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. 9, May 5

Action Call
Although legitimate over-thecounter medicines are not a significant or measurable source of methamphetamine production, they are sometimes used for that purpose, and retailers are required by law to help curb the problem. An industry coalition is implementing...
Alabama Association Piloting Pharmaceutical Care Model
The Alabama Pharmacy Association (APA) is moving forward with plans to create a national pharmaceutical care model that will integrate pharmacists into disease management programs run by managed care organizations (MCOs) and other third-party groups....
A Verdict, at Last
Expect generic ranitidine on U.S. market by summer federal appeals court has cleared the way for Novopharm USA to market generic ranitidine, after years of legal battles over patents on the drug with Glaxo Wellcome, which makes the brand-name product,...
Capitation Coming Soon
Part of President Clinton's Medicare reform proposal, a prospective payment system (PPS), is predicted to curb Medicare spending on all aspects of nursing home careincluding medications. But incorporating pharmacy services into the capitated system's...
Clinical Q&A
Welcome to the second installment of a new column called 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 to address,...
Cybersinners
States move to reveal disciplined R.Ph.s More states will be joining New York in airing "dirty linen" about pharmacists and other professionals on a Web site for the consumption of Net surfers from Buffalo to Beijing. The home page about New York's 610,000...
Dietary Supplements: What Can They Claim?
Because current law is unclear, the Nonprescription Drug Manufacturers Association is asking the Commission on Dietary Supplement Labels, an advisory agency set up by the Clinton Administration two years ago, for some guidance. It wants the commission...
Double Digits
Drug sales-tracker IMS America has released charts showing that pharmaceutical manufacturers' total U.S. dollar sales of prescription drugs climbed by 13.4%, to $77.9 billion, in 1996. The market research company said much of the growth was driven by...
Final Exams
Associations duel over how to measure pharmacists There seems to be widespread agreement that there ought to be some way to determine whether pharmacists are up to speed with their profession. But nobody seems to agree on just how they should be assessed...
Getting Up to Speed
Pharmacists, whether they're well-seasoned veterans or in mid-career, may want to consider the old saying about the race belonging to the swift, not in terms of speed but in terms of smarts and skills. The profession of pharmacy seems intent on reinventing...
Health Care by Health Professionals
President Clinton has announced that members of the Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Health Care Industry have been selected. The President has called on the commission to develop a "consumer bill of rights" to promote and...
Home Study Course for Tech Certification Due in 1998
Pharmacy technicians nationwide should have a more affordable means of preparing for the national technician certification examination soon: a home study course that's being developed by the Iowa Pharmacists Association (IPA) and the Wisconsin Pharmacists...
Hospital Notes
Kudos for Oddis ASHP will honor its longtime leader at its annual meeting in June. A special tribute to Joseph Oddis, ASHP's retiring executive v.p., will be held during the opening general session on Monday, June 2. Oddis is retiring after serving the...
Keys to Success.And Failure
Compensation benefits manager Sandy Santa-Emma jokes that her company was the last in the country using an indemnity health plan before it switched in 1996 to managed care. But it was no joke when physician office visits shot up 54% in the first six...
Latelines
R.Ph. just says No to dispensing John Boling, pharmacy manager at the Longs Drug in Temecula, Calif., was reprimanded by his employer after refusing to dispense an Rx for so-called morning-after birth control pills on moral grounds. The California Pharmacists...
Legal Issues in Treating AIDS Patients
Introduction Until recently, AIDS has not been a major concern for pharmacists, and there has been no significant associated liability between the practice of pharmacy and AIDS. However, as the role of the pharmacist expands to encompass activities that...
Letters
The real story? I read your "Border pharmacy" article (March 17) with great interest. My grandmother, a naturalized citizen from Mexico, suffered from arthritis and traveled south regularly. Being bilingual helped me to guide her choices and counsel...
Medicaid Rxs at Risk in Drive for Balanced Budget
The nation's governors have warned Congress and the Clinton Administration that the drug benefit for the poor and disabled will be jeopardized by any budget agreement that includes a federal cap on Medicaid spending. "The federal government will spend...
Medicinal Pot Bust in Arizona
Two for one For the first time, the executive director of the South Dakota Pharmacists Association will not also be the executive secretary of the state board of pharmacy. The two groups made the decision to split the jobs after Galen Jordre resigned...
New Paget's Drug Halves Bisphosphonate Regimen
Would you suspect arthritis in a 60-year-old man who complains of aching bones? That might not be the right assumption if he actually has Paget's disease. Symptoms of this chronic bone disorder often resemble conditions like arthritis-and may even cause...
Nicotrol Maker Working with Lung Association
Smokers will soon be receiving more encouragement to kick their nicotine habit. McNeil Consumer Products has formed an educational partnership with the American Lung Association (ALA) to address the barriers people face as they try to quit smoking. McNeil,...
Non-Nucleoside Drug Newest Weapon in AIDS War
The armamentarium for HIV/AIDS just got larger with the Food & Drug Administration's approval of a new non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor. Rescriptor (delavirdine mesylate, Pharmacia & Upjohn), in 100-mg tablets, will likely be used...
North Dakota Pharmacies Forced to Higher Ground
Every pharmacy in Grand Forks took a direct hit late last month when the Red River of the North surged over dikes protecting the North Dakota city of 50,000 people. "There are no pharmacies left in Grand Forks," said Howard Anderson, executive secretary...
One Antifungal Bites the Dust; Others Move along Pipeline
Add D0870 to the dustbin of pharmaceutical history-and mourn its loss, lamented Carol Kauffman, M.D., of the VA Medical Center/University of Michigan. Research into the second-generation antimycotic was terminated recently because of concerns over unpredictable...
'Open the Door!'
R.Ph.s looking to break lock on distribution of certain drugs Over the past 10 years, several pharmaceutical companies have brought products to market under restricted distribution programs that have left many pharmacies without access to the products...
Pay for Performance Drawing Mixed Results
Performance-based networks can bring pharmacies new revenues if they help achieve a health plan's goals. But there are also professional and equity problems for pharmacists in this type of network, which pays performance bonuses for certain tasks such...
Pharmacists Play Key Role in HMO's Diabetes Care Teams
Pharmacists are playing a key role in one health maintenance organization's attempt to better coordinate and document the various kinds of health care provided to diabetes patients. In essence, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, an HMO based in...
Pharmacist Starts New Buying Group in California
Pharmacy owner Paul Lofholm, Pharm.D., is tired of waiting for the final outcome of the discriminatory pricing lawsuits pending in a Chicago federal court Taking advantage of language that ties prices to market share, Lofholm has convinced all 17 independent...
Retooling the Mature Pharmacist
Older R.Ph.s are crying for help, but can pharmacy hear them? Bill is a 62-year-old pharmacist who has had a serious heart attack but must keep working to make ends meet. His former employer placed him in a high-stress, understaffed pharmacy. When he...
R.Ph. and Son Start Franchise by Turning 'Yucky' to 'Yummy'
Picture this: Little Amy is standing behind the counter with her mom, picking out her favorite flavor from the brightly colored menu of scrumptious options-ranging from Very Berry Punch to Bubble Gum. Not quite certain about her final selection, she...
Should Pharmacy Be Split into Two Licensure Groups?
The California State Board of Pharmacy has been urged to create two classes of pharmacists as a way to cut down on prescription errors and to short-circuit a predicted oversupply of R.Ph.s. by the turn of the century. Pharmacists in California should...
Something Old, Something New
Strict glucose control is necessary to manage diabetes. That was the message conveyed by Ralph A. DeFronzo, M.D., professor of medicine and chief of the diabetes division at the University of Texas Health Science Center. He joined other experts in a...
Spring Fling
What flashy new products attracted attention at the National Wholesale Druggists' Association Marketing Conference, held recently in San Antonio? Among others, they ranged from a new hand sanitizer to a loose-fitting condom to an ovulation detection...
Stand and Deliver, FDA Tells R.Ph.S
Pharmacy leaders may think they dodged the dreaded MedGuide bullet by getting Congress to let the private sector handle written patient information. But the Food & Drug Administration and consumer groups are watching every move. Pharmacists shouldn't...
Stroke Report Warns of Overdosing on Decongestants
A new study finds that the overuse of over-the-counter decongestants may be a possible cause of transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) or stroke. "Decongestants can potentially affect blood vessels in both the brain and the heart and can elevate blood pressure,"...
Survey Links Drug Counseling to Rx Volume
How close are pharmacies to meeting the objectives of MedGuide, the Food & Drug Administration proposal requiring that, by the year 2000, 75% of new prescription patients receive written information about their drugs when having their Rxs filled?...
Texas Preparing Two Manuals to Push Pharmaceutical Care
The Texas Pharmacy Association is using an award of more than $9,000 from Merck & Co. to develop two manuals on pharmaceutical care. The award was one of three monetary endowments to the National Council of State Pharmacy Association Executives announced...
The Anatomy of a Med Error: Why R.Ph.S Make Mistakes
It's one of those hellish days in the pharmacy. The phones never stop ringing, and the swell of customers at the cash register never seems to shrink. But somehow these happenings aren't rattling the pharmacist behind the bench. True, he hasn't eaten...
Today's Consumer Demanding More Health Information
Consumer interest in personal health care has never been more robust, to judge from the attendance at the annual conference of the National Consumers League, held in mid-April in Philadelphia. Under the umbrella title "Health Care: How Do Consumers Manage?"...
Ups and Downs
Supermarket Rx sales grow, margins droop Results from the Food Marketing Institute's 1997 national survey of supermarket pharmacies showed that their dollar sales of prescription drugs rose by 9% in 1996. But as third-party plans accounted for a growing...
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