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Staying Ahead of the Changing Healthcare Landscape

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Contagion, February 2017, Volume 2, Issue 1

Now is an exciting time to be a business leader in the healthcare. The new year and new administration in the White House have brought the promise of major changes—especially in the healthcare field.

Contagion will be at the forefront of covering changes made by the Trump administration that will impact healthcare, including legislation and executive orders with an indirect impact—such as the recent ban on refugees entering the United States. Although this executive order made no mention of decreased collaboration with global healthcare institutions, major infectious disease societies (eg, American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Infectious Diseases Society of America) made public statements that the ban will have a negative effect on public health and that it may, in fact, put the US at greater risk for epidemics and pandemics of infectious diseases. The statements cited that infectious diseases know no borders and the majority of those who travel in and out of the country are not refugees. Perhaps most important is the fear that these societies will lose ongoing surveillance of all diseases and their alliance with the global healthcare community to learn more about how to detect, treat, and prevent these infections in the first place.

In this issue of Contagion, we focus once again on major areas of infectious disease. We highlight a recent innovation by a team of Duke University researchers that enables life-saving postexposure prophylaxis to be administered to infants of HIV-infected mothers in developing countries. Previous attempts to get these drugs to infants in these remote locations resulted in the degradation of the life-saving medications; however, the Duke researchers were able to engineer a mechanism by which the drug can be administered without degradation: through a heat-sealed pouch the size of a ketchup packet.

We also feature a review of the sometimes-overlooked role of the pharmacist in HIV stewardship—citing important contributions such as ensuring that patients are taking a complete and appropriate regimen; recommending alternative therapy or dose or formulation adjustments, if necessary; mitigating drug-drug interactions; and modifying drug schedules to optimize absorption. In HCV/Hepatitis news, we explore research on the use of anticoagulants as a prophylactic measure in patients with advanced liver disease; at present, more research is needed before any clinical guidelines can make this recommendation. And, finally, the identification of an emerging infectious disease, Powassan virus, is discussed in a Q&A with Holly Frost, MD, a pediatrics physician scientist at the Marshfield Clinic Minocqua Center in Minocqua, Wisconsin.

As we head into this tumultuous time in healthcare, we hope you will look to us as your guide for breaking news and updates on disease-specific information designed to improve patient outcomes. Please follow us online at www.contagionlive.com, on social media (Facebook [@ContagionLive], Twitter [@Contagion_Live], and LinkedIn [@Contagion_Live]), and sign up for one of our newsletters (contagionlive.com/ link/2) to stay informed.

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