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. 152, No. 3, February 11

Anti-Leukemia Drug Increases Fatigue in Pediatric Patients
Dexamethasone has demonstrated that it's highly effective in the treatment of pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). However, it is associated with certain worrisome side effects including disrupted sleep and fatigue. "Dexamethasone is more powerful...
ASCO Issues VTE Guide Specific to Cancer Patients
Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a major complication of cancer that occurs in 4% to 20% of patients, a fact that may not be known by many healthcare professionals. For this reason, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) recently developed new...
Bracing for a Showdown
Pharmacists have temporarily blocked the Medicaid AMP formula, but a bruising battle still awaitsAverage manufacturer price is dead, or is it? Two months after a Federal District Court Judge granted a temporary restraining order, preventing the Centers...
Consumers Can Get Their ZZZs with These Sleeping Aids
Consumers in need of shut eye can stop worrying about losing sleep. Manufacturers are leapfrogging each others' efforts to come up with innovative sleeping aids. Here's a roundup:Iovate Health Sciences is premiering Sleep Fast liqui caps. The firm claims...
Do Dietary Supplements Have a Place in Health Systems?
Do dietary supplements have a place in health systems? That has been the question when patients are admitted for acute care. There have been various published surveys conducted to answer this question. The answers, however, have varied from total prohibition...
FDA's Crackdown on Bio-Identical Hormones Sparks Controversy
When the Food & Drug Administration recently announced an enforcement action against pharmacy operations that compound bioidentical hormone drugs, compounding pharmacists, physicians, and representative otganizations have been up in arms over the...
Get Ready to Provide a Toll-Free Number for Reporting Adverse Events
In the Federal Register of January 3, the Food & Drug Administration issued an interim final rule entitled "Toll-Free Number for Reporting Adverse Events on Labeling for Human Drug Products." The new rule requires pharmacies to provide patients with...
Innovative MTM Programs Are on the Rise
Medication therapy management (MTM) programs continue to proliferate as pharmacists try and make the case for its long-term viability. While the programs vary, most share a focus on gathering data that will help establish their cost savings and benefits.In...
Letters
How supply-chain kinks can affect youIt has been reported by your publication and others that recently DEA suspended three Cardinal Health distribution centers in Washington, Florida, and New Jersey from selling controlled substances due to their failure...
Mrsa's Merciless March
HEALTH-SYSTEM EDITIONAntibiotic-resistant germ is forcing hospitals, community to seek new ways to control infectionOmar Rivera first noticed the sore on his back after coming home from school one day last fall.Thinking he had nothing more than a routine...
NCCN's New Lung Cancer Guidelines Called a Useful Reference
The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) has recently updated its non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) guidelines.The updated guidelines include a new section outlining the evaluation, treatment, and management of thymic malignancies. The guidelines...
NCPDP Group Racing to Recommend Tamper-Resistant Pad Rules
An ad hoc group under the auspices of the National Council of Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP) is racing to write recommendations on what state Medicaid programs should say are "tamper-resistant" prescription pads.Last May, Congress slipped a provision...
New Data Support Combo Therapy at Outset of Hypertension Treatment
Among the various offerings at the American Society of Hypertension's 2007 annual meeting in Chicago, several new studies strongly supported the use of fixed-dose antihypertensive combination therapy at the outset of hypertension treatment.For years,...
New Drug Update of 2007
An ongoing CE program of The University of Florida College of Pharmacy and DRUG TOPICSThis continuing education lesson reviews the new molecular entities (NMEs) approved by the Food & Drug Administration in 2007. Some 78 New Drug Applications (NDAs)...
New Products
RxNEW DRUGSThe FDA has approved Voluven, manufactured by German company Fresenius Kabi, www.fresenius-kabi.com. The new intravenous produa contains 6% hydroxyethyl starch 130/0.4 in 0.9% sodium chloride injection and is indicated for restoring blood...
NHIA's New Leader Assesses Challenges Facing Home Infusion Industry
Russell Bodoff took the reins of the National Home Infusion Association (NHIA) as executive director last February, replacing Lorrie Kaplan who had served in that role for 15 years.Bodoff was formerly the executive director of the Center for Aging Services...
Orphan Drug Gets FDA Nod for Phenylketonuria
There has never been a drug used to treat phenylketonuria (PKU), a genetic disorder caused by a deficiency of the enzyme phenylalanine hydroxylase (PAH), until now. Last month, the Food & Drug Administration gave its approval to sapropterin dihydrochloride...
Senate Looks to Boost E-Prescribing
An increasingly diverse collation of groups is pushing hard to increase adoption of electronic prescriptions. The uncommon alliance of pharmacy organizations, pharmacy benefit managers, and consumer organizations is pushing the Centers for Medicare &...
Should an Rx Label Require a Use-By Date or an Expiration Date?
For the protection of patients, regulations are enforced to prohibit pharmacies from dispensing or selling expired drugs. In addition, many states have adopted policies that are designed to extend this protection even further.As pharmacists, we know...
Time Is Now for New Pregnancy Labeling, Says Committee
As the 10th anniversary of the Food & Drug Administration's public hearing on pregnancy labeling approached, the Teratology Society once again called for regulations to be enacted on the subject. However, the FDA has estimated that the new system...
Viva la France!
The French have a hard time acting like Americans. They eat the most unhealthy, worst possible foods fried in lard and they still look terrific. Probably they have television commercials aimed at the same target group that American advertisers covet-the...
Whose Prescription Is It Anyway?
Q: A worried man in his forties comes to your pharmacy and shows you the pill in his hand. He wants to know how it is used. You are quite sure that it's a birth control pill. A week later, a woman picks up a prescription for her boyfriend and asks you...