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. 140, No. 20, October 21

Although Growing, Electronic Rxs May Need Courts to Step In
The doctor's prescription pad may soon become just another museum piece of Americana. Most observers believe electronic transmission of prescriptions in the United States will be approved nationwide, despite fears about high costs and loss of privacy....
An Amateur Historian Enlists WW II R.Ph.S
If you're a pharmacist who remembers the great quinine drive, rationing, the jitterbug, and Pearl Harbor, an amateur historian wants you to be part of a project to preserve the story of pharmacy-in and out of uniformduring World War II. "Pharmacists...
Another Nuptial?
Will McKesson/ FoxMeyer merger pass muster? McKesson's announcement that it plans to buy FoxMeyer Health Corp.'s drug distribution business cements the San Francisco wholesale giant's claim to be the nation's largest drug wholesaler. If the $400 million...
As the Century Turns
Can pharmacy computers handle the year 2000 problem? Hopefully, when pharmacists sing "Auld Lang Syne" on New Year's Eve in 1999, their computers sitting back in the pharmacy won't go haywire as the clock strikes midnight. Computers everywhere, not just...
Breathing Easier
Will asthma patients breathe easier knowing that a new drug with a unique mode of action will soon be available to treat their disease? Indeed, last month, the Food & Drug Administration cleared the way for a new class of asthma medication by approving...
Caremark Zeroing in on Drug Therapy for High-Risk Patients
Pharmacy benefit manager Caremark is making a case for its case management program. In the past six months, enrollment in the PBM's utilization review pharmacy management plan has swelled from 200,000 to 750,000 patients. The program has been under way...
Congress Quits for '96, Passing Some Bills, Leaving Others Behind
In a last-minute burst of effort before adjournment, Congress earlier this month passed several pieces of drug-related legislation and gave a preview of what the new House and Senate may deal with in 1997. On Oct. 3, President Clinton signed a bill aimed...
Counseling by Appointment Taking off at Medicap
Medicap Pharmacies Inc. celebrated its 25th anniversary in September by achieving record sales-$110 million overall and samestore sales increases of 10.77%, among the industry's highest. The Des Moines-based franchise company has climbed from one Iowa...
DEA Power of Attorney
For a variety of reasons, it may be desirable or even necessary for more than one individual at a pharmacy to have authority to execute a DEA Form 222 for purchasing Schedule II controlled substances. While pharmacists are generally familiar with the...
Ensure an Integrated Vitamin Category
Annual sales of vitamins in the United States amounted to about $4 billion in 1995. The three mass outlets-food stores, drugstores, and mass-merchandisers-produced roughly half that total. The rest was generated by health food stores, mail-order houses,...
Eyeing IVs
In a move that signals how managed care pharmacy practices are reaching into new realms, one pharmacy benefit manager claims it is the first to try applying formulary management to home infusion therapy. IVTx is the name of the infusion therapy division...
Family Prescription Center Tries Disease Management
In independent pharmacy in Bethlehem, Pa., is living proof that disease management is a local business. Bethlehem-Family Prescription Center, which claims to be the oldest pharmacy in Pennsylvania, said it is having success with a program that counsels...
FDA Decision Soon on New Resistance-Fighting Antibiotic
For nearly a year, the Food & Drug Administration has been weighing approval of the first major new oral antibiotic in more than a decade. A decision is expected before the end of 199fi. If it wins an FDA OK, sparfloxacin (Zagam, Rhone-Poulenc Rorer),...
Harvard Pays Big Time to Settle Pharmacy Claim
Harvard University agreed to pay $775,000 to settle federal charges of lax security and record-keeping that led to drug thefts at the campus pharmacy serving students, faculty, and staff. The settlement of civil claims against Harvard for violations...
Jimmy's Pharmacy Fantasy Show
"Your column in Drug Topics [July 22] was not whining but a collection of just a few of the facts in retail pharmacy today." That-from a letter from Connecticut--made me feel good (thank you, sir), but the author wants me to spend more words exposing...
Latelines
NARD convention opens with overtures to idus#ry . . . to Industry... Outgoing NARD president Lou Mitchell has called for a truce with the pharmaceutical industry. "I hope we can begin to set aside old differences and look for ways to work together,"...
Letters
As a topic for your magazine I would like to see a regional or state-by-state study of the number of practicing pharmacists in America who are currently noncitizens. Many states eliminated the citizenship requirement during the very small window of time...
Medication Error Leads to $8 Million Verdict
Pittsburgh jury sided with a young man who contended he was totally disabled after a Thrift Drug company pharmacist made an error in transcribing a telephone prescription and then failed to contact the prescriber. Michael Brown was awarded $8 million...
New Antipsychotic Expected to Gain a Fast Buy-In
Approval of Eli Lilly & Co.'s Zyprexa (olanzapine) by the Food & Drug Administration in October adds another contender to the ranks of drugs to treat schizophrenia, a disease that affects 1% of the population and costs America up to $40 billion...
Newcomers Move into Executive Slots at State Associations
Change is taking place at the grassroots level, too. In August, the Arizona Pharmacy Association hired its first nonpharmacist and first woman to run the show. But Kathy Boyle is hardly a stranger-she was named legislative director in 1994 and had been...
New Prostate Cancer Drug Cuts Pain, Improves Survival
Free drugs! Before you get too excited, here's the full story: It's one month's supply of a newly approved antiandrogen drug for metastatic prostate cancer. A physician can give patients their first month's supply of nilutamide (Nilandron) free, thanks...
New Rules
Pharmacy organizations are responding favorably to durable medical equipment (DME) billing rules that go into effect on Dec. 1. Under the new Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) rules, only pharmacists can bill Medicare for drugs used in conjunction...
New Top Guns
The leadership ranks of America's pharmacy associations are being recast as the profession marches on to the third millennium. Within the past year or so, new chief executives have been tapped at four national pharmacy associations with headquarters...
Other Medicap Services
Besides Counseling by Appointment, Medicap Pharmacies offers many other services, such as: Drive-through windows. Medicap Pharmacies started us ng them in the early 1980s. Now they account for 40% to 50% of total business, said Rick Swalwell, v.p.-marketing...
Revco Rebuffed but Still Bent on Marrying Big B Rx Chain
After the board of directors for drugstore chain Big B Inc. spurned a buyout offer from rival drugstore chain Revco D.S. Inc., the response from D. Dwayne Hoven, Revco's president and CEO, was that the courtship wasn't over. But apparently it would not...
The Story Behind the Story
Where do you get your story ideas?" is a question reporters are often asked. The short answer is, "Anywhere we can get them." In our case, this has been a particularly newsworthy year for pharmacy. New drug approvals aplenty ... big court cases such...
Third Drug for Multiple Sclerosis Coming Soon
Copaxone, a new and novel drug agent that ameliorates the symptoms of multiple sclerosis, has passed another hurdle to its approval. An advisory committee convened by the Food & Drug Administration unanimously concluded that Copaxone (copolymer I...
Thyroid Function and Dysfunction
Introduction It is estimated that thyroid diseases such as hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism affect 1 % to 4% of the adolescent and adult population of the United States, often masquerading as a variety of medical problems. Consequently, unregulated...
Unapproved Uses Prove Worrisome
More than 100 million Americans are receiving off-label drug treatments, and the true figure is surely even higher, according to testimony presented to Congress. The General Accounting Office "estimates that 80%100% of cancer, pediatric, and rare disease...
United It Seeks to Stand
Pharmacists who are employees at chain or independent drugstores may want to look over a recently revived organization that claims to have their best interests at heart. Raymond R. Carlson, R.Ph., told Drug Topics that his organization, the National...
Washington State to Certify R.Ph.S in Smoking Cessation
Pharmacists in Washington State are being given an opportunity to become smoking-cessation counselors as part of a program to sever the profession's ties to tobacco. The Tobacco-Free Pharmacy Program will certify pharmacists who complete a training session...
What's in a Drug Name?
In an effort designed to help prevent medication and medical device errors, the Food & Drug Administration is proposing a multitier plan that will focus on reducing the number of errors caused by unclear and confusing labels and ambiguous or misleading...