Drug Topics

Monthly news magazine reports on all phases of pharmacy for community and health-system pharmacists. Concise, easy-to-read news reports cover managed care trends, professional issues, national and state governmental activities, new prescription drugs, OTCs, and new merchandising and marketing techniques.

Articles from Vol. 139, No. 6, March 2

All Aboard!
While state Medicaid agencies are clambering onto the managed care train, community pharmacists appear to be reserving relatively good seats.Faced with rapidly rising Medicaid costs, more and more states are either starting or expanding managed care...
Dealing with Third-Party Payers Can Be Risky Business
Community pharmacists need to get a grip on understanding and managing the financial risks of dealing with third-party payers.That's the finding of The Pharmacy Fund, New York City, a company that offers community R.Ph.s overnight cash in exchange for...
Double Duty
Mevacor (Iovastatin, Merck), the first HMC-CoA reductase inhibitor, or statin, is also the first cholesterol-lowering agent indicated to reduce the progression of atherosclerosis. Last month, the Food & Drug Administration granted Iovastatin an additional...
Early Sightings
Mighty mouse may hold key to Alzheimer'sThe much-needed breakthrough in the search for drugs to treat Alzheimer's may reside in a tiny rodent with amyloid plaques on its brain. Athena Neurosciences has developed a mouse that contains the human gene associated...
FDA Open to Home Test Kits for Detecting HIV Virus
For the first time, the Food & Drug Administration has indicated that it might approve a home test kit to detect HIV infection. Previously, the agency believed that blood collection kits for HIV-related testing should be restricted to professional...
Fingertip Medicine
The California State Board of Pharmacy earlier this month started implementing a regulation that will allow pharmacies to prepare emergency drug kits for home health-care agencies and hospices. This ruling is intended to benefit patients receiving high-tech...
First Hepatitis A Vaccine Targets High-Risk Patients
Havrix (hepatitis A vaccine, inactivated) has been granted approval by the Food & Drug' Administration, making it the first vaccine available to prevent hepatitis A in adults and children over 2 years of age.According to the Centers for Disease Control...
High-Risk Obstetric Care Delivered by R.Ph.S at Home
Pharmacists who deliver pharmaceutical care at home for high-risk pregnancies manage drug therapy not only for the mothers-to-be but also for the tiny patients they can't even see.High-risk obstetric pharmacotherapy in the home is a "very specialized"...
Major Campaign Bolsters Bayer Aspirin Relaunch
The makers of Bayer aspirin have launched a new marketing strategy to better communicate the product line's ability to prevent disease as well as relieve pain.An aggressive print and television advertising campaign will accompany the relaunch. The bolstered...
Merck OKs Fire Wall
A California lawsuit challenging the merger of Merck & Co. and Medco Containment Services Inc. has been o to trial, requires Merck-Medco to establish an independent pharmacy and therapeutics committee and prohibits the company from establishing a...
NARD Continues Medicare Part B Battle with HCFA
It's an uphill battle, but NARD is fighting hard to change policies enacted under the Health Care Financing Administration's regional carrier system for handling Medicare Part B durable medical equipment claims.NARD is especially concerned about a proposed...
New York City Pharmacies Hit by Negative Survey
Following a three-month citywide survey of 113 pharmacies, the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs reported wide price differentials among city pharmacies for 20 of the most frequently prescribed drugs and generic alternatives as well as for...
Patent Law Changes Could Help or Hurt Drugmakers
Changes wrought by an international trade deal could extend the patent lives of more than 100 drugs, bringing millions of dollars of extra profits to brand-name firms and putting off the introduction of cost-cutting generic competition. Some generic...
R.Ph. Productivity: A Reality Check
There seems to be precious little; optimism in pharmacy these days. As manufacturers moan about falling product prices and payers complain of rising costs, chain and independent store owners are railing against shrinking margins. Faced with internal...
So Many Rxs, So Little Time
A West Virginia lawsuit blames a serious dispensing error on understaffing by Phar-Mor. The suit comes at a time when pharmacy is grappling with the issues raised when many pharmacists feel overwhelmed by too many prescriptions and too little time (see...
So You Want to Be a CPhT
As many as 6000 persons are expected to take a voluntary national pharmacy technician certification test this year, The prize is the right to use "CPhT" after their names if they're successful. Examinations will be held at some 120 sites three times...
Step Up to Better Foot Care Sales
Major trends such as an aging population, the popularity of self-medication, and active lifestyles have speeded up foot care sales. The department also has benefited from new products, new packaging, and aggressive manufacturer promotional support. The...
Study Highlights Value of Sunscreens in Protecting Skin
Regular use of sunscreens can reduce the formation of precancerous tumors on the skin, according to a new study. And if pharmacies alert their customers to this finding, they can be a positive force for making consumers more aware of steps they can take...
Take Your Troubles
I took my troubles down to Madame Ruth...You know, that Gypsy with the gold-capped tooth...She's got a shop down at 34th and Vine...Selling little bottles of...LOVE POTION NUMBER NINE!Madame Ruth had to be a pharmacist. You think? They've sung this song...
The Case for a Positive Division of Pharmacy
Consumers will purchase more than two billion Rxs over the next year. As many as 200 million people may require Rx medications this year, and slightly more than seven out of 10 of them will obtain these drugs in the classic retail establishments--mostly...
Who Makes What
Worker bee pharmacists have broken the $50,000 annual base salary barrier; the catch is that it appears Ebenezer Scrooge is now in charge of the pay raise department.The average base pay of all employee pharmacists responding to a Drug Topics-Hospital...