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. 141, No. 5, March 3

A Gift of Beauty
New lotion attacks acne without causing dryness Women with sensitive skin and acne now have a new prescription treatment option. It's called Klaron (sodium sulfacetamide lotion), and its biggest selling point seems to be that it does not dry out sensitive...
Antibiotic Holds Promise of Ticking off Lyme Disease
The recent Food & Drug Administration approval of Glaxo Wellcome's Ceftin (cefuroxime axetil) for treatment of early-stage Lyme disease enlists another drug in the fight against this stubborn, tickborne illness. Cefuroxime axetil, marketed since...
California HMO Fighting Drug Formulary Flak
California health maintenance organization PacifiCare is fighting new charges that its formulary is shortchanging members. The Orange County Register, one of the largest daily newspapers in the state, charged in an article that the HMO has dropped Risperdal...
Chain PBM Moves toward Selling Pharmaceutical Care
At least one pharmacy benefit manager owned by a drugstore chain is searching for ways to market pharmacists' cognitive services to clients. Integrated Health Concepts (IHC), a PBM owned by Longs Drug Stores, Walnut Creek, Calif., has three different...
Chains Push Confidentiality, but Not without Patient Care
Protect patient privacy, but don't tie pharmacists' hands in providing care, the chain drug industry is advising federal regulators and Congress. "We urge you to consider the real-time impact of requiring patient authorization for the disclosure of patient...
Clinical Q&A
Welcome to the first installment of a new column in Drug Topics--Clinical Q & A. This bimonthly column features a question and answer on a timely clinical subject ranging from drug to herbal therapies. If you have a topic you would like our columnists...
Coalition to Help Elderly Become Medication SMART
Aware that medication misuse costs the United States an estimated $76 billion annually, several California organizations have forged a coalition to teach senior citizens to be SMART about compliance. (For more on drug compliance, see page 24.) Elderly...
Connects and Disconnects
A three-year agreement was reached to connect ProxyMed's health-care information network, ProxyNet, to IBM Global Services' PRE-SCRIBE electronic prescription network. ProxyMed president Jack Guinan believes the pact supports his Fort Lauderdale, Fla.,...
Deadly Dispensing
An exclusive survey of Rx errors by pharmacists An South Carolina pharmacist dispenses Glynase 6 mg instead of the Ritalin precribed. The patient, a seven-year-old girl, ingests 16 times the recommended Glynase starting dose for adult diabetes patients....
Drug Errors: The Hospital R.Ph.'S Story
If you were to ask hospital pharmacists about drug errors, most would tell you that they make them. Most would tell you that the serious errors tend to be caught. Most would say that they are making just as many errors now as they were a year ago. And...
Drugs at Risk
HMOs may drop Medicare Rx coverage if budget is cut Health maintenance organizations might stop offering outpatient prescription drug coverage in Medicare plans if President Clinton's proposed payment reductions to HMOs are enacted. "We are very concerned...
FDA Cracking Down on Retail Stores over Tobacco Sales
Failure to "card" (check I.D. of) cigarette buyers may bring closer scrutiny to the estimated 31,000 retail pharmacies that stock tobacco products. But selling to persons under age 18 is the real concern-a $250 fine for a second offense, with a maximum...
Georgia's Tight Medicaid Formulary under Attack
Is the use of a restricted Medicaid formulary a good, safe way to save taxpayers money, or is it just a raw deal for Medicaid patients? That controversial question has been hotly debated in recent months in the state of Georgia. The story is: Georgia...
HIV Antiviral May Protect New Babies from Infection
On the AIDS battlefront the smallest victims may become better armed, thanks to new research tactics enlisting the support of Viramune (nevirapine, Boehringer Ingelheim). In these studies, the non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor, already approved...
Hospital Notes
New TPN guidelines The American Society for Parenteral & Enteral Nutrition has floated the latest version of its guidelines for total parenteral nutrition (TPN). An ASPEN advisory group recommended uniform labeling for TPN solutions and also that...
How One R.Ph. Is Expanding Boundaries for Public Health
Florida residents in Manatee County have more to be grateful for than a balmy climate and thriving commerce. They're also served by a forward-looking public health department that, in 1985, brought on Glynette Barney, a young pharmacy graduate from Florida...
Latelines
Woman R.Ph.s top pay scale Women with pharmacy degrees outearn women with degrees in other fields of study, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Women age 30 or older with bachelor's degrees in pharmacy earned a median income of $47,567, which...
Letters
Make a difference! Regarding Michael Conlan's "Western R.Ph.s downplay impact of marijuana votes" (Drug Topics,Jan. 20), I have been a pharmacy technician for about six years and expect to attend pharmacy school this fall. I have chosen to pursue a pharmacy...
Make Medicaid the Minimum?
Medicaid drug reimbursement may not be great, but in many cases it's a lot better than what other third-party programs are paying pharmacists today. That's the thinking behind legislation being drafted in Missouri that would require all insurers to reimburse...
Making Connections
Medicine Shoppe links R.Ph. skills and technology Pharmacy franchise chain Medicine Shoppe International is driving toward the future by finding ways to develop its member pharmacists' clinical skills and its use of technology. Dave Abrahamson, president...
Medicine Shoppe Sees International Boom
A part from developments on the domestic front, Medicine Shoppe has found a growing franchise market in other countries, especially in Pacific Rim nations such as Malaysia and Taiwan. Since Medicine Shoppe opened its first overseas franchise in March...
New Drug Approvals of 1996-Part 2
Fifty-three new molecular entities were approved by the Food & Drug Administration in 1996. Part 1 of this three-part continuing education program (see Drug Topics, Feb. 3) reviewed 18 of these products. With this issue, Part 2 presents another 18...
New Drug Checklist
ENALAPRIL/DILTIAZEM (e-NAL-uh-pril)/(dil-TYE-a-zem) Treats high blood pressure. Enalapril belongs to a class of drugs called ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitors. Diltiazem belongs to a class of drugs called calcium-channel blockers. BRAND...
New Study Says R.Ph.S Need to Counsel on Hair Color
Is it possible that certain hair dyes are more toxic than house paint? Yes, according to researchers who recently studied some lead-based hair coloring products. In their opinion, pharmacists should remove the offending products from their shelves. At...
Nursing Home Chain and Union in Fight over Contract
Beverly Enterprises, reported to be the largest nursing home operator in the nation, and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which claims to represent more nursing home employees than any other union in the country, are at loggerheads over...
One-Dose Yeast Infection Ointment Goes OTC
A formerly prescription-only onedose vaginal yeast infection ointent has now been cleared by the Food & Drug Administration for OTC status. Vagistat-1 (tioconazole 6.5%), marketed by Bristol-Myers Products and manufactured by Westwood-Squibb Co.,...
Protecting the Children
New vaccine combos produce more gain, less pain Except for the memory of our paralyzed 32nd President and occasional sightings of children with blistering, pockmarked faces, diseases such as polio and smallpox have virtually disappeared. And they need...
Push Value of Vaccination to Public, Pharmacists Told
Smallpox was the first disease to disappear as a result of vaccination, but it won't be the last, if the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the world's four major vaccine makers have their way....
Report Card
R.Ph. competence exam designed to educate, not punish When pharmacists begin taking an exam to assess their continuing competence to practice in 1999, the results will be used to diagnose their weaknesses, not to punish them. The Continued Competence...
Retail R.Ph.S Find New Ally in Documentation
Newton-as in handheld technology, not Sir Isaac-could come to the aid of retail pharmacists wishing to document pharmaceutical care interventions and turn the data into revenue streams. Using the technology of Newton, along with a stable of clinical...
Robo Regs
Automation task force drafts model regulations State pharmacy boards should revise their regulations to accommodate current and coming technology that will take much of the dispensing process out of human hands, according to a task force looking at pharmacy...
Rx Consumption and Social Security
Unless we do something about it in the next few years, Social Security will be in big trouble by 2029, posing a major threat to the 78 million members of the baby boom generation. Up until now, all generations were covered by the contributions of workers...
Skin Deep
Beauty labeling) is in the eye of the beholder A customer picks up two bottles of lotion and reads each of their labels. The ingredients are identical in every way, but the presentation differs. The one packaged in an appealing cosmetic bottle claims...
Sperm Bank Offers a Niche Marketing Opportunity
The Xytek Corp., a sperm-banking concern in Augusta, Ga., is looking for retail pharmacies willing to sign on as semen franchisees. The company hopes to sign its first contract with a pharmacy before the end of the month. For around $1,000, Xytek will...
Subacute Rx Care
Pharmacy tackles new therapeutic option Some call it a hyped-up nursing home; others, a watered-down hospital. For patients bumped out of acute care and not ready for self-care, a subacute care facility is home-at least for about 12 to 35 days. So explained...
Thalidomide Rising from the Ashes for Leprosy, Cachexia
In 1959,12 West German infants were born with truncated limbs. The following year, more cases showed up: Another 83 children were born with a birth defect known as phocomelia, or the defective development of arms and/or legs. Then that fall, the William...
The Making of a Sperm Donor
David Towles of Xytec Inc., a sperm-banking company in Augusta, Ga., said he got so desperate for sperm donors recently that he ran ads in the local paper for part-time employees. And, in essence, that's what a sperm donor is. Men usually stay with Xytek...
The New Urgency of Noncompliance Prevention
Hundreds of research studies have established that noncompliance is a massive problem. The sheer weight of research data accumulated on the subject, in fact, sparked drug manufacturers to form a task force in 1993 to interpret and disseminate results...
The OTC Revolution
The evolving role of the R.Ph. over nonprescription drugs The reclassification of prescription drugs to OTC status has accelerated dramatically, carving out expanded roles for pharmacists. The success of ibuprofen as an over-the-counter product in the...
User Fees for Generic Drugs: A Foregone Conclusion?
Now that user fees appear to be working well for brand-name drug companies, the generic drug industry is toying with the concept. Under the user-fee system, manufacturers agree to pay the Food & Drug Administration a certain fee per application to...
Walking the Talk
R.Ph.s not stepping up to cognitive pay programs Managed care pharmacy folks have noted that many community pharmacies don't always hold up their end in pilot programs that offer pay for cognitive services. But why? One person who has heard this complaint...
What to Can Do to Avoid Errors
OK, so your pharmacy operates in a state of (barely) controlled chaos much of the time. The patients are pushy, the phone is persistent, the prescribers are prone to poor penmanship, and the PBMs are as predatory as piranha. Given the pressure and the...
What Today's Pharmacists Can Teach Their Teachers
Today's pharmacists practice in every setting ever mentioned in pharmacy school, plus a few their teachers may never have imagined. But whatever the practice setting, few pharmacists ever have a chance to turn the tables on their instructors. Here's...
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