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. 151, No. 8, April 16

APhA Tackles Issues from Drug Abuse to R.Ph. Rights
As annual meetings go, the American Pharmacists Association's latest powwow, held in Atlanta last month, had a lot going for it. Not only did APhA officials have many new activities to report, its house of delegates wrestled with numerous controversial...
A Review of Sexually Transmitted Diseases
An ongoing CE program of The University of Florida College of Pharmacy and DRUG TOPICSThe history of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) is far-reaching, with medical writings identified as far back as 2500 BC. However, the term venereal disease originated...
Assessing Risk to QT Interval
A 70-year-old woman, T.R., has been transferred from an extended care nursing facility to your hospital with symptoms of fever, dyspnea with respiratory difficulty, cough, and sputum production. Her current medications include methadone 200 mg/ day (pain...
CMS Pay-for-Performance Pilot Engages R.Ph.S
The clinical success of an ongoing pay-for-performance (P4P) pilot project by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services requires extensive participation by health-system pharmacists. "Our input meant participation in creating protocols of quality...
Controversy Continues to Surround Generic Insulin
Diabetes is a deadly, common and costly disease, so the debate about biogenerics is ardent when it concerns insulin. The drug is expensive and indispensable, and scientists agree that creating generic insulin is simpler than creating most other potential...
Discarding Unused Drugs? Don't Crush and Flush
Following guidelines issued by the American Pharmacists Association in February, the federal government has also issued guidelines on the disposal of medications, which recommend against flushing unused or expired drugs in a toilet or down the sink....
ESA Warnings Riling Practice
New warnings the Food & Drug Administration has issued about erythropoiesisstimulating agents (ESAs) have prompted many practitioners to change the way they practice, while others remain unconvinced.In March, the FDA said recent studies have revealed...
FDA Eyes Sentinel Network for Postmarket Safety
Now that we have electronic record technology, how should we set up a postmarketing surveillance system for drugs, biologicals, and medical devices? The Food & Drug Administration began exploring that question with a request for comments and two...
Health Mart: Drug Topics' Chain of the Year
Recently surpassing its 1,000-member milestone, the franchise that McKesson rebuilt has come a long wayIn the early 1990s, when Health Mart was owned by regional wholesale distributor FoxMeyer, it was little more than a franchise tallying 800 stores....
Infection Surveillance Software Can Save Lives
As many as 100,000 patients die every year from hospitalacquired infections (HAIs), according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. It doesn't have to be that way. HAIs, which strike about two million patients annually, are eminently preventable,...
Latebreakers
Pharmacy world astir over TV exposé on drug errorsThe pharmacy world is abuzz over the broadcast of a "20/20" report on pharmacy medication errors. The report revealed that an error made by a Walgreens technician allegedly resulted in a patient's suffering...
Letters
Oncology not a good fit for independentsI am writing about your Feb. 5 article, "Is specialty pharmacy a field for you?" I am the manager of pharmacy services for a nine-clinic practice with 40 medical/radiation oncology practitioners serving 10,000...
Memorable Misfills of a Retail Pharmacist
Every pharmacist has his own horror stories that are seared into his brain. Here are some that stand out in my mind:1. Mepergan Fortis/cephalexin: A pharmacist told me this story. She discovered that she had dispensed Mepergan Fortis (meperidine/promethazine,...
New Guidelines Coming for Intrathecal Analgesia
The 2007 Polyanalgesic Consensus Panel recently recommended major changes to the guidelines for treatment, via intraspinal infusion, of patients suffering from severe chronic pain. The guidelines will be published later this year in the journal Neuromodulation....
New Product Newswire
RxNEW INDICATIONSUCB, Smyrna, Ga., (800) 477-7877, has been granted a new indication for Keppra (levetiracetam) tablets and oral solution. They can now be used as adjunctive treatment for primary generalized tonic-clonic seizures in patients aged six...
New Software Streamlines Patient Profile Review
Screening hospital patient profiles for medication problems and potential improvements just got easier. Pharmacy OneSource has a new Web-based software, called Sentri7, that can monitor medication, laboratory, and patient data. It also provides data...
New Tablet Gets FDA Nod for Breast Cancer
NEW DRUGGiven in combination with capecitabine (Xeloda, Roche), lapatinib (Tykerb, GlaxoSmithKline) has been approved for treating advanced or metastatic breast cancer after a six-month priority review. Lapatinib is a once-daily, oral therapy used to...
Of Two Minds
New research finds atypicals are just a modest improvement in schizophrenia treatmentAntipsychotic agents have long been integral to the management of schizophrenia. Firstgeneration, "conventional" antipsychotics are high-affinity antagonists of dopamine...
R.Ph. Involvement Can Cut Rx Errors for Kids in OR
A new report by the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) has revealed a disturbing trend: Pediatric patients are disproportionately affected by improper and wrong-dose errors in perioperative settings. The report analyzed medication error data over a seven-year...
Should Every Hospital Join a GPO?
Mick Hunt, R.Ph., M.S., MBA VP, Pharmacy NovationYes. Group purchasing organizations help hospitals lower the cost of providing quality patient care, and every hospital can benefit from joining a GPO. GPOs help hospitals obtain the best price on medications...
Standardize Restricted Drug Distribution Systems: ASHP
ASHP recently told the Food & Drug Administration that improvement of restricted drug distribution systems (RDDS) should be a key element of the reauthorization of the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA). ASHP recommends that the PDUFA reauthorization...
The Pain Game
With safety concerns slowing traditional treatments, new options are filling the voidDebilitating pain-affecting millions of Americans-was often alleviated by traditional nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and COX-2 inhibitors. But the appeal...
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