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Medication mistaken for candy sends young children to emergency department
By Cynthia Sheppard Solomon, BSPharm, R.Ph., FASCP
A group of 9- and 10-year-olds recently ended up in various Chicago-area emergency departments with nicotine overdose. One of the kids had found some "mints," passing them out as candy to classmates. Unfortunately, the candy was not candy at all, but a form of over-the-counter nicotine replacement medication called NiQuitin minis. This incident follows the national trend, showing the percentage of emergency department visits due to unintentional poisonings caused by drug/medicinal substances growing yearly. How do pharmacists fit into improving this situation?
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Study finds long-term care pharmacies face higher dispensing costs, must meet specialized patient needs
Long-term care pharmacies incur dispensing costs that are 25 percent higher than those of traditional retail pharmacies and provide additional services to meet the unique health needs of LTC residents, according to the findings of a new survey recently announced by the National Community Pharmacists Association Long-Term Care Division.
Collaborative practice agreements vary among the states
American Pharmacists Association
Across the United States, pharmacists are expanding their services offered to patients under the authority of collaborative practice agreements. CPAs are used to create formal practicing relationships between pharmacists and other health professionals, usually physicians, and allow for collaborative drug therapy management activities. CPAs enable pharmacists to provide a range of clinical services including initiation, modification and monitoring of a patient's drug therapy.
Pharmacist involvement helps improve diabetes control
Pharmacy Practice News
Patients with Type 2 diabetes who receive more pharmacist care are also more likely to experience better disease control, according to new research. The studies, which demonstrated significant decreases in glycosylated hemoglobin levels when pharmacists became more involved in the management of patients with diabetes, are the latest in a growing body of evidence supporting a rethinking of the role that pharmacists can play in diabetes care.
Pediatrics group issues new ear infection guidelines
The American Academy of Pediatrics has issued new guidelines for identifying and treating a common childhood ailment that can cause a lot of misery — the ear infection. In the guidelines released, the pediatrics group more clearly defines the signs and symptoms that indicate an infection that might need treatment. They also encourage observation with close follow-up instead of antibiotic treatment for many children, including some under the age of 2 years. And, for parents of children with recurrent infections, the new guidelines help physicians and parents know when it's time to see a specialist.
Veterans diagnosed with reflux issues often start on high doses of drugs, rarely stop therapy
Medical News Today
U.S. veterans diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease are frequently prescribed doses of proton pump inhibitors, such as omeprazole — commonly known by brand names such as Prilosec — that are much higher than recommended, and they are kept on the drug far too long, according to a new Northwestern Medicine study.
Simple packaging change can reduce Rx drug diversion
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Pharmacists get a lot of complaints from consumers who tell them the pharmacy shorted them on the number of tablets or capsules they were supposed to get when they had their prescription filled. In a recent report, a young patient who had dental surgery received a prescription for the opral opioid Lortab 7.5 mg. The amount the dentist listed on the prescription was 24 pills. The patient's mom had the prescription filled at a local pharmacy. Then, later on at home she counted only 21 pills. Mom called the pharmacy because she wanted to make sure the pharmacist was aware that a mistake had been made in the count. But the pharmacist became defensive, even suggesting that her daughter must have diverted the pills.
Adult vaccination rates fall short of targets
Vaccination rates among adults in the United States are too low to adequately protect against conditions such as pneumococcal disease, whooping cough and shingles. Coverage rates have increased modestly for some adult vaccines, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but they continue to fall short of goals. "It's important to send the message that vaccine-preventable diseases are critical to the future health of our country and they take a toll on our society," said Dr. Howard Koh, assistant secretary for health in the Department of Health and Human Services, during a press conference held to discuss the report.
Codeine in young children linked to serious adverse events
The Food and Drug Administration has again drawn attention to the risk for fatal and life-threatening adverse events associated with codeine in young children who received the drug for pain relief after tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy for obstructive sleep apnea syndrome.
Blood drug woes could weigh on FDA and its approval of new, copycat biologic medicines
The recent announcement that Affymax is recalling all lots of its red blood cell-stimulating medicine Omontys could have broader implications for how the Food and Drug Administration evaluates similar drugs going forward. Omontys was recalled following some fatal, severe allergic reactions that occurred within 30 minutes of receiving the first dose. Unless the problem can be traced to an obvious additive in the product or some characteristic in affected patients that made them susceptible to the reactions, then quick reintroduction of the drug could be challenging.
NCPA offers DEA recommendations to facilitate proper disposal of unused controlled substances
The National Community Pharmacists Association has submitted comments to the Drug Enforcement Administration's proposed rule for the disposal of unused or expired controlled substances. Approximately 1,600 independent community pharmacies voluntarily participate in the medication take-back program Dispose My Meds, but are legally prohibited from accepting controlled substances. NCPA's recommendations, if incorporated into the DEA's final regulations, may help facilitate participation by many independent community pharmacies in drug take-back programs that include controlled substances.
FDA approves new treatment for metastatic HER2 breast cancer
The Food and Drug Administration recently approved ado-trastuzumab emtansine, also known as T-DM1, for the treatment of patients with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer. T-DM1 is indicated for patients who were previously treated with the anti-HER2 therapy trastuzumab and a taxane chemotherapy.
Reckitt Benckiser faces generic threats after FDA rejection
Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC faces competition in pharmaceuticals for the first time after the Food and Drug Administration approved two generic variants of its Suboxone heroin-dependency drug, thwarting the company's attempts to keep rivals away from its most profitable business. The company said that two manufacturers have FDA approval to produce generic Suboxone tablets in the U.S. Competition could arrive within a month, according to Alex Howson, an analyst at Jefferies International in London.
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Disclaimer: The AzPA Pharmacy Flash is a weekly roundup of articles of interest to pharmacists and pharmacy professionals. This email may contain an advertisement of AzPA and/or third party products and services. Opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect the views of AzPA or its advertising partners. The AzPA Pharmacy Flash is compiled by MultiBriefs, a division of MultiView, Inc. Factual errors are the responsibility of the listed publication.
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