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. 140, No. 21, November 4

30 Years Later
(Editor's note: Back in 1966, Berkeley V. Bennett prepared an article for Drug Topics entitled "Vital, exciting market open to pharmacists who service nursing homes." Thirty years later, in the following article, he takes another look at the lay of the...
Allergy Buster
A treatment for allergic rhinitis proposed for an over-thecounter switch may bring more customers streaming into the pharmacy for relief. But as with many of the new OTCs, the drug will require patient counseling for proper use. A Food & Drug Administration...
APhA Offers Flexible Path to Pharmaceutical Care
John S. Oftebro had implemented a pharmaceutical care software program in his Seattle store two years earlier, but he found he was having trouble getting started. "The dispensing role is deeply rooted," noted the owner of Kelley-Ross Pharmacy. "I needed...
Armchair Rxs
The movement toward the electronic transmission of prescriptions recently received a big boost from President Clinton. In August, Clinton signed the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act of 1996. The law includes provisions for the electronic...
Beyond Cost
PCS Health Systems claims its efforts to reposition itself as an "information-driven, health solutions company" are more than hype. In an exclusive interview with Drug Topics, Jean-Pierre Millon, president and CEO of the pharmacy benefit manager based...
Boom Times
Drugstores can become gathering places for baby boomers as that generation ages and spends more for their wellbeing and health. But that will happen only if the stores take special steps to accommodate this unique market, which has changed the way marketers...
Bye, NARD
NARD is dead. Long live the National Community Pharmacists Association. By a vote of 98 to 9, the governing body of the organization that represents independent retail pharmacy has approved a name change proposed last year. For the first time since its...
CamCare: An $11 Billion Business Open for R.Ph.S
Ginkgo is "going to be big, and so is is hawthorn." So predicted James B. LaValle, a one-time supermarket pharmacist who founded a pharmacyonly natural medicine company. Ginkgo biloba is probably the mostprescribed herbal product in the world, said LaValle....
Can Pain Drugs Really Make Pain Worse?
Millions of Americans think nothing of taking nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for minor musculoskeletal problems or symptoms of arthritis. According to James F. Fries, M.D., professor of medicine, immunology, and rheumatology at Stanford...
Category Close-Up: Cough/cold Products
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...
CCBs
There's finally some good news about calcium-channel blockers (CCBs). According to the PRAISE (Prospective Randomized Amlodipine Survival Evaluation) study, published in the Oct. 10 New England Journal of Medicine, Norvasc (amlodipine/ Pfizer Labs),...
ChemTrak Seeks to Expand Home Testing
If ChemTrak Inc. is any indication, the world of personal medical diagnostics will widen considerably soon. The Sunnyvale, Calif., firm markets or is about to market several medical testing systems for home or clinical use. Now in the consumer marketplace...
Dealing with Armed Robbery: Chain Expert Shares Advice
A sign-off sheet with instructions on what to do about robberies is now company policy at American Drug stores mc. inc. InC* l ne topic was already covered briefly in an employee handbook, but Peter Bartholomew and colleagues thought that more was needed...
Emergency Contraception: Is It Our Best-Kept Secret?
Health care is "on the brink of a whole new era in fertility control in the United States," according to David Grimes, M.D., chief of the department of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive sciences at San Francisco General Hospital and vice chair...
Expanded Scope of Practice Worth the Fight for R.Ph.S
The state legislative struggle to expand pharmacists' scope of practice can be won-with pharmacists' support. That was the message from two board of pharmacy leaders addressing the topic at a recent seminar on pharmacy laws and regulations, sponsored...
Firestorm Erupting over Generic Warfarin Release
The bloody bioequivalence battle over generic warfarin has spilled over into the media, or at least onto reporters' desks, as opposing companies fire off news releases. "Once again, a branded pharmaceutical company is putting profits ahead of patients...
Hospital Notes
Editor's Note: With this issue, Drug Topics introduces Hospital Notes, designed to keep our readers up to date on happenings and trends in hospital practice and integrated health-care systems. The column, which will appear monthly, includes information...
How Pharmacists Feel about CCBs
To obtain a sampling of CCB dispensing trends, Drug Topics interviewed pharmacists from several settings. From the institutional setting, Christine Yedinak, Pharm.D., a specialist in cardiovascular critical care in Tampa General Hospital's department...
IC Help
The Food & Drug Administration has approved a new heparin-like drug, pentosan polysulfate sodium (Elmiron, Baker Norton), as the first oral treatment for interstitial cystitis (IC), a mysterious and painful disease of the urinary bladder whose cause...
In-Store Computer Monitoring Cuts Loss, Offers Savings
A computer program allowing a drugstore manager instant access to point-of-service (POS) data translates to much quicker and earlier action against theft. The program was explained at a National Association of Chain Drug Stores Human Resources &...
Latelines
California gets R.Ph. pay law ... California Gov. Pete Wilson has signed a bill authorizing cognitive services reimbursement to R.Ph.s in managed care plans. The California Pharmacists Association, which sponsored the bill, is now in discussions with...
Letters
Enough R.Ph. bashing Unlike many of the other responses to the recent pharmacist bashing that has taken place, I would like to note that I am tired of the public, the media, the medical profession, and even the pharmacy profession dropping the responsibility...
Managing Seniors' Health Care
Community pharmacists now need to stake out their future role in managing health care for senior citizens. After all, people ages 65 and older use more prescription drugs, on average, than does any other age category. And, as more and more of the elderly...
Mississippi R.Ph.S Get Shot in Arm to Immunize
With an eye to boosting inoculation rates and income, Mississippi pharmacists are being trained as part of a demonstration project to administer immunizations under physicians' orders. This month, 75 pharmacists will attend a three-day training course...
NCPA, Nee NARD, Sets Agenda for New Congress
Looking ahead to the 105th Congress, the National Community Pharmacists Association-which until last month called itself NARD-is assigning top priority to legislation it hopes will level the playing field between independent and mail-order pharmacies....
New Bedfellows
Whileindependent pharmacies continue their struggle to stay alive as stand-alone units, drugstore chains are looking to thrive by riding together-with all the company they can find. In the latest move, Rite Aid Corp., Camp Hill, Pa., the largest drugstore...
New DME Rule Could Spell Trouble for R.Ph.S
Pharmacists may be cheering over a new federal rule that requires those who bill Medicare for DME-related medications to have a pharmacy license (Drug Topics, Oct. 21), but a reimbursement expert thinks the plan could open up a Pandora's box. Speaking...
New Drug Checklist
FLUTICASONE (floo-TlK-a-sone) (INHALATION) Helps prevent and control asthma attacks. Belongs to a class of drugs called corticosteroids. BRAND NAME(5): Flovent WHEN YOU SHOULD NOT TAKE THIS MEDICINE Do not take this medicine if you have had an allergic...
New Drugs Target Diabetes Control, Insulin Resistance
Two new medications are on the horizon for the management of diabetes: pimagedine and troglitazone. The welcome news was presented at a recent conference in New York sponsored by the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation International, the Diabetes Research Foundation,...
New Sites and Services
A new option for R.Ph.s looking for an automated Rx refill program is APRA from PharmaComm, Waldorf, Md. APRA is an external hardware/software unit that uses interactive voice response to take patient refill requests. The price per unit is $895, with...
New Software Links R.Ph.S to Physicians and Patients
Pharmacists will be able to hop on the Internet to communicate with patients and physicians, according to the developer of a new software program. Pharmacists can help patients take more responsibility for their own treatment regimens, using interactive...
No Scan Scam
Drugstore shoppers were charged the wrong prices 6.3% of the time, according to a government study of checkout scanner accuracy in the retail industry. In 3.6% of the cases, the scanner mistakes resulted in higher prices being charged at drugstores,...
PBMs in the Lion's Den Emerge with Nary a Scratch
The No. 1 target didn't appear. Fireworks didn't explode. Civility reigned, even if minds didn't change. And that's how NARD's town hall meeting with pharmacy benefit management companies went last month. Outgoing NARD president Louis Mitchell set the...
Pharmacist Care: A Progress Report
Lou Mitchell made the point privately and publicly during NARD's annual convention last month in New Orleans: After traveling around the country as president of the independent pharmacy association, he became more aware than ever that pharmacists "who...
Post-Robbery Strategy Crucial to Morale of Staff
What is done by management after a robbery occurs is critical to employee morale. Randall Ferris of American Drug Stores Inc., Melrose Park, Ill., said that the response of the company, particularly upper-level management, is of paramount importance....
Retooling for Pharmaceutical Care
Gaining support from the entire store staff is the key to implementing a pharmaceutical care practice, according to John S. Oftebro, owner of Kelley-Ross Pharmacy in Seattle. He adds that the American Pharmaceutical Association training program is extremely...
R.Ph.S Agree: Pharmaceutical Care Is the Way to Go
Community pharmacists overwhelmingly support a move toward more meaningful pharmaceutical care, but they think they should be paid for their services. So indicated the results of a survey released at the Pharmaceutical Care Outcomes Research Conference...
Software Hardline
The Food & Drug Administration's revived plans to bring some stand-alone medical software under its regulatory umbrella poses some interesting questions for pharmacists. The FDA is in the midst of discussions in-house and with the healthcare software...
Software Helps Employers Keep an Eye on PBMs
Why not manage the managers? Now, new software is helping employers manage the pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) that manages their pharmacy benefit. Managed Pharmacy Benefits, a St. Louis-based PBM, is rolling out MPB Advantage System, software that enables...
Two PCS Programs Have Common Goal
CS Health Systems now has two pilot programs under way to test the impact of on-line connectivity between physicians and drug therapy information. Both of these programs have been in operation for about half a year. Two or three larger ones are set to...
Update and Outlook in Alzheimer's Disease
Introduction AIzheimer's disease (AD) is a chronic neuropathological process that was first described in 1907 by Alois Alzheimer. The disease causes progressive dementia and is the fourthleading cause of death in the United States. AD is the most common...
What's Hot: From Tongue Cleaners to Shark Cartilage
Make money. Now, there's a phrase heard less often in drugstores these days. But straight from the Chain Drug Marketing Association (CDMA) fall show and conference, there's new hope. Presented here, in no particular order, is the unofficial list of hot...
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