Arizona Pharmacy Flash
Nov. 27, 2012

Study: More new drugs a bad fit with grapefruit
HealthDay News
Because of new chemical formulations, prescription drugs that interact badly with grapefruit have more than doubled in number since 2008, yet many doctors seem unaware of this, Canadian researchers report. "The number of drugs on the market with the potential to produce serious adverse and in many cases life-threatening effects when combined with grapefruit has markedly increased over the past few years from 17 to 43 in four years," said lead researcher David Bailey, from the Lawson Health Research Institute in London, Ontario.More

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Congress gives FDA ultimatum on compounding
MedPage Today
House Republicans have given the FDA an ultimatum in the debate over the current fungal meningitis outbreak: Action won't be taken to give the agency more authority over compounding pharmacies unless the FDA forks over documents the lawmakers requested more than a month ago. Leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee recently wrote the FDA a letter demanding the documents the committee requested regarding the outbreak. Lawmakers are seeking to understand what the FDA knew and when about the safety of the practices of the New England Compounding Center.More

Demographics show need for more pharmacists
The Herald-Dispatch
Starting this year, 10,000 seniors citizens will turn 65 every day and, believe it or not, that will continue for the next 18 years, according to Fran D'Egido, a pharmacist. By the year 2030, senior citizens will make up close to 25 percent of the total U.S. population. That will be close to 82 million senior citizens. It is estimated that these senior citizens will have five or more chronic diseases, they will see 15 physicians on average and they will have over 40 doctor visits per year. It is estimated that the U.S. will need 70,000 more pharmacists by the year 2030. More

Congress to decide how pharmacy fees will rise
Daily Press
The House and Senate will soon decide how military pharmacy fees will be raised in 2013, a step that arguably will be the most significant to slow growth in military healthcare budgets. Out-of-pocket costs for military families and retirees who have prescriptions filled in the TRICARE network of retail pharmacies depend on final language in the fiscal 2013 Defense Authorization Act. Congress intends to pass a final defense bill by mid-December.More

Patients forget how to use EpiPen after 3 months
Medscape News
Patients with a history of anaphylaxis who have been prescribed epinephrine auto-injectors forget how to use them after approximately three months and need frequent retraining, researchers reported in an oral session here at the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology 2012 Annual Scientific Meeting in Anaheim, Calif. Dr. Rabia Q. Chaudhry, from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in Newark, presented data showing that most patients thought they knew how to use their EpiPen, but none of them knew they had to rub the site immediately after the injection, and most had a problem figuring out what side of the pen to use.More

Agencies grapple with underuse of prescription drug database
News Observer
Prescription drug overdoses killed about 1,000 North Carolina residents in 2011, but doctors and pharmacists are not widely using a state database that tracks patients' history with addictive drugs like Vicodin and OxyContin. The system, available since 2007, allows registered prescribers and pharmacists to see if patients have visited multiple doctors to obtain prescriptions for controlled substances. Despite the database's life-saving potential, only one-third of prescribers and one-fifth of the state's pharmacists are registered to use the system, said William Bronson, who oversees the system for the state Department of Health and Human Services.More

Dispensing continues for discontinued medications
Medscape News
Electronic health records should be used to inform pharmacists when physicians discontinue medication prescriptions for patients, according to the authors of a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Dr. Adrienne Allen, associate medical director of Quality, Safety, and Risk at North Shore Physicians Group, Danvers, Mass., and colleagues, analyzed the records of 30,406 Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates adult patients who had electronic discontinuation orders for antihypertensives, anticoagulants, antiplatelets, oral hypoglycemic and stain medications between November 2008 and October 2009. The number of targeted discontinued medications totaled 83,902, of which 1,218 were subsequently dispensed a mean of one time by a pharmacy anyway during a 12-month follow-up period.More

Ranbaxy recalls generic Lipitor doses
The Huffington Post
Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals Inc. has recalled dozens of lots of its generic version of cholesterol drug Lipitor because some may contain tiny glass particles, the latest in a string of manufacturing deficiencies that once led U.S. regulators to bar imports of the Indian company's medicines.More

J&J preps case for quick FDA approval of new TB drug
Fierce Biotech
Johnson & Johnson has set out to navigate its way through an important stage of its campaign to gain an accelerated approval for a new therapy for drug-resistant tuberculosis. A panel of outside FDA experts will give J&J's bedaquiline team a thorough examination to see whether the company warrants a preliminary approval based on Phase II data. And recently, the agency released its carefully neutral view of the data on safety and efficacy.More

FDA approves 1st cell-based seasonal flu vaccine
American Society of Health-System Pharmacists
The FDA recently announced the licensing of the nation's first seasonal influenza virus vaccine produced in a cell culture system instead of the traditional egg-based technology. Flucelvax, made by Novartis Vaccines, is an inactivated vaccine derived from virus propagated in a continuous cell line of canine kidney cell origin. More