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. 10, May 18

Cancer Rx Duo Offers Promise with Caution
From the vast promised land of investigational agents that have worked miracles in lab animals afflicted with man's most catastrophic illnesses, two previously insignificant compounds have been singled out by the media and perhaps destined for greatness....
Clinical Q&A
What is the role of antileukotrienes in the management of asthma? Asthma is an inflammatory and bronchoconstrictive disease affecting approximately 15 million persons in the United States. More than 5,000 people die of asthma annually, and the estimated...
Cold/Allergy/Sinus
The information in this department is provided by Information Resources Inc. (IRI), a marketing research and software company based in Chicago. The sales data on specific OTC and HBC categories are based on scanning data collected from drugstores, food...
Discard Woes
Crush-and-flush is going down the toilet. The sewer-system disposal method pharmacies traditionally used for drugs they couldn't return to wholesalers or manufacturers-or didn't want to bother with-increasingly is an environmental no-no. More state and...
DNA Shoelaces and Cellular Crime Sprees
Researchers on aging are split on its exact cause. Some subscribe to the theory that our bodies have a genetically determined internal clock that triggers apoptosis (programmed cell death). Others believe that years of environmental toxins erode the...
Do Cancer Patients Prefer Transdermal Pain Reliever?
Late-stage cancer patients prefer transdermal fentanyl over sustained-release oral morphine for pain relief, according to a new study from the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. But other cancer pain experts caution that the...
Don't Shoot the Messenger!
Often (even daily), pharmacists must tell patients that their new $125 prescription is not covered by their insurance. Shopko pharmacist Mark Jacobs has found a way to deftly step out of the role of middleman, while letting patients know he's on their...
Easier on the Eye
et set to offer another option to patients who flinch, cringe, or cower at the thought of putting an irritating droplet of a current topical carbonic anhydrous inhibitor (CAI) into their eves. Manufactured by Alcon Laboratories, Azopt (brinzolamide ophthalmic...
FDA Safety Inspections of Foreign Rx Plants Lacking, GAO Charges
Most foreign pharmaceutical manufacturers and bulk chemical suppliers to the U.S. drug industry will never undergo an FDA inspection to guarantee quality and safety, according to a GAO report. Reports on the inspections that are conducted are submitted...
Gobbled Globulin
MG shortage worsens nationwide The national shortage of intravenous immune globulin (IVIG) products remains at a crisis level, and Congress is calling on manufacturers and the Food & Drug Administration to explain how the situation became so dire-and...
Going Strong
At 65. NACDS sees more growth ahead for chains Gathering recently at the posh Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores had come a long way from its first annual meeting in 1933. Back then, half a dozen chain executives...
In Full View
Public to see R.Ph. disciplinary actions on NABP Web site very licensed pharmacist's name and city and state of residence will be posted on the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy's Web site, along with any disciplinary information or special...
Keep Eye on Compounding, Brand Industry Urges FDA
Skirmishing over pharmacy compounding is breaking out again. The pharmaceutical industry, largely silent on the issue when Congress debated it last year, now wants the Food & Drug Administration to take a tough line when it promulgates regulations...
Latelines
Jury awards $1.8 million in hospital error A Denver District Court jury has awarded $1.8 million to a man severely brain damaged following a medication error involving phenol at Aurora Presbyterian Hospital in 1995. Robert Rodriguez, 39, was mistakenly...
Letters
A solution to partial fills Regarding partial fills ("Fill 'er up," Drug Topics, March 16) and the need for an electronic solution, I work at a privately owned Medicine Shoppe, and we have the benefit of being set up to do mailings. Therefore, if a prescription...
Making Progress
CVS Health Connection partners report patient gains Late last year, CVS, Pfizer, and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care launched a "community partnership" experiment with the hypothesis that "if patients really start to understand their clinical values and...
'Making Sense': New Program Seeks to Boost Compliance
MS-multiple sclerosis-continues to instill fear and a sense of hopelessness in many of the people it touches. But those two letters may also carry a promise of hope to the more than 330,000 Americans who suffer from the condition. Merck-Medco Managed...
Mentor for Hire
Anticoagulation expert creates clinic in a box Pharmacists who are interested in carving out a niche managing the drug therapy of patients on blood thinners may want to check out an on-line service designed to help them run an anticoagulation clinic...
Name Dropper
HCFA plan to omit R.Ph. renee draws criticism Who needs pharmacists? Apparently hospitals don't, at least according to the Health Care Financing Administration. HCFA has proposed eliminating virtually all references to pharmacists in its revision of...
New Data Back Warfarin Sodium in NTI Battle
Barr Laboratories has released clinical data to support its position that narrow therapeutic index (NTI) drugs need no special consideration when it comes to generic substitu tion. Specifically, Barr has been battling DuPont Merck over the need for prior...
Novel Oral Contraceptive May Help Several Patient Segments
How low can you go? Apparently, when it comes to the estrogen content of oral contraceptives (OC), the lower the better. That's one of the ideas behind Mircette (desogestrel/ethinyl estradiol and ethinyl estradiol), Organon Inc.'s recently approved novel...
Primer on Vaccinations
An ongoing CE program of The University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy and DRUG TOPS Magazine INTRODUCTION Vaccinations are among the most cost-effective and widely used public health interventions. Yet public concerns focus on the health risks associated...
Raising the Bar
Will diet pill lawsuits test R.Ph.s' duty to warn? he boundaries of the pharmacist's duty to warn patients about their medications will be stretched by lawsuits filed in the wake of last year's fen-phen health disaster, according to an Atlanta attorney...
R&D for Pediatric Rxs and Labeling on the Upswing
Kid medicines are hot. Last year, the Food & Drug Administration approved more than 20 new drugs for children, and the trend is likely to accelerate. A new survey by the Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America found 187 drugs and vaccines...
R.Ph.S' Smoking-Cessation Program Paying Dividends
After New York State pharmacist James Rossettie Jr. attended a smoking-cessation seminar last July, he was so fired up, he began planning a program that united his town's movers and shakers ... and put his pharmacy in the media spotlight. The smoking-cessation...
States, Cities Tighten Controls on Some OTCs
Faced with increasing problems with illicit methamphetamine production and use, some states are attempting to place controls on sales of certain over-the-counter products beyond those imposed by the federal Comprehensive Methamphetamine Control Act of...
Statin Switch?
Merck & Co. has confirmed reports that it is testing its HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor Mevacor (lovastatin) in a number of patients with slightly elevated cholesterol levels as a possible Rx-toOTC switch candidate. The firm declined to comment further...
The Other Side of Leadership
It's not unusual for national pharmacy organizations to invite a nonpharmacist author, economist, newscaster, or some other celebrity type to speak at their annual meetings. Sometimes the person actually has something to say. As one of 2,300 or so attendees,...
There's Strength in Numbers in New Era of Health Care
Whether it's through outright merging or the formation of strategic alliances, it's increasingly important for pharmacies to find allies in today's environment of managed care and fierce competition. That was the message from speakers at the Food Marketing...
Youthquest
How R.Ph.s can help hold back the hands of time In the early years of the 16th century, Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon ventured into the dense forests of the Florida coast in search of a mythical spring that bestowed immortality to anyone who drank its...
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