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. 159, No. 3, March

2015 Updates on the National Guidelines for Diabetes Management and Related Disorders
AbstractDiabetes, hypertension, and dyslipidemia are common chronic conditions in the United States, and each is associated with cardiovascular disease risk. There are several national guidelines that address the management of these chronic conditions...
A Step in the Right Direction: Some Treats for the Feet
OTCFeet are among the unsung heroes of the physical corpus. They get us where we need to go; they carry heavy loads all day long; they stand up to everything we ask of them. And sometimes they do it in sadistically designed footwear that rubs, pinches,...
Clinical Detachment vs. the Personal Touch in Pharmacy Practice
IN MY VIEWIt takes a mix of clinical detachment and cautious personal attention to respond to patient needs in ambulatory care pharmacy. While paying dose attention to a patient's issues, when should a pharmacist put on the brakes? And when could clinical...
E-Cig Poisonings Spike; APhA Calls for Stricter Regulations
Poison-control centers nationwide are reporting a spike in calls about ingestion of liquid nicotine used in electronic cigarettes (e-dgarettes). For the first 11 months of 2014, the American Assodation of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) reported 3,638...
Entry-Level Salaries for Hospital Pharmacists Expected to Decline
Salaries of entry-level health-system pharmacists are expected to decline by at least 10% over the next five years, according to a new report from the American Society of Health- System Pharmacists (ASHP), "Pharmacy Forecast 2015-2019: Strategic Planning...
Expanding the Role of Pharmacists on the Healthcare Team
LEGAL COMPLIANCEIn January 2015, the National Governors Assodation (NGA) released a white paper titled "The Expanding Role of Pharmadsts in a Tranformed Health Care System." The paper challenges states to change their laws to allow pharmadsts, who represent...
FDA Approves New Antibiotic Combo for Two Complicated Infections
NEW DRUG REVIEWCeftolozane/tazobactam (Zerbaxa; Cubist Pharmaceuticals) received FDA approval in December 2014. This medication is a combination of a new cephalosporin type of antibiotic and a beta-lactamase inhibitor. The bactericidal agent ceftolozane...
HHS Goals for Reform of Medicare Reimbursements Arouse Skepticism
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has set goals to shift Medicare reimbursements to reward value and care coordination. Can this really have an impact on patient outcomes? Is it possible for HHS to improve the quality of care system-wide...
Incomplete AERs Compromise Drug Safety Monitoring: ISMP
Medication SafetyWhen a drug causes unexpected harm to patients, one way FDA learns of it is through adverse event reports (AERs) submitted to the agency either directly by patients or indirectly through drug manufacturers. While manufacturers are required...
Independent Pharmacies Sue Catamaran, Alleging Illegal Conduct
Fifty-five independent pharmacies, mainly in Pennsylvania, have filed a lawsuit against pharmacy benefit manager Catamaran Corp., alleging illegal conduct leading to economic losses.Some of the Pennsylvania pharmacies participating in the suit are Albert's...
» Ivermectin: A New Player « in the Rosacea Game
In the most recent issue of this publication, we provided an overview of current classifications and grading systems that define rosacea, along with information on traditional therapeutic approaches for the management of inflammatory papules and pustules....
Kick the Habit
CVS pharmacists have helped more than 67,000 smokers to quitCVS Health's smoking cessation program has helped more than 67,000 patients who wanted to quit smoking with counseling advice following a first prescription for a smoking cessation drug or nicotine...
More Than 40 Novel Drugs Won FDA Approval in 2014
FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) approved 41 new molecular entities in 2014, including several for cancer, type 2 diabetes, hepatitis C, and other serious diseases.In its "Novel New Drugs 2014 Summary" report, CDER focused on the...
New Products
RX & OTCRX CARENew drugsEDA has approved Sanofi's hsulin glaigine [rDNA origin] injection, 300 U/mL (Toujeo), a once-daily, long-acting basal insulin for treatment of adults with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. With Sanofi's popular diabetes chug...
New York Delays Mandatory EPCS Prescribing for a Year
With only about 12% of healthcare providers in New York ready for electronic prescribing for controlled substances, New York legislators decided to delay the March 27 deadline for mandatory e-prescribing for providers and pharmacies for another year.According...
Oral Anticoagulation May Not Benefit All AF Patients
ANTICOAGULATION THERAPIESPatients with atrial fibrillation (AF) and ¿1 point on the CHA2DS2-VASc (congestive heart failure, hypertension, age ¿75 years, diabetes mellitus, stroke/transient ischemic attack, vascular disease, age 65-74 years, sex) stroke...
PBMs, Insurers Strike Deals for Hepatitis C Drugs
Catamaran is the latest PBM to cut a deal for lower-priced hepatitis C treatments for its customers.At the beginning of February, Cata- maran added Gilead Sciences' hepatitis C treatments, Harvoni and Sovaldi, to its national and value formularies, making...
Pharmacist Provider Status Gains Traction
California leads the way; reimbursement slated for demonstration project next yearThe country is moving toward provider status for pharmacists. But don't hold your breath waiting for direct reimbursement from federal, state, or private payors.Federal...
Price of Injectable Cholesterol Meds May Top Cost of Sovaldi
The introduction of high-cost, high-use PCSK9 (proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9) enzyme inhibitors, a new drug class formulated to treat high cholesterol, takes the industry a step closer to a future where "healthcare costs break the bank,"...
Provider Status: Important to Pharmacists, Critical to Patients
DISPENSED AS WRITTENIf you had asked most pharmacy professionals a year ago about the possibility of bipartisan, bicameral federal legislation recognizing pharmadsts and their patient-care services, a likely answer would have been, "I hope so." Today,...
Retail Pharmacy Returns to Primary Care
IN MY VIEWThanks to ACA, in order to accommodate about 3% of the population - about 9 million individuals with "new insurance" - nearly 99% of all taxpayers in the private sector will have effectively less coverage, higher deductibles, and increased...
Revlimid Approval Expanded to Newly Diagnosed Multiple Myeloma
FDA has expanded its approval of the immunomodulator lenalidomide (Revlimid; Celgene), an oncological agent used in combination with dexamethasone, to include the treatment of newly diagnosed multiple myeloma.The American Cancer Society estimates that...
Rite Aid Buys PBM EnvisionRx for $2 Billion
In a move widely seen as an opportunity for better competition with the other major drugstore chains, on Feb. 11 Rite Aid Corp. announced an agreement to buy the pharmacy benefits manager (PBM) EnvisionRx for about $2 billion.Rite Aid will pay the investment...
Study Results
Fondaparinux after NSTEMI resulted in lower risk of bleeding, death than heparinPatients with non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) who received the anticoagulant fondaparinux had a lower rate of bleeding and death in the hospital and...
Target, Walmart, Walgreens Ordered to Stop Store-Brand Herbal Supplement Sales in New York
New York's attorney general has demanded that Target, Walmart, Walgreens, and GNC immediately stop selling storebrand herbal supplement products in the state, after an ongoing investigation demonstrated that only 21% of the supplements tested contained...
To Prevent Dispensing Errors, Malpractice Lawsuits, Pharmacies Must Enforce Systematic Vigilance
Quality improvement systems and multiple levels of checkoffs are critically important to help pharmacies catch errors before they reach patients, according to several pharmacy industry experts and a 10-year study of closed claims.Titled "2013 Pharmacist...
Transition of Care: The Challenge for Pharmacists
Pharmacists have been handed a golden opportunity to engage in a cognitive service distinct from distributing "the product." It is an opportunity that can move us from sale of medications to provision of pharmaceutical care review and patient counseling,...
Voices
It ain't necessarily soRe: "Not too many pharmacy schools? Your responses" [Mark Lowery, Feb. 20, drugtopics.com]:Most of my colleagues in pharmacy education agree that there are already too many schools. Unfortunately, the American Association of Colleges...
When CMS Wants CMR, Ben Franklin Says "Ahem"
VIEW FROM THE ZOOThis time they may really mean it... I'm talking about pharmacy getting away from being paid only for putting a product in a bottle. I know that statement means that a lot of you just stopped reading. I understand why.Around the time...
Your Colleagues
Pharmacist clans encourage family members to pursue careers in pharmacyWe continue to marvel at every new story of pharmacist families. When we presented the latest, "U.B. and beyond: Nine lives in pharmacy" (Rose Mary Madejski; January 28, www.drugtopics.com),...
You Want Collaborative Practice? Win Provider Status
IN MY VIEWIn 1998 a family practice physician in Columbus, Ohio, asked me to help manage an uncontrolled type 2 diabetes population. The practice invited United Health Care (UHC) officials to visit to determine requirements for documentation; collaborative...
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