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. 3, February 3

Are PBMs the Enemy?
Many community pharmacists respond with a quick, hammer-like Yes to that question. They nail it with a pounding list of protests that includes the following complaints: low reimbursements, slow reimbursements, nonnegotiable contracts, exclusive networks,...
Benefit Fans
Consumers say their drug plans are Rxcellent or community pharmacists, pharmacy benefit plans may be financial black holes, sucking profits down to some hidden center, but for enrollees, these plans shine like the sun. More than two-thirds of enrollees...
Clinton, Democrats Pressing for Health Insurance Expansion
Health-care reform remedies, in various small doses, will be weighed by Congress in the coming term. Broadened health coverage, especially for children, is high on the agenda of President Clinton and his fellow Democrats. In his second inaugural address,...
Cold-Eeze Lozenges Are Taking the Nation by Storm
Every winter, Americans expect colds to spread like wildfire but never consider that a cold remedy could catch on just as quickly. But such is the case with Cold-Eeze, a lozenge that's being touted as the answer to prevention and reduction of cold symptoms....
Collision Course
Technician battle brewing in California over ratios, TCT The simmering battle over pharmacy technicians in California is coming to a boil once again. Pharmacists Planning Service Inc. (PPSI) has "declared war" on the state board of pharmacy and is threatening...
Counsel Patients on Terfenadine, ASHP Urges
Pharmacists are "professionally obligated" to tell patients and prescribers about alternatives to terfenadine and to discuss the Food & Drug Administration's safety concerns about the popular antihistamine. That is ASHP's stand and advice to pharmacists...
Don't Expect Long-Term Weight Loss from Obesity Drugs
Watch out. It's time for the widespread collapse of New Year's resolutions to diet. With the fall come two common questions: Can I take a pill to cure my problem? And will my insurance pay for it? It's tempting to say "fat chance." But the real answer...
FDA Approves Two New Home Diagnostic Tests
Advances in technology continue to provide consumers with the tools to test themselves for a variety of conditions at home. The HIV tests introduced last year were only the beginning of this market explosion. The Food & Drug Administration recently...
Help Wanted
Pharmacy job market still going strong espite worries about shrinking demand, pharmacist hiring is still running high in most areas of the country. In fact, few experts are expecting a downturn any time in the near future, despite predictions that there...
HHS Approves Private-Sector Version of MedGuide Rx
he voluntary, nongovernment, private-sector alternative to MedGuide can go forth. Health & Human Services secretary Donna Shalala said so. Shalala last month approved the "Action Plan for the Provision of Useful Prescription Medicine Information,"...
Hospital Notes
The big pay-off The pharmacy technician certification exam is obviously proving fruitful for technicians. A recent survey conducted by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board, in conjunction with New York City-based Professional Examination Service,...
Keep Your Hair Department under Control, Naturally
Popular hair styles strongly affect demand for products such as hair sprays and styling aids. Natural styles, which currently are popular, don't need as much control as more structured hairdos. That's one reason sales of home permanents and hair sprays...
Latelines
New group to seek market. share rebates The Pharmacy Freedom Fund is forming the Coalition of American Pharmacies, a not-for-profit corporation that will establish a P&T committee, maintain a formulary, and negotiate market-share rebates with brand-name...
Letters
Incredible! I have just gotten around to reading Drug Topics, Nov. 4, 1996, because I have been busy "problem-solving" for my patients. Two "Latelines" items caught my attention. The first dealt with the issue of "tech check tech," promoted by hospital...
New Drug Approvals of 1996-Part 1
INTRODUCTION The year 1996 saw a virtual flood of 53 new chemical entities approved by the Food & Drug Administration. This is in sharp contrast to the paltry 28 approved in 1995. Why the big difference in number of approvals? Industry insiders believe...
New Jersey First to Mandate Fraud-Proof Prescriptions
Forging prescriptions in New Jersey will be a lot tougher now that the state has become the first in the nation to mandate that all prescriptions be written on uniform blanks made of nonerasable safety paper that can't be reproduced on copy machines....
New Label to Offer Support for Use of Antidepressant
The new label for venlafaxine (Effexor) clears the antidepressant of interactions with numerous drugs metabolized by several isoenzymes, including the pathway used by several benzodiazepines, erythromycin, and terfenadine. Researchers interviewed at...
New Study Shows Benefits of Clopidogrel over Aspirin
A recent study indicates that a new agent, which has not yet been approved by the Food & Drug Administration, has significant benefits over aspirin in reducing the likelihood of ischemic stroke, heart attack, or vascular death in at-risk patients....
Now When You Dispense the Pill, It May Be for Acne
An additional market niche for a familiar medication has opened up with Food & Drug Administration approval of Ortho Tri-Cyclen birth control tablets for treatment of acne in women. According to the drug's manufacturer, Ortho Pharmaceutical Corp.,...
OTC Prevents and Treats Allergic Rhinitis
Simply treating cold symptoms no longer seems to be enough for the American public. People are seeking remedies that will prevent symptoms altogether, and drug manufacturers are certainly responding to that desire. The latest preventive medication to...
Pharmacists Share Divergent Views on Assisted Suicide
The American Pharmaceutical Association is going to take up the explosive issue of the pharmacist's role in physician-assisted suicide. The precise policy language is still being developed, but it will be ready for delegates to debate at APhA's 144th...
Pharmacy Sales Are Pacing Walgreen Chain's Growth
Computer problems that have been giving pharmacists at Walgreen drugstores ""gray hairs" are expected to be ironed out, and the whole chain is scheduled to go on-line with Intercom Plus by the end of this year. "I'll be very disappointed if we don't...
Post-Merger
What Revco plans to do after Big B takeover t the staff-pharmacist level, there appears to be nothing to fear for the nearly 400 Big B stores now being converted to Revcos. Thomas Dingledy, director of public relations at Revco D.S., Twinsburg, Ohio,...
Salt Lick(ed)
Experts recommend sodium reduction for everyone II Americans, not just hypertensive patients, should reduce sodium consumption, according to a panel of hypertension experts convened by the Columbia University School of Public Health. After examining...
State Pharmacy Associations Posting Help-Wanted Signs
Perhaps reflecting the turmoil in the profession, several state pharmacy associations have either brought new directors on board or put up the help-wanted signs in the past few months. California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maine, and North Dakota have...
They're Back
New Congress is confronting some familiar concerns A new Congress is facing old issues for pharmacy. Many of the bills the House and Senate are being asked to consider this term were also on the table in 1994-95, but they didn't make it to the President's...
Time Is Money
Independent R.Ph. launches prescribing software A search for ways to drive down costs has led a Missouri independent pharmacy owner to jump into the growth industry of software that electronically links prescribers and pharmacists. The frustrating and...
Under Control
New antiepileptic called powerful in cutting seizures A new agent that helps control epileptic seizures in difficult to treat patients has been approved by the Food & Drug Administration as adjunctive therapy. In addition, major studies of the potent...
Virginia Eyes Rx Switch Ban
The Virginia General Assembly will consider legislation that would outlaw the switching of chemically dissimilar drugs for monetary incentives. "Put simply, how Virginia legislators vote on this bill may very well determine whether or not the pharmacy...
Who's in Demand
The jobs are still out there, but not all pharmacists are created equal when it comes to hiring. The fact is, some new pharmacists may be "more equal" based on certain skills and attributes that employers seek. "Communication, communication, communication....
Wider Access Sought
Should state, local facilities get drug discounts? State and local health-care facilities could save taxpayers millions of dollars in pharmaceutical costs without Rx prices rising for other sectors if they had access to a federal discount program. The...
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