Magazine article Drug Topics


Magazine article Drug Topics


Article excerpt


Shared patients need safeguards: A GAO report released last month to the Senate Subcommittee on Defense, Committee on Appropriations, concluded that beneficiaries eligible to receive care from both Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense are at an increased risk of medication errors. How come? Pharmacists at VA and DOD's seven jointventure sites often don't have access to shared patients' complete health information. Providers of one agency generally can't use CPOE to order drugs to be dispensed in the other agency's pharmacy. VA and DOD also have separate formularies. To reduce the risk of errors, GAO urged both groups to share patient information electronically, including implementing such measures as developing comprehensive drug interaction checks that include both VAand DOD-provided drugs.

Guide to free-flow pumps: Which infusion pumps are safe, offering protection against the free flow of fluids through an intravenous line, and which are not? A new special report from ECRI's Health Devices Alerts provides clues. The report, which covers 44 models, found 17 with no free-flow protection and eight that must meet certain conditions before they are acceptable. ECRI, which specializes in healthcare technology safety, said its report helps hospitals meet JCAHO's new patient safety goals.

(For more on these goals, see page HSE1.)

Generic victory. Will generic substitution rates for cyclosporine increase now that a court has canceled a patent infringement lawsuit brought by Novartis against Eon? Eon, maker of Cyclosporine, USP (Modified) Softgel Capsules, said the antirejection drug is currently substituted at a 35% level, when, typically, generic products have a substitution rate of more than 80% after they've been on the market for two or more years. Eon also pointed out that its drug does not use a microemulsion technology, which Abbott's cyclosporine, Genfraf, deploys and against which Novartis had launched a successful patent infringement suit.

Hospital fined for missing Rxs: Lack of accountability over controlled substances has cost a hospital a whopping $1 million fine. Salem Memorial Hospital in Salem, N.J., had reported the aberrations-in which Demerol and Percocet were either stolen or unaccounted for due to poor record-keeping-to DEA.

The fine is part of a settlement the hospital reached with the U.S. Attorney's Office. …

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