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. 142, No. 1, January 5

AMA Eyes PBMs, Formularies, Unused Drugs
Physicians should not sell nonhealth-related goods from their offices, the American Medical Association house of delegates declared at its annual meeting in Dallas last month. The only small exception to this rule would be the offering of low-cost nonprescription...
A Near-Empty Diet Market Welcomes New Antiobesity Drug
In the lingering aftermath of the recent withdrawal of two leading diet drugs, Meridia (sibutramine HCI monohydrate) enters with caution what now appears to be a virtually deserted and uncertain antiobesity market. Although labeling warns that it is...
At Loggerheads
NABP, ASHP clash over R.Ph. competence assessment If ASHP had its way, pharmacists' continued competence would not be assessed by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. On the other hand, if NABP had its way, pharmacists' competence would not...
Better Safe
McNeil and APhA educate parents on dosing for children!s OTCs The maker of Children's Tylenol believes it's better to Be SAFE than sorry, in the wake of recent negative press accounts of accidental pediatric acetaminophen overdosing and calls to clarify...
Clinical Q & A
Do antipsychotic combinations have a role in treating schizophrenia? Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness characterized by hallucinations, delusions, and disorganized thought and behavior. It is believed to be caused by an imbalance of the neurotransmitters...
Do You Know Where Your E-Mail Messages Are?
Use of e-mail is exploding. Pharmaciescommunity, institutional, and other-use it to communicate with other pharmacies, medical offices, corporate offices, and so on. Recent items in the pharmacy press point to growing pharmacy use of email: One cites...
Drugstores and Home Tests: A Natural Combo
Home tests fit well with the health and wellness image many drugstore retailers are building for their stores. Pharmacists are comfortable recommending these items because regular testing can help some patients improve or at least maintain their health....
Easy Test
New glucometer promises convenience for diabetes patients Compliant diabetes patients make good pharmacy customers and are more apt to avoid disease-related complications. Since daily self-mutilation of the fingertips probably wouldn't be a pastime of...
FDA Approves First Drug to Boost Platelet Production
Cancer patients may now have a new treatment option when their blood-platelet levels drop dangerously low because of chemotherapy: a drug that boosts production of the body's own platelet supply. Neumega (oprelvekin [rhIL-11]), a platelet growth factor,...
Federal Fraud-Buster Stuns R.Ph.S with Blunt Remarks
How drugs gain coveted spots on restrictive formularies is the subject of ongoing fraud investigations, a veteran federal prosecutor has indicated. In a littlenoticed speech, Assistant U. S. Attorney James G. Sheehan cautioned against relying too heavily...
Five Years Later Is OBRA '90 Working?
The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990-better known as OBRA '9-was supposed to change the face of pharmacy forever. Medicaid patients were finally going to get complete information on how to use their medications properly. Pharmacists were finally...
Formulary Flap
With Rite Aid and other chains creating their own drug formularies, some industry insiders are weighing the pros and cons of this practice. "My question is, Why are they doing it?" said Perry Cohen, Pharm.D., president of The Pharmacy Group LLC, a Connecticut-based...
Head Pain
A new oral remedy straight out of the triptan-packed pipeline and a couple of quick-acting nasal sprays offer an extended line of defense for patients pounded by painfully throbbing migraine attacks. Manufactured by IPR Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary...
Hot Plate
Two issues that go to the heart of what's troubling many pharmacists today-ethical dilemmas and workplace problemshave flashed onto the radar scope of the American Pharmaceutical Association, which is preparing to respond this year. Pharmacists who refuse...
Infectious Disease Challenge: Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococcus and Staphylococcus
INTRODUCTION In recent years, the concern over the emergence of antibiotic-resistant organisms has acquired a sense of urgency. While in the past, widespread-and sometimes indiscriminate-use of antibiotics has led to the emergence of resistant bacteria,...
Latelines
R.Ph.s 'most trusted'--gain For the ninth straight year, pharmacists have been voted America's most trusted professionals, according to the latest CNN-USA TodayGallup poll. Sixty-nine percent of Americans rated the honesty and ethical standards of R.Ph.s...
Letters
Moral refusal to dispense I am interested in further information on the various state boards of pharmacy and how they stand on the dispensing habits of conscientiously objecting pharmacists. In a discussion of prolife pharmacists refusing to dispense...
Medicare Rx Prices Too High, Federal Investigators Report
Medicare is paying too much for the few outpatient drugs it covers. Federal investigators looked at almost two dozen prescription drugs, a majority of them the type that physicians administer in their offices to cancer patients. "Medicare allowances...
Mission Impossible
Oregon board's assisted suicide rule draws flak Under a temporary rule adopted by the Oregon pharmacy board, a physician must notify the dispensing pharmacist that a prescription is for assisted suicide. Then the state medical association made noises...
New Estrogen Said to Carry Less Risk of Breast Cancer
More help for women hoping to avert the threat of osteoporosis has arrived. The first of several drugs called selective estrogen receptor modulators, or SERMs, raloxifene HCI (Evista, Eli Lilly) has been approved by the Food & Drug Administration...
New Software Helps Hospitals Get Free Drugs for Indigents
Pharmacies that serve a lot of indigent patients have a new tool to help them get free drugs from manufacturers. The tool is Indicare, an Internet-based software comarketed by JBI Associates, a health-care consulting firm in Morristown, N.J., and Bergen...
Price Police
Interest peaking in new retail pharmacy foundation Almost overlooked in the long-running class-action litigation by pharmacists against the drug industry is a new foundation endowed with at least $17.6 million to spend on community pharmacy's behalf....
Regulating for Outcomes
Pharmacy boards have a problem: Regulators get fear, not respect. That means the board may be the last place pharmacists are likely to go for help with consultation or any other problems. "Boards of pharmacy are about as popular with pharmacists as the...
Rosy Recap
Anyone associated with the prescription drug industry was a little reluctant to say good-bye to 1997, if estimates by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores are any indication. NACDS president/CEO Ron Ziegler and chairman Thomas M. Ryan, president/CEO...
Standing Together
Merger creates new powerhouse in long-term care pharmacy Even before the dust settles on the November 1997 union of Pharmacy Corporation of America (PCA) and Capstone Pharmacy Services, Pharmerica-the result of that merger-is already planning expansion...
Under New Leadership, ASHP to Boost Residencies, Launch PR
ASHP's midyear meeting in Atlanta last month marked a tuming point in the association's history-the exit of its longtime executive v.p. Joseph Oddis and the ensconcing of Henri Manasse. Oddis was conspicuously absent at an ASHP officers' press conference,...
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