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. 11, June 2

Alternative Medicines: Is Natural Really Better?
Ask different types of experts what they think of alternative therapies and you're likely to get a pretty broad array of opinions. Some feel that they're the wave of the future, and that they can offer both considerable health benefits to consumers and...
Antidepressant Offers Smokers Another Way to Kick Butts
Starting in July, smokers will have a nicotine-free way to quit smoking. It's Zyban (bupropion HCI) Sustained-Release Tablets, by Glaxo Wellcome Inc., Research Triangle Park, N.C. Current OTC smoking-cessation aids work by replacing one form of nicotine...
Appeals Court to Hear Class Action Price Fixing Case
After almost a year of silence, appeals are starting to be heard in the settlement of community pharmacy's class action drug pricing case against the pharmaceutical industry. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit has asked the opposing parties...
Asessing Pharmaceutical Care: Minn. Group Offers One Model
If pharmaceutical care is to become a reality, pharmacists may need to be gauged in terms of how well they can deliver it. With that prospect in mind, William E. Bond, executive v.p. and CEO, Minnesota Pharmacists Association (MPhA), St. Paul, outlined...
A Tide That Won't Be Denied
At the chain drug industry's recent annual meeting in Palm Beach, Fla., it seemed that speaker after speaker made a point of saying that the key to success in pharmacy is staying focused on the consumer or patient. Amidst all of the complaints about...
Bill to Restrict Substitution on NTI Drugs Loses a Round
California's Bioequivalency Advisory Panel (BAP) has rejected attempts by brand-name drugmakers to limit generic substitution for products with a narrow therapeutic index (NTI). Innovator companies, led by DuPont Merck, maker of Coumadin (warfarin sodium),...
Breathtaking
World Wide Web crawling with sites on asthma news Pharmacists who want to keep up with the latest asthma news and research on-line can choose from a host of Internet sites geared to health-care professionals, patients, and parents. The following are...
Changing Role
Drug Emporium approaches its 20th anniversary this fall on a positive fiscal trend (three consecutive years of improvement in gross profit margins and average store volumes) and a positive approach to today's industry trends. Steve Denovchek, R.Ph.,...
Consumer Rx Information Is There, but How Good Is It?
More consumers are now getting written information along with their prescriptions, but the jury is still out on the quality of that information. According to preliminary results from a biennial survey by the Food & Drug Administration, 67% of the...
Don't Call Me, Call the Doc
Can you answer a question?" Sounds pretty simple, doesn't it? A patient makes a simple request. You, the pharmacist, are the one information and advice source in the medical community who is accessible even on weekends and holidays. You're there until...
Fight On
Generics may be down, but they're not out. Although staggered by the Food & Drug Administration's decision last month not to approve synthetic generic forms of conjugated estrogens, two generic companies vowed to continue the battle. "This precedent-setting...
Generic Sales Show Gains, but Stock Prices Take Plunge
Last year was "a tough year for the generic drug industry." While investors in equities rewarded favorite brand companies "with price earnings multiples beyond any rational point," they punished the "unloved" generic drug industry with severe stock price...
Hi There!
Gibson Greetings Inc., one of the big three manufacturersdistributors of greeting cards in the United States, has some ambitious ideas for invigorating the category, and drugstores are an integral part of them. During a break in the National Association...
Home Is Where the Health Care Often Is These Days
Wandering the aisles of the drugstore has become a high-tech adventure. Looking at the sophisticated home diagnostic equipment that now resides on pharmacy shelves, one feels as if he or she has just stepped into an episode of "The Jetsons." Technology...
How Do You Bill for $180 on Hour? One Expert's Advice
Pharmacists are moving from the bench to the consulting room. Going beyond their traditional function of dispensing drugs, pharmacists will increasingly perform clinical duties, according to Gene A. Memoli, R.Ph., who spoke recently on the subject of...
Increasing Interactions with Patients in a Busy Pharmacy
We live in an era of increased use of powerful drugs. s Among the reasons for this are today's emphasis on longevity, the increased amount of research being done on many disease states, and competition among research-oriented pharmaceutical companies....
Is It Ethical to Give Patients Placebos in Clinical Trials?
The use of placebo controls is unethical in many studies where they are used." Kenneth Rothman, M.D., a professor of public health at Boston University, was speaking at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics,...
Is This the Right Time for a Third Class of Drugs?
As more drugs move from prescription to over-the-counter status, the time is right for a third class of drugs, proponents of the decadesold issue say. "There are more, stronger drugs going from prescription to over the counter. They're going into vending...
JCCP Marks Its 20th Anniversary
One founding group quit, rejoined, then quit again. Another, which states that it represents the entire profession, declined to join for 11 years. There are no dues, no staff, and no substitutes permitted at the quarterly meetings in Washington, D.C.,...
Latelines
R.Ph.s need board support for patient care To help pharmacists provide patient care, state pharmacy boards must support efforts to change workflow and allow technicians to handle the mechanics of dispensing, urged Ruth Vandever, outgoing chairman of...
Letters
Struggle of the classes I agree with Mr. Catizone and I disagree with the idea of two classes of pharmacists (see "Should pharmacy be split into two licensure groups?, Drug Topics, May 5). I differ with Dr. Grauss because this issue does not at all resemble...
Lifestyle Changes and Drug Therapy Urged for Arthritis
For the 40 million arthritis sufferers, "exercise" was an important part of the prescription dispensed by the Arthritis Foundation at a recent news conference held at its New York chapter under the sponsorship of Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories. A workout...
Make a Case
Pharmacy hasn't convinced FDA that R.Ph.s merit a spot on arc Pharmacists will have to do a better job of convincing the Food & Drug Administration that they deserve a place on over-the-counter drug labels. "Just saying the pharmacist should be on...
Managed Care Pharmacy Slowly Emerging around the World
Efforts by U.S. companies to introduce managed care pharmacy systems and techniques are just starting to take hold in different parts of the world, but progress is slow and difficult. Facing political, financial, and technological challenges, managed...
Market and Consumer Trends Driving Switch-Hitters
Available by prescription only one day, and then sold overthe-counter the next-this is the fate of an increasing number of medications. In fact, more than 600 drugs sold over the counter today were available only by Rx 20 years ago, according to the...
Medicaid Fee Rising in Texas
It took three years and two lawsuits, but Texas pharmacies are getting a new reimbursement formula for Medicaid prescriptions. A deal was finally hammered out between the Texas Pharmacy Association and Texas Department of Health offcials after a state...
Meeting the Grade
ASCP finalizing practice standards for long-term care Do you have questions regarding pharmacy practice standards in the long-term care setting? You'll soon be able to open up a book and find the answers! In an exclusive Drug Topics interview, Thomas...
Miscellaneous Hair Care 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...
More Incentive
Report sees HMO pay for R.Ph. services slowly arriving As health maintenance organizations make plans for how their pharmacy benefit will be structured over the next year and a half, community pharmacists can look forward to more payments for various...
More Treatment Options Seen Opening for Epilepsy Patients
The armamentarium against epilepsy is growing-especially for the treatment of partial seizures, the most common kind. So reported John Pellock, M.D., chairman of the division of child neurology at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, at the...
New Boot Camps Helping R.Ph.S Counsel Patients
More and more pharmacists are undergoing OTC training so they can counsel patients about their nonprescription medicines. Several factors account for this trend. First, more product classes are moving from Rx to over-the-counter status. Examples include...
New Drug Checklist for the Patient
Treats human immunodeficiency vI virus (HIV) infection. HIV causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Nelfinavir does not cure HIV or AIDS, but combinations of drugs that treat HIV infection may slow the disease progress and may prolong your...
Reading between the Lines: Is Label Standardization Near?
The packages on drugstore shelves could soon look very different. After years of debate on this issue, the Food & Drug Administration and the nonprescription drug industry are taking steps to make OTC labels easier to read and understand. Standardization...
Should Colony-Stimulating Factors Be Used Less-Or More?
Is the push for higher doses of chemotherapy-and for the granulocyte colony-stimulating factors (GCSFs) sometimes needed to reduce the resultant higher rates of febrile neutropenia-simply a waste of resources? A debate was held on this subject at the...
Smoke and Mirrors
New inhaler aims to blow cigarettes away You've instructed them to chew it, stick it, and sniff it. Now you can tell patients to smoke it when you dispense the new Nicotrol Inhaler (nicotine inhalation system). According to McNeil Consumer Products Co.,...
Source-Tagger Reports Fast Gains in EAS Retail Systems
Source-tagging, the practice of applying security devices to consumer goods at the manufacturing or distribution level, is growing sharply, thanks to encouragement from some of the nation's largest retailers, including drug chains. Sensormatic Electronics...
Staking Its Claims
Pharmacists who sell their third-party claims on-line to The Pharmacy Fund's Rapid RP,(Emit service can now pick and choose, from among 150 payers and processors, the claims they want the New York City firm to manage. This Pharmacist's Choice option...
Technology and Pharmaceutical Care
Pharmacists have been saying for years that they are providing cognitive services to patients and that they deserve payment for such care. At the same time, payers have maintained a "show-me-the-data" attitude. Some pharmacists have done just that and...
Tech Talk
As the number of certified technicians nears the 20,000 mark, more state pharmacy boards are turning their regulatory attention to techs and their relationship to the profession. More than 18,400 technicians are now certified, according to the 1996 annual...
The Hospital Job Scene
While two out of three hospital pharmacists perceive that their job responsibilities have changed over the past two years, the majority (93%) are still working in an inpatient acute care setting, according to a recent Drug Topics-Hospital Pharmacist...
The State of the OTC Marketplace
There are more than 300,000 overthe-counter products marketed in the United States, and the number keeps growing every day. To update you on the wide world of OTCs, our cover story features a package of articles based on interviews with market research...
Which Products Have Staying Power? Expert Gives Tips
Which products have been gaining steam, and which ones will continue to grow? There are many areas of continued or potential growth, according to Nancy Loos, an industry information analyst for D.P. Hamacher & Associates Inc., a Milwaukee-based management...
Will Managed Care Embrace RX-to-OTC Product Switches?
Since 1976, more than 600 pharmaceutical products have emigrated from behind the pharmacist's counter and onto the drugstore shelves. Another 70 are expected to do so in the next five years. Many of the most recent switches from prescription to over-the-counter...
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