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. 12, December

6 Tips to Boost Pharmacy Efficiency
Delivery of patient-centered care is a priority for clinicians and healthcare leaders alike. Making the switch from reimbursement based on a fee-for-service model to value-based care is changing everything.Clinicians' workflow is being streamlined to...
Alzheimer's Research: Now Is the Time for Advocates to Unite
A dozen promising trials of Alzheimer's disease could be launched today if funds were available, said Paul Aisen, MD, director of the Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study at the University of California, San Diego. "We know how to pick the drugs. We...
Antipsychotics Increase T2DM Risk for Children and Young People
MEDICATION SAFETYChildren and young people taking antipsychotics appear to be three times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, according to a study published by JAMA Psychiatry, a JAMA Network; publication.Large cohort showed significant riskIn a...
California Governor Brown Vetoes Biosimilar Substitution Bill
Battles continue over pharmacist substitution proceduresIn October 2013, Governor Jerry Brown of California vetoed Senate Bill 598 (SB 598). The failed SB 598 would have changed California's pharmacy law to require, in part, any pharmacy to notify the...
Chronic Opioid Use Increases after Bariatric Surgery
PAIN MANAGEMENTChronic use of opioids among obese patients prior to bariatric suigery continues after suigery, and a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that postoperative doses have been greater than preoperative...
Dabigatran vs. Warfarin in Patients with Mechanical Heart Valves
ANTICOAGULATION THERAPIESPatients with mechanical heart valves are at high risk for thrombotic events and require life-long treatment with anticoagulation. Warfarin has historically been the drug of choice for these patients, but the development of target-specific...
FDA Approves New Once-Daily Treatment Option for HIV
NEW DRUG REVIEWFDA approved dolutegravir (Tivicay, GlaxoSmithKline) in August 2013, for treatment of HIV-1 infection in adults and pediatric patients 12 years of age and older and weighing at least 40 kg, as part of combination antiretroviral therapy....
FDA Calls for Reclassification of Hydrocodone Products to Schedule II
WAR ON DRUGSAccording to a recent FDA announcement, FDA is recommending to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that hydrocodone combination products such as Vicodin be reclassified under Schedule H, placing tighter controls on the...
Good Digestive Health within Reach
OTCIf you want good digestive health, eat right and exercise. However, that really is not always possible; sometimes we overindulge or stray from our healthy goals. To get back on track, consumers may have to search for just the right product to quiet...
High-Dose Isotretinoin Reduces Risk of Acne Vulgaris Relapse
MEDICATION SAFETYHigher doses of isotretinoin can effectively treat patients with acne vulgaris and reduce the relapse rate without significantly increasing adverse events, according to a recent report published in JAMA Dermatology.Rachel C. Blasiak,...
How Do You Hold Two Positions at Once? Ask FDA
So FDA decides to tackle a huge problem, with the result that hydrocodone is soon to be a Schedule H controlled substance. Trying to make a dent in the seemingly never-ending increase in numbers of people who end up addicted to painkillers is a good...
Improper Dosing in IV Bags Led to Diluted Chemotherapy Solutions
ISMP CAUTIONImproper dosing of chemotherapy in IV bags recently caused a problem among a group of patients in Canada, so the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) is cautioning healthcare practitioners about chemotherapy dosing.In August, ISMP...
Justice in the Distribution of Health Resources
ETHICAL DECISION-MAKING IN PHARMACYI teach a course titled "Ethical Decision-Making" at Midwestern University College of Pharmacy in Glendale, Arizona. Nonetheless, I confess I have struggled to understand how pharmacists can in any practical way assume...
Medication Therapy Management Considerations for Improving Patient Adherence and Health Maintenance in Multiple Sclerosis
AbstractMultiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic autoimmune disease resulting in neural demyelination and chronic disability. Disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) are used to slow disease progression of the disease and minimize the number and severity of disease...
mHealth Tools: A Bond between Patients and Pharmacists
Mobile health (mHealth) is a rapidly expanding market sector that uses mobile communication technology to link people to their medical caregivers and other health resources. Recent innovations in mHealth range from mobile-connected fitness programs to...
Mismanagers I Have Known
JP AT LARGEA CVS intern complained in an e-mail that her nonpharmadst store manager embarrassed her when she was trying to help a patient choose the appropriate solutions for use with his contact lenses. They were looking for a decongestant eye drop...
Nearly 500 Pharmacies Endorse Drug-Dispensing Bill
More than 480 pharmacies endorsed the Medicare Efficient Drug Dispensing Act (S.B. 1493) in a letter sent to its sponsor.The bill, introduced by Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), seeks to preserve the $5.7 billion in budget savings estimated to result from the...
New ACC, AHA Guidelines Urge Statin Use for 33 Million More Americans
CHOLESTEROL CONTROVERSYThe American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the American Heart Association (AHA) have issued new guidelines recommending statin therapy for approximately 33 million Americans who do not have cardiovascular disease (CVD), but have...
New Products
RX&OTCJULIANNE STEIN, CONTENT CHANNEL MANAGERRX CARENEW RxIn October, Mission Pharmacal announced the launch of Aquoral, a protective oral spray that moistens and lubricates the mouth for up to four hours. Dry mouth, or xerostomia, causes about 25...
One Pharmacist's Winning Strategy for Curbing Robberies
Last year, Indiana held the dubious distinction of being the state with the most pharmacy robberies in America. Yet there was not a single pharmacy robbery in 2012 in St. Joseph County, Indiana, which includes South Bend.That wasn't always the case in...
Pharmacists Face Tougher 2014
ACA, shimking margins, drug shortages put the squeeze on community, hospital pharmaciesPharmacists in the community setting (64%) anticipate a slightly tougher business climate next year, with retail sales remaining the same or increasing, compared to...
Pharmacy Deemed Best College Major for Lucrative Career
MAJOR NEWSWant to guide your son or daughter toward a college major that has the best chance of leading to a good-paying job?If your answer is yes, there's no better choice than pharmacy or pharmaceutical sciences, according to Kiplinger Personal Finance...
PTCB Unveils Redesigned Certification Exam for Pharmacy Technicians
TEST UPDATEEarly in November, the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) introduced a retooled version of its Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination (PTCE). According to an official announcement, the updated exam measures the knowledge...
Rutgers to Offer Country's First PharmD/MD Degree
DUAL DEGREEThe Affordable Care Act is breeding new healthcare delivery models, and emphasizing provider integration of hospitals, physicians, and pharmacists, as well as teamwork and patient management across a continuum of care.One of the latest examples...
Rx Therapies Vary Greatly by Region, Study Finds
GEOGRAPHICAL CUREWhether patients receive proven and effective medications or potentially harmful ones may depend on where they live, according to a report from the Dartmouth Atlas Project.The report analyzed the drug therapies of Medicare patients across...
Should You Establish a Medical Marijuana Dispensary?
Up frontIn DepthI know the exact moment my inner entrepreneur roared into life. It was Sunday evening, Oct. 21, 2012. I was watching a segment on 60 Minutes about the medical marijuana industry in Colorado.I've been interested in the medicinal benefits...
Skipping Antibiotic after Hospital Discharge Leads to Higher Medical Costs
COMPLIANCE COSTSPatients who skip filling an antibiotic prescription after hospital discharge because of high out-of-pocket costs are at increased risk of rehospitalization and cost the healthcare system substantially more in the long term, according...
The Hydrocodone Question
A Drug Topics reader has asked: "What are your thoughts on making hydrocodone/APAP combinations CU?" At present, there is not much compelling, valid evidence upon which to base an answer.No doubt FDA has based its move to make the schedule change on...
The Pharmacist's Role in Medication Reconciliation
Gathering an accurate medication history for hospital patients is definitely a team effort shared by pharmacists, physicians, and nurses. To be successful, somebody has to take ownership of the process to monitor the medication reconciliation. The pharmacist...
Tough Week for Pharmacy
I'm a hospital pharmacist in Central Indiana, and at my hospital, National Pharmacy Week is a big deal. It is observed during the last full week of October each year, and National Pharmacy Technician Day is also observed during that week. We have always...
VODI-Impact: A Healthy Living Campus in Detroit
Pharmacists help plan, implement a healthier, safer communityMore than three years ago, the Conner Creek/Osbom community of northeastern Detroit was chosen for development as the site of a healthy living campus for local residents. With a declining population...
Voices
Singing her songRe: "She works hard for the money" [JP at Large, November 2013]:I'm one of those dinosaurs who managed to get my license in four years. I am ÉI|iP! now retired, after working 36 of the last gprS | 46 years. | jgg jThe first blow to my...
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