatment decisions, with substantial variation by race/ethnicity and language, according to a study published online Feb. 23 in Cancer.

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Extended Pre-Cessation Bupropion Helps Smokers Quit

FRIDAY, March 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Extended pre-quit bupropion is associated with reduced smoking behavior during the pre-quit period and improved short-term abstinence rates, according to a study published online Jan. 14 in Nicotine & Tobacco Research.

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National Hospital Rating Systems Rarely in Agreement

FRIDAY, March 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- National hospital rating systems are rarely in agreement, according to a study published in the March issue of Health Affairs.

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FDA Launches First App to Identify Drug Shortages

THURSDAY, March 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A mobile phone application (app) has been released to identify current drug shortages, resolved shortages, or discontinuations of drug products, according to a press release published by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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Post-Occupational Exposure Ebola Vaccination Shows Promise

THURSDAY, March 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- An experimental Ebola vaccine may have prevented the disease in a doctor who was at high risk of infection, according to a new report. The findings were published online March 5 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Vaccine May Provide Some Protection From Hepatitis E

THURSDAY, March 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A vaccine for hepatitis E provides protection from the virus for at least 4.5 years, according to new research. The report was published in the March 5 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Statins Tied to Decreased Insulin Sensitivity, Secretion

THURSDAY, March 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Statin drugs may significantly increase a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes, a new study from Finland suggests. The findings were published March 4 in Diabetologia, the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes.

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Goserelin Protects Against Ovarian Failure in Breast Cancer

THURSDAY, March 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with breast cancer, use of the gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist, goserelin, protects against ovarian failure, according to a study published in the March 5 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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FDA: Opdivo Approval Expanded to Include Lung Cancer

WEDNESDAY, March 4, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of Opdivo (nivolumab) has been expanded to include advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), the agency said Wednesday in a news release. The drug was approved previously to treat advanced melanoma among people who don't respond to other medicines.

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Major Health, Cost Burden for U.S. Patients With Eczema

WEDNESDAY, March 4, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Adults with eczema have a major health burden with significantly increased health care utilization and costs, according to study published online March 4 in JAMA Dermatology.

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CDC: Heroin Overdose Mortality Nearly Tripled 2010 to 2013

WEDNESDAY, March 4, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The age-adjusted rate for deaths involving opioid analgesics has leveled in recent years; however, the rate for deaths involving heroin has almost tripled since 2010, U.S. health officials reported Wednesday.

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Many PCPs Not Using Rx Drug Monitoring Programs Routinely

WEDNESDAY, March 4, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Most primary care physicians are aware of state prescription drug monitoring programs, and more than half report using one, according to research published in the March issue of Health Affairs.

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Anemia Linked to Adverse Outcomes in Atrial Fibrillation

WEDNESDAY, March 4, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with atrial fibrillation receiving anticoagulant treatment, the presence of anemia is associated with increased risk of thromboembolic events, bleeding complications, and mortality, according to research published online Feb. 13 in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

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Use of Anticholinergic Meds May Up Pneumonia Risk for Elderly

TUESDAY, March 3, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Use of anticholinergic medications may increase risk of pneumonia in the elderly, a new study suggests. The findings were published online March 2 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Sedative Pre-Anesthesia Doesn't Increase Patient Satisfaction

TUESDAY, March 3, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A new study questions the need for giving a sedative to surgical patients before anesthesia is administered. The report was published in the March 3 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Estimates of Childhood ADHD Worldwide Differ Significantly

TUESDAY, March 3, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- About 7 percent of children worldwide have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), new research concludes. The study was published online March 3 in Pediatrics.

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Acetaminophen Risks May Be Underestimated

TUESDAY, March 3, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Acetaminophen may not be as safe as previously thought, with larger doses and long-term use linked to increased risk of health problems, a new report contends. The findings were published online March 2 in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

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Resistance to Common Antimicrobials Increasing

TUESDAY, March 3, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Resistance to commonly used antimicrobials is increasing in Salmonella and Campylobacter, according to a report published Feb. 26 by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

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Suicidal Ideation Prevalent in Patients With Fibromyalgia

MONDAY, March 2, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Suicidal ideation is prevalent among patients with fibromyalgia and is strongly associated with mental health, according to a study published in the February issue of Pain Practice.

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Cannabis Linked to Increased Risk of Cerebrovascular Events

MONDAY, March 2, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Cannabis seems to be linked to cerebrovascular events, according to research published online Feb. 19 in Stroke.

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Majority of Doctors Yield to Parents' Vaccine Delay Requests

MONDAY, March 2, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Doctors commonly get requests from parents to delay young children's vaccinations -- and often give in, according to the results of a new U.S. study. The findings, published online March 2 in Pediatrics, come at a time of rising concerns about "under-vaccination."

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