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. 157, No. 10, October

Acetaminophen Awareness: A Community Survey
IN MY VIEWMartin's Pharmacy, DuBois, Penn., is a rural grocery-store pharmacy, part of a chain of stores in the New England and Mid-Atlantic states. This past summer we conducted a small, (n=50) community-pharmacy-based study to assess patient awareness...
California Pharmacists Nearing Provider Status
"The perfect partner": Kerr Drug's visionary policies paved the way.NEW POWERSPharmacists throughout California are a signature away from being able to administer a full range of immunizations, as well as dispensing birth control pills and certain medications...
Canadian Medical Association Calls Increased Pharmacist Functions Beneficial
EXPANDED ROLEPharmacists in Canada were recently given broader responsibilities including, in certain provinces, prescribing privileges, vaccination ability, and the authority to order and interpret laboratory tests.According to an article published...
Drug-Resistant Superbugs "Urgent Threat" to United States
A new report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says millions of Americans are at risk from drug-resistant superbugs that cause gonorrhea, C. difficile, and carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE).The CDC report said that...
Educating Patients in Drug Disposal
Unused medications pose a public safety issue, especially when not handled or disposed of properly. Prescription drugs, taken without physician supervision or authorization, can lead to accidental poisoning, overdose, and/or abuse. In recent years, hospitalizations...
FDA Approves Acyclovir Buccal Tablets for Recurrent Herpes Labialis
NEW DRUG REVIEWIn April 2013, the Food and Drug Administration approved acyclovir (Sitavig, BioAlliance Pharma) mucoadhesive buccal tablets (MBT) for the treatment of recurrent herpes labialis in immunocompetent adults. Acyclovir is a synthetic purine...
FDA Strengthens Safety-Label Warnings on Long-Acting Opioids
Hoping to decrease opioid abuse, addictions, and overdose deaths, FDA recently announced safety-labeling changes for aJl extended-release and long-acting (ER/LA) opioid analgesics used to treat pain. FDA has also added new requirements for postmarket...
Fight for Survival
How three independents advocate to win provider status, fairer auditsCrimes against U.S. pharmacies have been rampant in recent years, with almost 700 armed robberies occurring in 2010 alone. From 2006 to 2010, armed robberies of pharmacies rose 81%,...
Keys to Caring for Complex Patients
The issue of providing proper pharmaceutical care to individuals with multiple disease states is one that continues to grow. As the population of the United States continues to age, as diagnostic screening methods improve, and as more individuals have...
Making Ethics Work: Manage Your Counseling Time
ETHICAL DECISION-MAKING IN PHARMACYEvery year I ask my students, "How many of you came to pharmacy school to be the least pharmacist you could possibly be?" Not a single hand has ever gone up. The point is to explain the difference between pharmacists'...
Many Patients with AF Lack Indication for Aspirin Use
ANTICOAGULATION THERAPIESIn recently published findings, investigators with the Outcomes Registry for Better Informed Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation (ORBIT-AF) have indicated that the benefit of adding aspirin therapy to oral anticoagulation (OAC)...
Mental Fogginess: Tamoxifen Side Effect Can Be Serious
Some women who take tamoxifen to treat or prevent breast cancer report experiencing mental fogginess while on the drug, and researchers have now confirmed a biological basis for those symptoms, reported a study published online Sept. 17 in the Journal...
MTM Considerations in Osteoporosis Care: Current Issues for Prevention and Treatment
AbstractSeveral FDA-approved pharmacologic agents are used in the management of osteoporosis. This second article in our continuing education series on osteoporosis provides an overview of considerations in selecting existing treatment options for the...
New Products
RX CARENew RxAstelias Pharma U.S has announced that Astagraf XL (tacrolimus extended-release capsules), approved in July, is now available in U.S. pharmacies. The first oncedaily oral tacrolimus formulation available in the United States for the prophylaxis...
One-Fourth of Heart Disease Deaths Are Preventable
At least one-fourth of the 800,000 deaths annually attributed to cardiovascular disease could be prevented if people stopped anoking, reduced salt intake, and adopted other healthy habits, according to a report produced by the U.S. Centers for Disease...
Opioid Use in Early Pregnancy Increases Risk of Birth Defects
Women taking opioids, such as Oxycontin, Vicodin, and Percocet, just before or during early pregnancy are twice as likely to have pregnancies affected by a neural tube defect, such as spina bifida, said a study published online in Obstetrics & Gynecology...
Pain Patches Must Be Clearly Marked, FDA Says
FDA is calling for color changes to the printing on fentanyl (Duragesic) pain patches so that it is clearly visible, to help avoid risk of accidental exposure. Accidental exposure to these patches, which contain a narcotic opioid, can cause serious harm...
Pharmacists Speak Out
The AMA's "drug store intrusion" resolution and Walgreens' "good faith dispensing" policyAt its last House of Delegates meeting, the American Medical Association (AMA) introduced a resolution, "AMA response to drug store intrusion into medical practice,...
Refill Reminder Programs in Jeopardy
LEGAL COMPLIANCEHHS Office for Civil Rights squelches reimbursementsFederal healthcare privacy regulators and the nation's pharmacies, as well as drug manufacturers, are at odds over part of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA):...
Seniors Oppose Mandatory Mail Order, Survey Finds
A majorityof Medicare beneficiaries said they would oppose THUMBS DOWN mandatory mail order if it would lead to closure of their local community pharmacies, a new study has found.In the September, 2013, issue of the Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy,...
The Pros and Cons of OTC, Rx Weight-Loss Products
STUDENT CORNERDuring my public health rotation, I performed MTM at various brown-bag events, where I noticed that a few of my diabetic patients were on the heavier side. When I asked about their diet and exercise regimens, I received sheepish replies...
The Small-Business Owner's BFF
VIEW FROM THE ZOOWhen I was a child, I had an imaginary friend. Now that I'm an adult, I have an artificial one ... I'm starting off this month's column with that statement not to spark an inquiry into the state of my mental health, but to answer the...
TRICARE's Mail-Order Program Earns High Marks in Federal Audit
An auditby the Department of Defense's Office of the THUMES UP Inspector General (OIG) has found the TRICARE mail-order pharmacy program to be "more efficient and effective than retail programs," as well as less prone to errors.NACDS objectsTRICARE is...
Unmentionables Worth Mentioning
Sane young women, perhaps even some in their 30s, may not want to ask for certain feminine products that they consider embarrassing, such as products for the monthly menstrual cycle, constipation, overactive bladder, feminine odor, or lubrication but...
Voices
What's the message?Regarding Gary Einsidler's letter to the editor in the August issue of Drug Topics ["Pharmacy tobacco bans don't work"]:I agree with him that people who want to purchase tobacco products will go to other vendors if they cannot buy...
Walgreens Acquires Kerr Drug Chain
Walgreens has reached agreement with privately held Kerr Drug to acquire its retail drugstores and specialty pharmacy business, which last year had sales of about $381 million.Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The deal will include Kerr's...
You Might as Well Ask the Dog
We saw Rosalie, the only female member of the grounds crew where I live, at the end of our walk. My dog is still a puppy, so I stood there as Rosalie did what most women do with a puppy. She squealed, "Oh, you widdle baby boy, Buddy." She rubbed Buddy's...
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