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2018 WVSHP Annual Meeting Dates Announced SAVE THE DATE!2018 Annual Meeting April 6th and 7th Embassy Suites, Charleston, WV Registration to be available in January (Click for more...)

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APhA Celebrates Pharmacists’ Contributions to Increasing U.S. Immunization Rates and Improving Health 2/20/2018 10:23:28 AM February 20, 2018 The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) today announced the selection of recipients of its 2018 Immunization Champions Awards recognizing individuals and organizations who have made extraordinary contributions toward improved vaccination rates within their communities. (Click for more...) Kentucky pharmacists have new authorities to improve patient, public health 2/20/2018 9:11:29 AM February 20, 2018 Patients in Kentucky who are concerned about a urinary tract infection, influenza, or strep throat will now have the ability to seek treatment and related professional services for these conditions and a host of others from a pharmacist who is acting under the direction of a prescriber. (Click for more...) When patients don’t adhere to metformin, pharmacists can help 2/20/2018 9:07:21 AM February 20, 2018 Metformin has the lowest adherence rates of all oral antihyperglycemic medications, according to a large systematic review and meta-analysis published in Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism. (Click for more...) FDA approves another Vertex drug for treatment of CF 2/20/2018 9:00:01 AM February 20, 2018 FDA has approved a treatment for cystic fibrosis that combines Vertex Pharmaceuticals' ivacaftor (Kalydeco) with another medicine. Tezacaftor–ivacaftor (Symdeko—Vertex) is expected to form the backbone of eventual triple combinations that could treat up to 90% of patients with the disease that leads to serious lung infections and deteriorating lung function. The approval marks the company's third product for cystic fibrosis. (Click for more...) Albertsons to acquire Rite Aid 2/20/2018 9:00:01 AM February 20, 2018 Albertsons Cos. plans to acquire the rest of Rite Aid that is not being sold to Walgreens Boots Alliance. The community pharmacy chain and Albertsons have a combined value of approximately $24 billion, including debt. Rite Aid has a market value of about $2.3 billion and is in the process of selling a chunk of its stores to Walgreens. Following the proposed cash-and-stock deal, shareholders of closely held Albertsons, owner of Safeway and 19 other supermarket chains, would hold about 71% of the combined company, while Rite Aid investors would own the rest. (Click for more...) FDA expands approval of durvalumab to reduce the risk of NSCLC progressing 2/20/2018 9:00:01 AM February 20, 2018 FDA approved on February 16 durvalumab (Imfinzi—AstraZeneca) for the treatment of patients with stage III non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose tumors are not able to be surgically removed and whose cancer has not progressed after treatment with chemotherapy and radiation. (Click for more...) Influenza season may be slowing, but is still serious 2/20/2018 9:00:01 AM February 20, 2018 CDC says there are signs the influenza season may be slowing down. The proportion of all outpatient and emergency-department visits for influenza symptoms held steady during the week ended February 10, holding at 7.5%. Deaths from influenza and pneumonia declined to 9.8% for the week ended January 27 from 10.4% the week before. CDC cautions that it was impossible to determine if influenza activity had peaked without additional data. Hospitalizations continued to increase, rising to 67.9 hospitalizations per 100,000 people compared with 63.7 the week before. (Click for more...) Patient-centered prescription opioid tapering in community outpatients with chronic pain 2/20/2018 9:00:01 AM February 20, 2018 Researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine conducted a study of voluntary, patient-centered opioid tapering in outpatients with chronic pain without behavioral treatment. In all, 82 of 110 eligible patients agreed to taper their opioid dosages. Participants were given a self-help book on reducing opioid use as well as a slow, customized taper in opioid use. Among the 51 patients who completed the study, the baseline median morphine equivalent daily dose (MEDD) was 288, with a median 6-year duration of opioid use. The median MEDD dropped to 150 after 4 months. (Click for more...) Acalabrutinib in relapsed or refractory mantle cell lymphoma 2/20/2018 9:00:01 AM February 20, 2018 Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK) is implicated in mantle cell lymphoma, making BTK inhibitors a likely treatment mechanism. Building on earlier work demonstrating the high potency and selectivity of the BTK inhibitor acalabrutinib, researchers launched a Phase II study spanning 10 countries. With an open-label design, the ACE-LY-004 trial administered twice-daily oral acalabrutinib to 124 patients with relapsed or refractory mantle cell lymphoma. Participants received treatment for a median 13.8 months, with 81% registering an overall response and 40% achieving a complete response. (Click for more...) In hospitals, pneumonia is a lethal enemy 2/20/2018 9:00:01 AM February 20, 2018 U.S. hospitals are not doing enough to protect patients from developing pneumonia during their stay, according to new research. CDC cites it as the leading hospital-acquired infection in the country; and a significant share of patients who contract it do die, estimates show. "Unfortunately too often when someone goes into the hospital the accepted pathway is let them lie in bed—and that is the problem," says Marin Kollef, director of respiratory care services at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis. (Click for more...) Maryland weighs new approach to curbing prescription drug costs 2/20/2018 9:00:01 AM February 20, 2018 A new Maryland bill would create a commission to decide the maximum amount that health plans, pharmacies, and state programs could spend out for the most expensive brand-name and patented medication. The goal of the proposal, introduced by Sen. Joan Carter Conway (D-Baltimore City) and Del. Joseline A. Peña-Melnyk (D-Prince George's), is to rein in the rising cost of pharmaceuticals without running afoul of U.S. patent law that allows drugmakers to hold a monopoly and pricing advantage for years after they patent a new medication. (Click for more...) Gilead wins reversal of $2.54 billion hepatitis C drug patent verdict 2/20/2018 9:00:01 AM February 20, 2018 U.S. District Judge Leonard Stark in Delaware has overturned a jury's verdict requiring Gilead Sciences to pay a record $2.54 billion because its hepatitis C drugs sofosbuvir (Sovaldi) and ledipasvir–sofosbuvir (Harvoni) infringed a patent held by Merck. Stark said the verdict did not meet a requirement that it disclose how to make the treatment it covered without undue experimentation. Gilead in a statement said it always believed the patent was invalid and was pleased the judge confirmed that opinion. (Click for more...) Senate bill would jump-start universal influenza vaccine efforts 2/20/2018 9:00:01 AM February 20, 2018 A group of senators has proposed a plan to invest $1 billion in research over 5 years to develop a universal influenza vaccine. The Flu Vaccine Act was introduced by Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) and cosponsored by Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Angus King (I-ME), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Tina Smith (D-MN), and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD). The proposed law would direct $200 million annually over fiscal years 2019 through 2023 to universal influenza vaccine research at NIH. (Click for more...) Special legislative session could make Arkansas first to regulate PBMs 2/20/2018 9:00:01 AM February 20, 2018 Gov. Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas on Monday said he would call a special session of the state legislature to address low reimbursement rates provided to pharmacies by PBMs. "Our local pharmacists … are an integral and critical part of our health care system in Arkansas," Hutchinson said. "We're a rural state. Independent local pharmacists are very important. (Click for more...) State asks pharmacists to help fight hepatitis A outbreak 2/20/2018 9:00:01 AM February 20, 2018 The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is turning to pharmacists to help address the high rate of hepatitis A in the state. The department recently sent a letter to pharmacies throughout Michigan detailing how the virus is transmitted, listing symptoms of the disease, and reminding pharmacists they can provide preventative services that are covered under Michigan Medicaid, including prevention counseling and vaccinations. (Click for more...) Fish oil supplements to prevent heart attack? Maybe not. 2/20/2018 8:56:01 AM February 20, 2018 Taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements, most commonly sold as fish oil capsules, may not be all it’s cracked up to be in terms of reducing cardiovascular risk, say researchers in a study published online in JAMA Cardiology. (Click for more...) Pharmacy technicians—A critical element to facilitate implementation of pharmacist-provided services 2/20/2018 12:05:01 AM February 19, 2018 (Click for more...) WVU researcher wins national award; examines use of multiple medications among older cancer survivors 2/20/2018 12:00:00 AM Traci LeMasters, assistant professor in the School of Pharmacy, is a recipient of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy's New Investigator Award, which grants funding to early-career faculty to jumpstart independent research programs. She is one of only 16 people nationwide to receive the award this year. (Click for more...) Improved Stability of TB Drug Fixed Dose Combination Using Isoniazid-Caffeic acid and Vanillic acid Cocrystal 2/17/2018 6:05:01 PM February 17, 2018 The classic FDC of four TB drugs, namely Rifampicin (RIF), Isoniazid (INH), Pyrazinamide (PZA) and Ethambutol Dihydrochloride (EDH) has the twin issues of physical stability and rifampicin cross-reaction in the 4FDC. The major reason for these quality issues is the interaction between RIF and INH to yield isonicotinyl hydrazone (HYD) in drug tablets. (Click for more...) Water Activity and its Significance in Topical Dosage Forms 2/17/2018 6:05:01 PM February 17, 2018 Unique properties of thermodynamic activity of solvents in topical semisolids and its effects on in vitro product performance has not been fully understood. Mechanistic investigation was undertaken to demonstrate the significance of thermodynamic potential of solvents [water activity (aw) or solvent activity (as)] on in vitro performance of model topical formulations. Drug transport across synthetic membranes was found to decrease with decreasing water activity of formulations. (Click for more...) Labrasol® and salts of medium chain fatty acids can be combined in low concentrations to increase the permeability of a macromolecule marker across isolated rat intestinal mucosae 2/17/2018 6:05:01 PM February 17, 2018 In addition to their solubilising properties, excipients used in lipid-based formulations (LBFs) can improve intestinal permeability of macromolecules. We determined whether ad-mixing of medium chain fatty acid (MCFA) permeation enhancers (PEs) with a lipoidal excipient (Labrasol®) could potentiate trans-epithelial flux of a poorly permeable macromolecule (FITC-dextran 4 kDa, FD4) across rat intestinal mucosae mounted in Ussing chambers. (Click for more...) Inhibition of Organic Anion Transporting Polypeptide 1B1 and 1B3 by Betulinic Acid: Effects of Pre-incubation and Albumin in the Media 2/17/2018 6:05:01 PM February 17, 2018 Betulinic acid (BA), a plant-derived pentacyclic triterpenoid, may interact with the members of the organic anion transporting polypeptide 1B subfamily. Here, we investigated the interactions of BA and its analogs with OATP1B1/3 and rat Oatp1b2 in vitro and in vivo. BA inhibited the activity of OATP1B1/3 and rat Oatp1b2 in vitro. Systemic exposure of atorvastatin was substantially altered with the intravenous co-administration of BA (20 mg/kg). (Click for more...) Rapidly Dissolving Microneedle Patches for Transdermal Iron Replenishment Therapy 2/17/2018 6:05:01 PM February 17, 2018 The prevalence of Iron Deficiency Anemia (IDA) is predominant in women and children especially in developing countries. The disorder affects cognitive functions and physical activity. While oral iron supplementation and parenteral therapy remains the preferred choice of treatment, gastric side effects and risk of iron overload decreases adherence to therapy. Transdermal route is an established approach which circumvents the side-effects associated with conventional therapy. (Click for more...) An Unexpected Degradation Pathway of a 1,2,4-Triazolo[4,3-a]pyridine Derivative: The Formation of Two Cationic Pseudodimers of an 11β-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenase Type 1 Inhibitor Drug Candidate in a Stressed Capsule Formulation 2/17/2018 12:05:01 PM February 17, 2018 Degradation of an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API), a 2-(3-(1-(4-chlorophenyl)cyclopropyl)-[1,2,4]triazolo[4,3-a]pyridin-8-yl)propan-2-ol hydrochloride salt, was observed in a capsule formulation stressed at 50°C or 40°C/75% relative humidity conditions for one month. Two unknown degradants were identified as cationic pseudodimers of the API via accurate mass liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry and one- and two-dimensional NMR analyses. (Click for more...) Two drug companies shipped 12.3 million doses of opioids to one small WV town 2/16/2018 9:00:01 AM February 16, 2018 Two of the nation’s largest drug distributors shipped 12.3 million doses of opioids to a single pharmacy in a small West Virginia town over an 8-year period, the House Energy and Commerce Committee revealed Thursday. The Family Discount Pharmacy in Mount Gay-Shamrock received the drugs from McKesson and Cardinal Health between 2006 and 2014. The committee is investigating the sale of drugs in West Virginia by wholesale drug distributors, which are required by law to monitor and report to DEA suspicious purchase orders for opioids. (Click for more...) CDC update on influenza activity 2/16/2018 9:00:01 AM February 16, 2018 CDC reported Thursday that interim estimates of 2017–18 season vaccine effectiveness (VE) against influenza A and influenza B virus infection in the United States was 36%. For illness caused by influenza A(H3N2) virus—the dominant strain—VE was estimated to be 25%, while VE was 67% against A(H1N1)pdm09 virus and 42% against influenza B virus. (Click for more...) Nusinersen vs. sham control in later-onset spinal muscular atrophy 2/16/2018 9:00:01 AM February 16, 2018 Results from the CHERISH study, a Phase III clinical trial, point to a benefit from nusinersen in the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy. Researchers randomized a sample of children who experienced symptom onset after age 6 months, assigning them to receive either intrathecal administration of nusinersen or a sham procedure at four different intervals over 15 months. At followup, they measured change in motor function from baseline levels. (Click for more...) Ischemic stroke, hemorrhage, and mortality in older patients with CKD newly started on anticoagulation for AFib 2/16/2018 9:00:01 AM February 16, 2018 Due to a lack of clear evidence and guidelines to direct them, clinicians often struggle with the decision to start anticoagulation therapy in older patients who suffer from both chronic kidney disease (CKD) and atrial fibrillation (AFib). Anticoagulation normally protects against ischemic stroke; however, the benefits are questionable in CKD patients, considering the elevated risk of hemorrhage and other effects on overall survival. In response, investigators in England and Wales conducted a retrospective cohort analysis of patients aged 65 years and older. (Click for more...) Experimental drug promises to kill the influenza virus in a day 2/16/2018 9:00:01 AM February 16, 2018 A Japanese company reports that it has developed a drug that can kill the influenza virus within 1 day. However, even if the drug proves successful, it likely will not be available in the United States until 2019 at the earliest. According to the company, a late-stage trial involving Japanese and American influenza patients found that for people who took the experimental Shionogi compound, the median time to eliminate the virus was 24 hours. That is much faster than other influenza drugs on the market, and it only requires one dose. (Click for more...) Some ShopRite pharmacies offering free doses of naloxone 2/16/2018 9:00:01 AM February 16, 2018 In Harford County, MD, four Klein's ShopRite pharmacies are offering free doses of naloxone spray through July 1. The drug is being offering in a pilot program that is part of an effort by the Harford Local Addictions Authority, part of the county health department, to increase access to the opioid overdose reversal drug. According to Butch Henderson, pharmacy director for all nine Klein's ShopRite stores in the area, naloxone has been available at pharmacies, when in stock, since a standing order was implemented in June 2017 by the state Department of Public Health. (Click for more...) Advisory firms back proposals requiring AmerisourceBergen to manage opioid risks 2/16/2018 9:00:01 AM February 16, 2018 A coalition of institutional investors called the Investors for Opioid Accountability has filed a shareholder proposal urging AmerisourceBergen to disclose the steps being taken to manage the financial and reputational risks associated with the opioid epidemic. Two major shareholder advisory firms, Glass Lewis and Institutional Shareholder Services, are advising the pharmaceutical wholesaler's stockholders to back the proposal at the annual shareholder meeting on March 1, marking a significant win for the coalition. (Click for more...) NIH funding contributed to 210 approved drugs in recent years, study says 2/16/2018 9:00:01 AM February 16, 2018 Investigators at Bentley University say federally funded studies have contributed to the science that underlies every one of the 210 new drugs approved between 2010 and 2016. They examined millions of research papers for mentions of those 210 new molecular entities, as well as studies on their molecular targets. In addition, they looked to see which of those studies had received any funding from NIH. The authors say the study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is the first to describe the full scope of public funding behind FDA-approved drugs. (Click for more...) FDA commissioner on advancing the development of novel treatments for neurological conditions 2/16/2018 9:00:01 AM February 16, 2018 FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb notes new medical breakthroughs are altering how diseases are treated. Perhaps one of the most significant developments is the advent of new gene therapies and drugs that boost the immune system’s ability to target tumor cells. As part of FDA's efforts to expand access to safe and effective treatment options across all disease areas and promote innovation, the agency is modernizing multiple aspects of its drug regulatory programs, including how it communicates scientific and regulatory guidance for drug development. (Click for more...) Highmark puts tighter restrictions on prescription opioids 2/16/2018 9:00:01 AM February 16, 2018 Highmark announced Thursday new measures to help fight the opioid epidemic in the United States. Among those changes are limiting opioid prescriptions for first-time users to 7 days and keeping track of opioid prescriptions to identify abuse. Highmark's chief medical officer, Charles DeShazer, MD, placed the blame for the epidemic squarely on the shoulders of big drug companies. "Medical associations were convinced to prescribe opioids. Pain was considered to be the fifth vital sign, and treated the same way as high blood pressure," he said. (Click for more...) Bill would let Kentucky take over Medicaid pharmacy benefits 2/16/2018 9:00:01 AM February 16, 2018 Kentucky state Sen. Max Wise (R) says community pharmacies in his rural district are in danger of closing, in part because of low reimbursement rates from Medicaid. He notes the joint state and federal Medicaid program spent $1.68 billion on pharmacy benefits last year, with about $1 billion going to pharmacies while the rest went to PBMs. A state Senate committee approved a bill on February 14 that would take that money from PBMs and give it to the state to administer its own pharmacy benefits program. Wise says, "[PBMs] currently set all the rules with little to no government oversight. (Click for more...) The Synergetic Effects of Non-polar and Polar Protic Solvents on the Properties of Felodipine and Soluplus in Solutions, Casting Films and Spray Dried Solid Dispersions 2/15/2018 6:05:01 PM February 15, 2018 The aim was to explore the effects of non-polar and polar protic solvents composed of dichloromethane (DCM) and ethanol (EtOH) on the properties of felodipine (FLDP) and Soluplus in solutions, casting films and spray dried drug-rich or polymer-rich solid dispersions (SDs). Measurement of intrinsic viscosity and solubility indicated that FLDP and Soluplus were miscible. EtOH-DCM ranging from 20:80 to 50:50 induced the strongest molecular interactions for FLDP-Soluplus-solvents systems. (Click for more...) Development of adjuvanted solid fat nanoemulsions for pulmonary hepatitis b vaccination 2/15/2018 6:05:01 PM February 15, 2018 Pulmonary vaccination is one of the most promising routes for immunization owing to its non-invasive nature and induction of strong mucosal immunity and systemic response. In the present study, recombinant hepatitis B surface antigen loaded solid fat nanoemulsions (SFNs) as carrier system and monophosphoryl lipid A (MPLA) as an adjuvant-carrier system was prepared and evaluated as multi adjuvanted vaccine system for deep pulmonary vaccination. Deposition and clearance from the deep lung of rats were determined by gamma scintigraphy. (Click for more...) Antisolvent recrystallization strategy to screen appropriate carriers to stabilize filgotinib amorphous solid dispersions 2/15/2018 6:05:01 PM February 15, 2018 Drugs in amorphous solid dispersions (ASDs) are highly dispersed in hydrophilic polymeric carriers, which also help to restrain recrystallization and stabilize the ASDs. In this study, microscopic observation after antisolvent recrystallization was developed as a rapid screening method to select appropriate polymers for the initial design filgotinib (FTN) ASDs. Using solvent evaporation, FTN ASDs with the polymers were prepared, and accelerated experimentation validated this screening method. (Click for more...) DEA creates new resource to help distributors avoid oversupplying opioids 2/15/2018 9:00:02 AM February 15, 2018 DEA has unveiled a new tool that will help drug manufacturers and distributors with their regulatory obligations under the Controlled Substances Act. A new feature in the agency's ARCOS Online Reporting System will enable DEA-registered manufacturers and distributors to view the number of competitors who have sold a particular controlled substance to a prospective customer in the past 6 months. Under DEA regulations, distributors are required to "know their customer" and develop a system to identify and report suspicious orders. (Click for more...) Many people take dangerously high amounts of ibuprofen 2/15/2018 9:00:02 AM February 15, 2018 A new study suggests that many adults who use ibuprofen and other NSAID drugs take too much. Approximately 15% of adults taking ibuprofen or other NSAIDs such as aspirin, naproxen, celecoxib, meloxicam, and diclofenac exceeded the maximum recommended daily dose for these drugs, the study found. In all, 55% of participants took ibuprofen at least 3 days during the week, while 16% used it daily. For the study, 1,326 people who reported taking ibuprofen in the previous month completed online medication diaries every day for a week. (Click for more...) Edoxaban for the treatment of cancer-associated VTE 2/15/2018 9:00:02 AM February 15, 2018 A recent trial compared the oral factor Xa inhibitor edoxaban with subcutaneous dalteparin for the treatment of patients with cancer-associated venous thromboembolism (VTE). For the study, more than 1,000 patients with cancer who had acute symptomatic or incidental VTE were randomly assigned to receive either low-molecular-weight heparin for at least 5 days followed by oral edoxaban at a dose of 60 mg once daily or subcutaneous dalteparin at a dose of 200 IU per kilogram of body weight once daily for 1 month followed by dalteparin at a dose of 150 IU per kilogram once daily. (Click for more...) FDA approves new treatment for a certain type of prostate cancer using novel clinical trial endpoint 2/15/2018 9:00:02 AM February 15, 2018 FDA has approved apalutamide (Erleada—Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies) for the treatment of patients with non-metastatic prostate cancer that continues to grow despite treatment with hormone therapy. (Click for more...) First blood test to detect concussions is approved 2/15/2018 9:00:02 AM February 15, 2018 FDA on Wednesday approved a blood test to detect concussions in people and more quickly identify those with possible brain injuries. The test, called the Banyan Brain Trauma Indicator, is also expected to reduce the number of people exposed to radiation through computed tomography (CT) scans, that detect brain tissue damage or intracranial lesions. If the blood test is adopted widely, it could eliminate the need for CT scans in at least a third of those with suspected brain injuries, FDA predicted. (Click for more...) CMS Office of the Actuary releases 2017-2026 Projections of National Health Expenditures 2/15/2018 9:00:02 AM February 15, 2018 The Office of the Actuary at CMS on Wednesday released the projected national health expenditures for 2017–2026. National health expenditure growth is expected to average 5.5% annually over the next decade 2017–2026. Growth in national health spending is projected to be faster than projected growth in gross domestic product (GDP) by 1.0 percentage point over 2017–2026. As a result, the report projects the health share of GDP to rise from 17.9% in 2016 to 19.7% by 2026. (Click for more...) Public health experts look ahead to better influenza control 2/15/2018 9:00:02 AM February 15, 2018 Experts at a recent forum spoke to the difficulties of influenza vaccine development, including focusing on the right strain during any given season and achieving an acceptable level of efficacy. With no universal vaccine on the horizon in the foreseeable future, participants noted improvements that can be made in the meantime. For instance, said Marc Lipsitch, DPhil, of Harvard's school of public health, there needs to be a "more scientific process" for selecting the strains in the vaccine. (Click for more...) Amerisource deal may not keep Walgreens competitive: Analysts 2/15/2018 9:00:02 AM February 15, 2018 Analysts say Walgreens' possible acquisition of AmerisourceBergen could enhance Walgreens' cash flow and enable it to more deeply enter the specialty pharmacy market. However, the deal might also affect its ability to remain competitive in the evolving U.S. health care sector. Analysts predict the deal might cost Walgreens Boots Alliance opportunities in the future as the company tries to keep pace with CVS Health and potentially Amazon. However, a Walgreens-AmerisourceBergen deal would give Walgreens a larger presence in the specialty pharmacy space. (Click for more...) Pharmacy lobby, medical establishment at 'war' on Kansas drug injections 2/15/2018 9:00:02 AM February 15, 2018 As Kansas legislators debate legislation granting pharmacists authority to administer drugs by injection, community pharmacies and primary care physicians tangled over its impact on patient care. Under Senate Bill 377, a licensed pharmacist would be able to dispense injections pursuant to a prescription order. Pharmacists are allowed under Kansas law to administer immunizations. Dean Benton, clinical care manager for Dillons Pharmacy, said the reform would be a convenience to customers who wish to have injectable medication administered in the same location they receive the drugs. (Click for more...) Minnesota renews push for tax on prescription opioids 2/15/2018 9:00:02 AM February 15, 2018 Gov. Mark Dayton of Minnesota announced on Wednesday a plan that would tax prescription opioids to help fund treatment. The proposal would levy a one-cent tax on drug companies for each milligram of active ingredient in a prescription opioid medication. The estimated $20 million in annual proceeds would be used for prevention, policing, emergency response, and treatment. "We must take decisive action in this legislative session to reduce abuses and to ensure that all Minnesotans suffering from these addictions receive the treatment and support they need," Dayton said. (Click for more...) Influenza-associated pediatric deaths in the United States 2/15/2018 9:00:02 AM February 15, 2018 Using data reported to the CDC during the 2010–11 and 2015–16 influenza seasons, investigators with the agency's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases analyzed influenza-associated mortality in the pediatric population. There were 675 deaths among influenza patients aged 18 years or younger during those two cycles, for an average annual incidence of 0.15 per 100,000 children. Babies aged younger than 6 months were most affected, followed by children aged 6–23 months. (Click for more...) Researchers investigate the effect of labeling changes on PPI use in Sentinel 2/15/2018 9:00:02 AM February 15, 2018 Researchers using FDA's Sentinel system discovered that a label change for proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) led to less long-term use of the drugs. In May 2010, FDA mandated a label change for PPIs due to a potential increased risk of hip and other fractures with prolonged use of the drugs. Using Sentinel, the study's authors identified nearly 1.5 million patients who took PPIs in the 3 years before the label change and almost 2.25 million patients who took the drugs in the 5 years after. (Click for more...) Methamphetamine, the forgotten killer, is back 2/14/2018 9:00:01 AM February 14, 2018 The scourge of crystal methamphetamine has been all but forgotten amid national concern over the opioid crisis. But 12 years after Congress took aggressive action to curtail it, meth has returned with a vengeance. In Oregon, meth-related deaths vastly outnumber those from heroin. At the U.S. border, agents are seizing 10 to 20 times the amounts they did a decade ago. Methamphetamine, experts say, has never been purer, cheaper or more lethal. (Click for more...) Opioid analgesic use and risk for IPDs 2/14/2018 9:00:01 AM February 14, 2018 A team from Vanderbilt University Medical Center carried out a nested case-control study centered around the theory that prescription opioid use is an independent risk factor for invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD). The hypothesis is based on the knowledge that some opioid analgesics possess immunosuppressive traits that inflate the risk for infection in animals. Using administrative and surveillance databases, the researchers identified 1,233 patients aged at least 5 years who were diagnosed with IPD between 1995 and 2014. (Click for more...) A potentially powerful new antibiotic is discovered in dirt 2/14/2018 9:00:01 AM February 14, 2018 Amid growing resistance of infections to existing drugs, researchers reported this week the discovery of a new class of antibiotic extracted from unknown microorganisms living in the soil. The class, called malacidins, can kill a number of superbugs, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), without triggering resistance. Microbiologist Sean Brady, an associate professor at Rockefeller University in New York, and colleagues reported their finding Monday in Nature Microbiology. (Click for more...) Apace Packaging recalls one lot of acyclovir 2/14/2018 9:00:01 AM February 14, 2018 Apace Packaging announced a voluntary recall of one lot of acyclovir tablets due to a product mix-up. According to the company, a small number of blister cards containing acyclovir tablets, 400 mg, UD Blister Cards may potentially also include torsemide, 20 mg tablets. Missing a dose of acyclovir could cause a reactivation of a virus being treated, and unintentional dosing of torsemide—used for the treatment of edema and hypertension—could lead to excessive urination. (Click for more...) Influenza drug may have odd adverse effects, particularly in children, experts say 2/14/2018 9:00:01 AM February 14, 2018 As the country experiences one of its most severe influenza seasons in recent years, there is renewed scrutiny over the adverse effects of one of the medications to treat the virus. For the past decade, reports have surfaced that oseltamivir phosphate (Tamiflu—Roche) may have "neuropsychiatric side effects" in some patients, especially children and young adults. The drug's warning label states that people with influenza, including those taking the drug, may be at an increased risk of confusion or abnormal behavior. FDA mentions this as a potential serious adverse effect as well. (Click for more...) Anesthesia in PD requires cautious care 2/14/2018 9:00:01 AM February 14, 2018 Research suggests a link between Parkinson disease (PD) and higher rates of unfavorable perioperative and postoperative outcomes, possibly due to negative interaction between anesthetic agents and PD medications. Because of its potent anesthetic properties, for instance, propofol is frequently used for PD patients who require surgery. However, the drug has been shown to trigger dyskinetic activity in individuals with and without PD or other movement disorders. (Click for more...) Amazon's latest ambition: To be a major hospital supplier 2/14/2018 9:00:01 AM February 14, 2018 Amazon is attempting to transform its medical products business into a major supplier to U.S. hospitals and outpatient clinics that could compete with large distributors. Amazon has reportedly met with hospital executives on several occasions, most recently in late January, to discuss an expansion of its business-to-business marketplace, Amazon Business, into one where hospitals could shop to stock outpatient locations, operating suites, and emergency rooms. Amazon Business already sells a limited selection of medical supplies. (Click for more...) Wegmans to provide influenza vaccine to kids as young as 5 2/14/2018 9:00:01 AM February 14, 2018 Following an executive order from Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York to increase the availability of the influenza vaccine, Wegmans says it is offering flu vaccination to children aged 5 years and older. Under Cuomo's order, pharmacists authorized to administer vaccines to adults in the state can administer them to anyone aged 2 years and older. A Wegmans spokesperson noted the store's pharmacies has vaccine in stock approved for ages 5 years and older. According to the spokesperson, Wegmans has provided more than 350 pediatric influenza vaccines since the order took effect. (Click for more...) Pharmacy data-sharing will enable future of value-based care provision 2/14/2018 9:00:01 AM February 14, 2018 As pharmacies and providers continue to transition care models from fee-for-service to value-based provision, pharmacies are considered increasingly responsible for patient outcomes, write Brian Eidex, director of pharmacy, and Bobbie Riley, director of pharmacy at LexisNexis Risk Solutions Health Care. Treating the entire patient ideally requires that all care team members have access to the important information regarding the patient's health, from test outcomes to medication history. (Click for more...) FDA commissioner on administration's request for new FDA funding to promote innovation and broaden patient access through competition 2/14/2018 9:00:01 AM February 14, 2018 FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, said Tuesday that the Administration's newly released budget request gives FDA the resources needed to continue to fund its current programs at consistent levels. According to Gottlieb, "The request will allow the agency to continue to support our core public health mission, including protecting the safety of the foods we eat. (Click for more...) Legislators file bill to require PBMs to be licensed in Arkansas 2/14/2018 9:00:01 AM February 14, 2018 Many Arkansas pharmacists say they began to see their drug reimbursement rates drop off at the beginning of 2018, despite insurance companies being charged the same amount by their PBMs. The issue has caught the attention of State Sen. Ronald Caldwell (R-Wynne). Caldwell, who is married to a pharmacist and has two brothers who are pharmacists, filed legislation late Monday to require PBMs to be licensed in the state and be regulated by the Arkansas Insurance Department. "We passed a couple of laws 3 years ago and those laws are not being followed," says Caldwell. (Click for more...) CMS pushing 7-day limit on initial opioid scripts 2/14/2018 9:00:01 AM February 14, 2018 CMS is proposing new strategies to more effectively address overutilization of prescription opioids in the Medicare Part D program, including a proposal that initial opioid prescriptions for acute pain be limited to 7 days beginning next year. (Click for more...) WVU School of Pharmacy professor debunks common flu-related myths 2/14/2018 12:00:00 AM The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) "FluView" map shows the virus is currently active in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. WVU School of Pharmacy professor Douglas Slain, specializing in infectious diseases, answers some frequently asked questions and dispels common myths. (Click for more...) Unusual Self-Assembly of the Recombinant Chlamydia trachomatis Major Outer Membrane Protein (MOMP)-based Fusion Antigen CTH522 into Protein Nanoparticles 2/13/2018 6:05:01 PM February 13, 2018 Sexually transmitted Chlamydia trachomatis (Ct) infects more than 100 million people annually, and untreated chlamydia infections can cause severe complications. Therefore, there is an urgent need for a chlamydia vaccine. The Ct major outer membrane protein (MOMP) is highly immunogenic but is a challenging vaccine candidate by being an integral membrane protein, and the immunogenicity depends on a correctly folded structure. We investigated the biophysical properties of the recombinant MOMP-based fusion antigen CTH522, which is tested in early human clinical trials. (Click for more...) In Vitro-In Vivo Evaluation of an Oral Ghost Drug Delivery Device for the Delivery of Salmon Calcitonin 2/13/2018 6:05:01 PM February 13, 2018 An orally administered site-specific Oral Ghost Drug Delivery (OGDD) Device was developed and evaluated for the administration of salmon calcitonin. In vitro drug release studies have been undertaken using biorelevant media as well as aspirated gastrointestinal fluid from a Large White pig in addition to characterization of a formulated trimethyl chitosan blend formulated and prepared into a loaded mini-pellet system. (Click for more...) Journal of the American Pharmacists Association Reviewers—2017 2/13/2018 6:05:01 PM February 13, 2018 (Click for more...) No ‘magic bullet’ for preventing cognitive decline, study suggests 2/13/2018 11:15:09 AM February 13, 2018 Brain-boosting OTC supplements that claim to prevent cognitive decline may have ignited a growing industry, but they lack scientific proof to back those claims up. As researchers work to understand Alzheimer disease and related dementias, one area ripe for review has been the examination of dietary or herbal supplements in the prevention or delay of cognitive decline. (Click for more...) CDC includes pharmacists in proven models for heart disease prevention 2/13/2018 11:09:47 AM February 13, 2018 Identifying effective ways to directly lower high blood pressure and cholesterol for Americans continues to be a priority for CDC. The latest example is a guide, newly released from CDC’s Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, on best practices for cardiovascular disease prevention. The guide highlights strategies that are proven to be effective but are not yet widely used in practice settings. (Click for more...) Influenza vaccines available at Rite Aid as severe influenza season continues 2/13/2018 9:00:01 AM February 13, 2018 Amid a particularly severe influenza season, Rite Aid reports that it is making sure its pharmacies are stocked with influenza vaccines. "With the CDC reporting that we've not yet reached the peak of flu season and the potential for flu activity for several more weeks, we're following the situation closely and making every effort to have flu shots available in all of our pharmacies," says Jocelyn Konrad, Rite Aid executive vice president of pharmacy. (Click for more...) Cost of U.S. opioid epidemic since 2001 is $1 trillion and climbing 2/13/2018 9:00:01 AM February 13, 2018 A new report from the nonprofit group Altarum says the opioid epidemic has cost the United States more than $1 trillion since 2001. That total may increase another $500 million over the next 3 years, the authors said. Researchers examined CDC mortality data through June 2017 and found that the biggest financial cost of the opioid epidemic is in lost earnings and productivity losses to employers. Additionally, early deaths and substance abuse disorders affect local, state, and federal government in terms of lost tax revenue. (Click for more...) Walgreens in early-stage talks to buy AmerisourceBergen 2/13/2018 9:00:01 AM February 13, 2018 Walgreens Boots Alliance reportedly has made a takeover approach to drug distributor AmerisourceBergen, outlining a deal that would accelerate health care sector consolidation. Representatives of Walgreens CEO Stefano Pessina reached out several weeks ago to representatives of Amerisource CEO Steven Collis, according to people familiar with the matter. They discussed the possibility of Walgreens buying the portion of Amerisource it does not already own, though there is not an offer on the table, the people said. (Click for more...) Injections of corticosteroids vs. local anesthetic in rotator cuff-related shoulder pain 2/13/2018 9:00:01 AM February 13, 2018 The medical literature suggests that patients treated for rotator cuff-related pain might get more short-term relief from corticosteroids than from local anesthetics. A systematic review, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, looked at findings from 13 relevant randomized controlled trials with more than 1,000 participants collectively. Each study compared single or repeat injections of local anesthetic against subacromial corticosteroid injections, with or without local anesthetic. (Click for more...) Trimethoprim use for UTI and risk of adverse outcomes in older patients 2/13/2018 9:00:01 AM February 13, 2018 A U.K. study explored whether using trimethoprim to treat urinary tract infection (UTI) elevates the risk of acute kidney injury, hyperkalemia, or sudden death. Electronic primary care records generated a sample population of 178,238 patients aged 65 years and older who took trimethoprim, amoxicillin, cefalexin, ciprofloxacin, or nitrofurantoin after a UTI diagnosis from April 1997–September 2015. The likelihood of acute kidney injury in the 14 days following antibiotic initiation were higher following treatment with trimethoprim and ciprofloxacin compared with amoxicillin. (Click for more...) Nearly 1,000 influenza cases confirmed in Delaware in single week 2/13/2018 9:00:01 AM February 13, 2018 Health officials in Delaware said Monday that 995 lab-confirmed cases of influenza were reported in the state during the weekend ending February 3. That figure is the highest the state has ever seen in the decade it has been recording weekly influenza data. The previous high of 671 cases was recorded during the 2009–10 influenza season. In all, officials said that nearly 3,000 influenza cases have been recorded in Delaware so far this season. There have been 10 deaths, including 6 in the past week. (Click for more...) Could a rare, deadly 'superbug' fungus be gaining a foothold? 2/13/2018 9:00:01 AM February 13, 2018 According to CDC data, the reach of superbug Candida auris has expanded from 7 cases nationwide in 2016 to 200 at the close of last year. Once it invades the bloodstream through wounds, ventilators, or catheters, the fungal infection is able to attack organs. While the condition is rare, it is difficult to detect and treat and is potentially fatal. CDC records indicate that an estimated 40% of patients infected with the superbug died, although their serious medical conditions made it difficult to ascertain how much of the blame C. auris deserved. (Click for more...) Naloxone developers donate 5k doses to Illinois' opioid overdose task force 2/13/2018 9:00:01 AM February 13, 2018 Adapt Pharma and AptarGroup, a drug delivery device provider, have donated 4,000 doses of naloxone to an opioid overdose task force created by Gov. Bruce Rauner of Illinois. Another 1,000 doses are slated to be donated to the McHenry County Substance Abuse Coalition. "This product is a lifesaver," Rauner said February 8. "We will continue to fight the root causes of this epidemic, but meanwhile, this generous donation is most welcome and appreciated." Nearly 1,950 people died of an opioid overdose in Illinois in 2016, marking an 82% increase in 3 years. (Click for more...) Trump budget slashes health programs while boosting money for opioid crisis 2/13/2018 9:00:01 AM February 13, 2018 The Trump administration's 2019 budget released Monday proposes cutting $1.7 trillion in funding from HHS programs, including Medicare, over a decade, while boosting funding to combat the opioid epidemic and high drug prices. HHS Secretary Alex Azar said the two issues, coupled with making insurance more affordable and improving Medicare so it pays more for quality than the quantity of services provided, demonstrate the administration's priorities. (Click for more...) Pharmacy board weighs in on plan aimed at curbing opioid crisis 2/13/2018 9:00:01 AM February 13, 2018 In Iowa, a bill introduced by House Republicans would require doctors and pharmacists in Iowa to use the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP). At present, only 45% of prescribers in the state are registered to use the PMP. However, the Iowa Pharmacy Board is concerned that prescribers would view the mandate as a hassle. (Click for more...) States need U.S. help to protect drug-affected infants: GAO 2/13/2018 9:00:01 AM February 13, 2018 A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report concludes that the federal government must take action to help states safeguard infants born affected by drugs such as opioids. Thirty-eight states said more guidance would be "extremely to very helpful," according to the report, noting that state agencies remain confused about a federal law requiring them to report drug-affected infants to child protective services. The report was requested by Sen. Robert Casey (D-PA), who says he is drafting legislation for a grant program to assist families that are dealing with opioid addiction. (Click for more...) Opioid makers paid millions to advocacy groups: U.S. Senate report 2/13/2018 9:00:01 AM February 13, 2018 A report released Monday by Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) said five opioid manufacturers have paid more than $10 million to advocacy groups and doctors tied to them, many of whom amplified industry messages supporting the use of the opioids. The report said groups who received the donations aligned themselves with industry goals and issued guidance promoting opioids for chronic pain and lobbied against laws to curb their use. (Click for more...) APhA releases zoster vaccine comparison chart 2/12/2018 3:43:00 PM February 12, 2018 Pharmacists and other immunization providers should understand key differences between currently available herpes zoster vaccines: Shringrix (GlaxoSmithKline) and Zostavax (Merck). APhA has developed a one-page reference PDF for providers to post in their practices. (Click for more...) Purdue Pharma to stop promoting oxycodone to U.S. doctors 2/12/2018 9:00:01 AM February 12, 2018 Purdue Pharma says it will stop promoting oxycodone (OxyContin) and other opioids to U.S. doctors. The company will continue selling the products, but Purdue's sales force "will no longer be visiting offices to engage in discussions about opioid products," the company says. Doctors and other prescribers who have questions about the drugs will have to contact Purdue's medical affairs department, the company says. Purdue is also cutting its U.S. sales force by more than 50%, to about 200 people. The remaining sales representatives will market non-opioid products. (Click for more...) CDC update on widespread influenza activity 2/12/2018 9:00:01 AM February 12, 2018 CDC reported Friday that influenza activity is still on the rise. The agency said that 10 more children have died from influenza, bringing the total number of pediatric deaths associated with influenza this season to 63. CDC noted that levels of influenza-like illness (ILI) nationwide are currently as high as were season at the peak of the H1N1 pandemic of 2009. CDC Acting Director Anne Schuchat, MD, noted, however, that "this doesn't mean that we are having a pandemic, just that levels of influenza-like-illness are as high as what we saw during the peak of H1N1. (Click for more...) Extrafine inhaled triple therapy vs. dual bronchodilator therapy in COPD 2/12/2018 9:00:01 AM February 12, 2018 Results from the international TRIBUNE study offer what is believed to be the first long-term evidence on inhaled triple therapy vs. dual bronchodilation for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Specifically, researchers compared outcomes from a combination of beclometasone dipropionate, formoterol fumarate, and glycopyrronium (BDP/FF/G) with a combination of indacaterol plus glycopyrronium (IND/GLY), each delivered via single inhaler. (Click for more...) Apalutamide treatment and metastasis-free survival in prostate cancer 2/12/2018 9:00:01 AM February 12, 2018 The multinational SPARTAN clinical trial, a Phase III investigation, assessed the efficacy of apalutamide as a treatment for nonmetastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. The study population involved more than 1,200 patients at high risk for metastasis, all of whom remained on androgen-deprivation therapy. About 800 were randomized to also receive daily apalutamide, which inhibits the androgen receptor, with the remainder receiving placebo. (Click for more...) Military vaccine for influenza-like adenovirus could prevent civilian infections 2/12/2018 9:00:01 AM February 12, 2018 A vaccine against human adenovirus type 4 (HAdV-4) that is currently available only to military personnel in the United States could help prevent civilian infections, according to researchers. Adriana E. Kajon, PhD, a scientist in the infectious disease program at Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute in New Mexico, colleagues at the New York State Department of Health, and CDC studied 36 HAdV-4 isolates collected from 2011 to 2015 from college students in New York state and adults in other areas of the Northeastern U.S. with symptoms of influenza-like illness. (Click for more...) Hourican to lead CVS Pharmacy during search for Foulkes' successor 2/12/2018 9:00:01 AM February 12, 2018 Kevin Hourican, executive vice president of retail pharmacy and supply chain at CVS Health, will run the company's retail operations following the departure of Helena Foulkes. Foulkes left the company recently to serve as CEO of Hudson's Bay. During the search for her permanent replacement, Hourican will report to CVS Health executive vice president and COO Jon Roberts. Hourican joined CVS Health in 2012. (Click for more...) Gourlay: 'Pharmacy is beautifully positioned' 2/12/2018 9:00:01 AM February 12, 2018 At the 2018 NACDS Regional Chain Conference, pharmacies and suppliers said they have ample possibilities amid an evolving health care landscape. NACDS Chairman Alex Gourlay, co-chief operating officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance, cited the work of the NACDS Retail Advisory Board to help identify successful elements of collaboration between chains and suppliers of all sizes. He also noted, “Pharmacy is beautifully positioned, as it always has been, to take care of changing shifts in the customer and in the marketplace. (Click for more...) Maryland sues Insys to enforce subpoena in opioid probe 2/12/2018 9:00:01 AM February 12, 2018 Insys Therapeutics Inc. has been accused by the government of Maryland of deceptively marketing a fentanyl-based cancer pain medicine. Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh confirmed February 8 that his office filed a lawsuit in state court against Insys. The drugmaker had resisted complying with a subpoena requiring it to turn over documents in a probe of Insys' role in the opioid analgesic epidemic, according to Frosh. (Click for more...) Opioid disposal kiosks could be coming to Missouri pharmacies 2/12/2018 9:00:01 AM February 12, 2018 Missourians may soon be able to safely dispose of unused medications with a drive to their local pharmacy. In February 2016, Walgreens announced its Medication Disposal Program and CVS followed suit when it announced in September 2017 its plans to install kiosks at 750 locations nationwide. However, none of those kiosks are in Missouri, as state law does not allow them. Rep. Keith Frederick (R-Rolla) is trying to change that law with House Bill 2105, which contains six measures to fight the opioid crisis. (Click for more...) White House releases white paper on lowering drug prices 2/12/2018 9:00:01 AM February 12, 2018 The Trump administration on Friday released a white paper that promotes easing government regulations and spurring innovation to lower drug prices, while rejecting the idea of government price setting. "Reducing drug prices that Americans pay means recognizing that many artificially high prices result from government policies that prevent, rather than foster, healthy price competition," says the report. "Drug prices, for example, are sometimes artificially high due to government regulations that raise prices," it continues. (Click for more...) FDA chief goes against the administration stereotype 2/12/2018 9:00:01 AM February 12, 2018 FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb has achieved something unusual among President Trump's appointees by quieting some skeptics, while also managing to keep industry supporters content and the president on his side. He has done so by making moves to protect public health while also offering rewards to industry. "He doesn't want to blow up the agency," says Mark Schwartz, a Washington lawyer who worked at FDA in Republican and Democratic administrations. (Click for more...) Interactive texts help Kaiser boost medication refill rates 2/12/2018 9:00:01 AM February 12, 2018 Interactive text messaging can improve medication refill rates among Medicare patients who have one or more chronic diseases, according to a pilot program conducted by Kaiser Permanente Southern California, which partnered with mPulse Mobile. The vendor's platform delivered text messages based on machine learning-based natural language processing. The platform classified patient responses into frequently occurring categories and automatically triggered appropriate actions. (Click for more...) WVU Festival of Ideas to host panel of six opioid crisis experts 2/12/2018 12:00:00 AM Six experts on the state's opioid crisis will take part in a panel discussion Feb. 20 in the Charleston Civic Center Little Theater as part of West Virginia University's Festival of Ideas. "Understanding the Opioid Epidemic" starts at 7:30 p.m., and is co-sponsored by The Charleston Gazette-Mail. (Click for more...) Editorial Advisory Board 2/11/2018 12:05:01 AM March 01, 2018 (Click for more...) The Iowa New Practice Model: Advancing Technician Roles to Increase Pharmacists’ Time to Provide Patient Care Services 2/9/2018 6:05:01 PM February 09, 2018 (Click for more...) Evaluation of reported contents in prescription and over-the-counter prenatal multivitamins 2/9/2018 6:05:01 PM February 09, 2018 To evaluate the reported amount of 14 vitamins and 10 minerals in over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription (Rx) prenatal multivitamins and minerals (PMVMs) and compare them to the Health and Medicine Division (HMD) of the National Academies recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) and tolerable upper intake levels (ULs) for intake. (Click for more...) ‘Product on Stopper’ in a Lyophilized Drug Product: Cosmetic Defect or a Product Quality Concern? 2/9/2018 6:05:01 PM February 09, 2018 During manufacturing of a lyophilized drug product, operator errors in product handling during loading of product filled vials onto the lyophilizer can lead to a seemingly cosmetic defect which can impact certain critical quality attributes of finished product. In this study, filling of a formulated monoclonal antibody in vials was performed using a peristaltic pump filling unit and subsequently the product was lyophilized. (Click for more...) Application of the Quality by Design Approach to the Freezing Step of Freeze-Drying: Building the Design Space 2/9/2018 6:05:01 PM February 09, 2018 The present work shows a rational method for the development of the freezing step of a freeze-drying cycle. The current approach to the selection of freezing conditions is still empirical and non-systematic, thus resulting in poor robustness of control strategy. The final aim of this work is to fill this gap, describing a rational procedure, based on mathematical modelling, for properly choosing the freezing conditions. Mechanistic models are used for the prediction of temperature profiles during freezing and dimension of ice crystals being formed. (Click for more...) Synthesis of a glibenclamide cocrystal: full spectroscopic and thermal characterization 2/9/2018 6:05:01 PM February 09, 2018 A cocrystal of glibenclamide (GLB), an antidiabetic drug classified as type II compound according to the Biopharmaceutics Classification System (BCS), has been synthesised using tromethamine (TRIS) as coformer in 1:1 molar ratio, by slow solvent evaporation cocrystalization. The cocrystal obtained was characterized by X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), Raman, mid infrared (MIR), and near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy. (Click for more...) Hormonal Contraceptives w/ Dr. Autumn Stewart-Lynch 2/9/2018 3:06:12 PM February 09, 2018 (Click for more...) Rutledge to investigate reimbursement rates from CVS Caremark 2/9/2018 9:00:01 AM February 09, 2018 Attorney General Leslie Rutledge of Arkansas said Thursday she has requested information from CVS Caremark after reviewing complaints of falling medication reimbursement rates paid to local pharmacies. "The change in reimbursement rates by the PBMs has hurt Arkansans in every community across the state," said Rutledge. "Local pharmacists are critical members of Arkansas's communities. (Click for more...) Rite Aid announces continued progress in sale of assets to WBA 2/9/2018 9:00:01 AM February 09, 2018 Rite Aid said Thursday that is has transferred 1,114 stores and related assets to Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) as part of a larger deal with the company. In all, WBA will purchase 1,932 stores, 3 distribution centers, and related inventory from Rite Aid for nearly $4.4 billion in cash. "We have now completed more than half of the planned store transfers and remain on track to finish the process in the spring of this year," said Rite Aid Chairman and CEO John Standley. (Click for more...) Drug industry wages opioid fight using an anti-addiction ally 2/9/2018 9:00:01 AM February 09, 2018 Pharmaceutical industry representatives working in opposition to proposed legislation in Minnesota to institute a tax on opioid sales brought in Jessica Hulsey Nickel, a prominent anti-addiction advocate in Washington. Nickel told the lawmakers that she took no position on the tax and was simply offering her group's resources to help fight the state's drug epidemic. (Click for more...) Antibiotic prophylaxis for children with sickle cell anemia 2/9/2018 9:00:01 AM February 09, 2018 A multistate analysis focused on the low rate of antibiotic prophylaxis against invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) among children with sickle cell anemia (SCA). Because of an elevated risk for infection, with potentially fatal consequences, guidelines dictate these patients take oral penicillin or an alternative antibiotic every day up to age 5 years. (Click for more...) Daratumumab plus bortezomib, melphalan, and prednisone for untreated myeloma 2/9/2018 9:00:01 AM February 09, 2018 Because adding daratumumab to standard treatment has benefited multiple myeloma patients with relapsed or refractory disease, researchers wondered if the same regimen might also help newly diagnosed patients ineligible for stem-cell transplants. For the ALCYONE trial, they tracked progression-free survival in a sample of 706 patients meeting this criteria. Participants in the Phase III study were divided into a control group that received a combination of bortezomib, melphalan, and prednisone or an intervention group that received the same plus daratumumab. (Click for more...) Mogamulizumab (anti-CCR4) in HTLV-1-associated myelopathy 2/9/2018 9:00:01 AM February 09, 2018 Study results from Japan indicate that mogamulizumab reduces the number of cells infected with human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1), which is implicated in the development of HTLV-1-associated myelopathy-tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM-TSP). The primary pathway for infection is through the body's CCR4+ T cells, which led investigators to focus on mogamulizumab—a humanized monoclonal antibody that selectively targets CCR4. To evaluate its safety and efficacy in this patient population, the team recruited 21 patients with glucocorticoid-refractory HAM–TSP. (Click for more...) FDA, NRC pave way for the first domestic supply of most commonly used medical isotope in diagnostic imaging 2/9/2018 9:00:01 AM February 09, 2018 FDA and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) announced Thursday new steps to ensure a stable and secure supply of an essential radioactive imaging product. FDA approved the RadioGenix System, which produces Technetium-99m (Tc-99m), from NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes. The NRC is also issuing guidance and will license the system to enable the Tc-99m it produces to be used for its medical purpose. "Every day, tens of thousands of people in the U.S. (Click for more...) CVS to raise starting pay to $11 an hour 2/9/2018 9:00:01 AM February 09, 2018 CVS Health reports it will increase its starting hourly pay to $11 for U.S. workers. The company, with 240,000 U.S. workers, currently pays a starting wage of $9 an hour, though many employees earn more. CVS Health says that in addition to raising the minimum, it will increase pay for lower-wage retail workers at its nearly 10,000 U.S. stores. CVS Health will offer all full-time employees 4 weeks of paid parental leave and will freeze employee health premiums for the coming year. About 100,000 workers are enrolled in the company's employee health plan. (Click for more...) Text reminders raise medication adherence in Medicare patients by 14% 2/9/2018 9:00:01 AM February 09, 2018 An interactive text messaging system can improve medication adherence, according to a study published in JMIR mHealth and uHealth. In the study, researchers used mPulse Mobile, a leader in mobile health engagement, on partially adherent and nonadherent Medicare patients to compare refill rates of a text message group of 12,272 with a control group of 76,068 individuals who did not receive text messages. All participants had experience with other forms of refill and adherence reminders like phone calls, emails, and robo-calls. (Click for more...) Experts say safe injection sites for opioid users are worth exploring in Michigan cities 2/9/2018 9:00:01 AM February 09, 2018 Safe injection sites for drug users may be an option for cities looking to reduce the rate of overdose deaths and the spread of drug-related diseases. Philadelphia became the first U.S. city to approve privately run safe injection sites in January. The sites allow users to inject illicit drugs under the supervision of a medical professional, ensure a sanitized space, clean needles, and immediate response in case of accidental overdose. In Detroit, Health Department Director Joneigh Khaldun says the city is open to the possibility of safe injection sites. (Click for more...) 'Remote' pharmacies plan gets state senate committee ok 2/9/2018 9:00:01 AM February 09, 2018 Florida's Senate Health Policy Committee gave unanimous approval on February 6 to legislation to allow the creation of "remote dispensing site pharmacies" and enable managed-care plans to use them to meet network adequacy requirements. Committee Chairwoman Dana Young told the panel that the bill could offer a "neat way" to provide increased access to pharmaceutical services that are not always available in rural areas. The bill is opposed by smaller community pharmacies. State Sen. (Click for more...) Trump proposes reduction of drug costs under Medicare 2/9/2018 9:00:01 AM February 09, 2018 President Donald Trump will reportedly propose lowering prescription drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries by allowing them to share in rebates that drug companies pay to insurers. Pharmaceutical companies now pay rebates to insurers and PBMs to help their medications gain a bigger share of the market. Insurers apply savings from rebates to keep premiums more manageable. Under the Trump administration proposal, older adults covered by Medicare's Part D prescription benefit would be able to share in the rebates for individual drugs that they purchase at the pharmacy. (Click for more...) Lockman appointed assistant VP for Experimental Therapeutics 2/9/2018 12:00:00 AM Dr. Paul Lockman, Professor and Chair of Basic Pharmaceutical Sciences in the School of Pharmacy, joined the Office of Research and Graduate Education as the Assistant Vice President for Experimental Therapeutics on January 1st in addition to his current roles. As a cross campus priority for collaboration, and an exciting area of focus at the HSC across diverse disciplines, Dr. Lockman brings the expertise and leadership to connect investigators and help develop new collaborations. (Click for more...) WVU groups to host body positivity event Feb. 19 2/9/2018 12:00:00 AM Groups and organizations across West Virginia University are collaborating to create a night of body acceptance for students. The WVU Collegiate Recovery Program, WELLWVU, Carruth Center, WVU Medicine Student Health and the WVU Women's Resource Center will host "Accepting EveryBODY" on February 19, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the WVU Recreation Center, Meeting Room A. (Click for more...) CDC to offer continuing education course on vaccine immunization in Morgantown 2/9/2018 12:00:00 AM The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is offering a continuing education course titled CDC Pink Book Training: Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine Preventable Diseases on April 10-11, 2018, at the Morgantown Marriott at Waterfront Place in Morgantown, West Virginia. (Click for more...) In-vitro evaluation of optimal inhalation flow patterns for commercial dry powder inhalers and pressurized metered dose inhalers with human inhalation flow pattern simulator 2/8/2018 6:05:01 PM February 08, 2018 This study is aimed at developing a novel analytical method to identify optimal inhalation flow patterns for commercial dry powder inhalers (DPIs) and pressurized metered dose inhalers (pMDIs). As typical commercial DPI and pMDI, Pulmicort® Turbuhaler® and Sultanol® Inhaler were evaluated by an in-vitro inhalation performance testing system with a flow pattern simulator. An 8-stage Andersen cascade impactor (ACI) or twin stage liquid impinger (TSLI) was applied to determine the inhalation performance. (Click for more...) APhA Appoints Alex Varkey to the Board of Trustees 2/8/2018 11:25:34 AM February 08, 2018 The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) announces the appointment of Alex C. Varkey, PharmD, MS, FAPhA, to the APhA Board of Trustees. Varkey took his oath of office and joined the APhA Board of Trustees on January 20, 2018 in accordance with APhA Bylaws regarding open Board of Trustee positions. (Click for more...) Express Scripts reduces employers' annual prescription drug spending growth rate to historic low in 2017 2/8/2018 9:00:01 AM February 08, 2018 Express Scripts helped employers reduce the rate of growth in per-person prescription drug spending to 1.5% in 2017, according to the 2017 Express Scripts Drug Trend Report. The report also found that nearly one-half of all Express Scripts' commercial clients saw their drug spending decrease in 2017. The growth rate is the lowest Express Scripts has measured since 1993, but there is more to be done to make prescription medications more affordable for working families, older adults, and the disabled. (Click for more...) Study finds psychiatric medications are not overprescribed for kids 2/8/2018 9:00:01 AM February 08, 2018 Published in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, a new study compared prescribing rates for the most common psychiatric disorders in children with prevalence rates. Researchers at Columbia University Irving Medical Center used data from a national prescription database to examine annual prescriptions for stimulants, antidepressants, and antipsychotics for 6.3 million children and young adults between the ages of 3–24 years. (Click for more...) Recommended immunization schedule for adults aged 19 years or older, United States, 2018 2/8/2018 9:00:01 AM February 08, 2018 The Recommended Immunization Schedule for Adults Aged 19 Years or Older, approved by CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) last fall, is in effect for 2018. Changes from the 2017 schedule include new guidance governing the use of recombinant zoster vaccine for older adults and the use of an additional third dose of measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine in the event of mumps outbreak. Additional vaccines on the schedule include those for hepatitis A and B, varicella, influenza, and human papillomavirus, among others. (Click for more...) HHS Secretary Azar holds influenza briefing with key HHS leaders 2/8/2018 9:00:01 AM February 08, 2018 HHS Secretary Alex Azar was briefed on Wednesday on preparedness and response efforts for seasonal and pandemic influenza by Acting CDC Director Anne Schuchat, NIH National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci, and Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec. This influenza season has been particularly severe, with hospitalizations reaching their highest levels since HHS began tracking such data closely in 2010 and simultaneous high levels of influenza activity in more regions of the country than usual. (Click for more...) Trial of prazosin for PTSD in military veterans 2/8/2018 9:00:01 AM February 08, 2018 A trial involving military veterans with chronic post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has found that prazosin did not help to alleviate distressing dreams or boost sleep quality. The research, funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs Cooperative Studies Program, randomized 304 participants to receive prazosin, an alpha1-adrenoreceptor antagonist, or placebo for 26 weeks. (Click for more...) Insulin quality questions have diabetes experts scrambling 2/8/2018 9:00:01 AM February 08, 2018 A pharmacist's preliminary research suggesting that some diabetes patients may be injecting medicine that has partially disintegrated is causing concern. Lead researcher Alan Carter, a pharmacist and adjunct instructor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Pharmacy, bought vials of insulin at a number of pharmacies and found that, on average, the vials had less than one-half of what was listed on the label and none met a minimum standard. The study tested just 18 vials of insulin and questions have been raised about the methods used to test the insulin. (Click for more...) Publix reverses policy denying coverage for HIV-prevention drug 2/8/2018 9:00:01 AM February 08, 2018 Supermarket chain Publix has expanded its employee health care plans to include the HIV prevention method known as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). According to CDC, PrEP is 92% effective at preventing infection among high-risk users who take the drug daily. The move by one of Florida's largest employers is significant: Publix employs 136,708 full or part-time workers throughout the state, while Florida had the country's fourth-highest rate of new HIV cases in 2016, according to CDC. (Click for more...) Edible QR medication could help doctors prescribe more accurately, keep patients more informed 2/8/2018 9:00:01 AM February 08, 2018 A new study in the International Journal of Pharmaceutics looks at creating QR-encoded smart oral medication made by inkjet printing. "This technology is promising, because the medical drug can be dosed exactly the way you want it to," said Natalja Genina, an author of the study and an assistant professor at Department of Pharmacy at the University of Copenhagen. "This gives an opportunity to tailor the medication according to the patient getting it." In the study, researchers used inkjet printing technology to print the physical medication onto a porous and flexible substrate. (Click for more...) DEA emergency schedules all illicit fentanyls in an effort to reduce overdose deaths 2/8/2018 9:00:01 AM February 08, 2018 DEA has placed all illicit fentanyl analogues not already regulated by the Controlled Substances Act into Schedule I for 2 years. "DEA is committed to using all of its tools to aggressively fight and address the opioid crisis and growing fentanyl problem plaguing the United States," said DEA Acting Administrator Robert W. Patterson. (Click for more...) 2017 was another record-setting year for generic drugs 2/8/2018 9:00:01 AM February 08, 2018 Kathleen Uhl, MD, FDA's Director, Office of Generic Drugs in the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, notes the agency's generic drug program marked several major accomplishments in 2017. The Office of Generic Drugs (OGD) had another record-setting year for generic approvals at FDA with 1,027 new generic drugs, 214 more than the previous record of 813 set in 2016. (Click for more...) NIH and opioid response get boost in Senate budget deal 2/8/2018 9:00:01 AM February 08, 2018 Senate leaders struck a bipartisan agreement on Wednesday that would increase funding for NIH by $2 billion and raise spending meant to address the opioid and mental health crisis by $6 billion over the next 2 years. The White House endorsed the agreement. The House of Representatives is set to conduct a budget vote on Thursday. The increase in NIH funding continues a trend of substantial budget increases for the agency over the last several years. The funding to address the opioid crisis comes after months of little action on the subject. (Click for more...) Anthem CEO stands by plan to move pharmacy management inside insurer 2/8/2018 9:00:01 AM February 08, 2018 Anthem's new CEO, Gail Boudreaux, said recently that she still expects to move the PBM business inside the company and that the move will produce savings of at least $4 billion per year starting in 2021. Anthem's previous CEO, Joseph Swedish, had battled with Express Scripts over its long-term contract and ultimately decided to exit the deal when it expires. Boudreaux, a former UnitedHealth Group executive, was appointed to the position in November. (Click for more...) Nominations for Women in Science and Health Awards now open 2/8/2018 12:00:00 AM Sponsored by the Women in Science and Health (WISH) Committee, the Women in Science and Health Awards recognize outstanding achievements made by women working at West Virginia University Health Sciences. (Click for more...) Correction 2/7/2018 6:05:01 PM February 07, 2018 “A community pharmacist–led service to facilitate care transitions and reduce hospital readmissions.” J Am Pharm Assoc. 2018;58(1):36-43. (Click for more...) Supporting patient-centered pharmacy care through discovery and expert opinion 2/7/2018 6:05:01 PM February 07, 2018 (Click for more...) Making an impact in patient care 2/7/2018 6:05:01 PM February 07, 2018 (Click for more...) Vitamin and mineral supplements: What clinicians need to know 2/7/2018 9:00:01 AM February 07, 2018 While recent nationwide polls indicate that more than one-half of American adults take at least one dietary supplement, the research also shows that much of this consumption is uninformed, inappropriate, and potentially dangerous. However, according to JoAnn E. Manson, MD, DrPH, of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and Shari S. Bassuk, ScD, of the Harvard School of Public Health, clinicians are in a prime position to encourage appropriate use and avert improper use of micronutrient supplements. (Click for more...) Prevalence of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders in 4 U.S. communities 2/7/2018 9:00:01 AM February 07, 2018 A cross-sectional study of more than 13,000 first-grade children sought to estimate the prevalence of fetal alcohol syndrome disorders in four regions of the United States. The study—conducted between 2010 and 2016—systematically assessed the children in the four domains that contribute to the fetal alcohol spectrum disorder continuum: dysmorphic features, physical growth, neurobehavioral development, and prenatal alcohol exposure. (Click for more...) Cardiovascular outcomes associated with canagliflozin vs. other non-gliflozin antidiabetic drugs 2/7/2018 9:00:01 AM February 07, 2018 A large cohort study compared the cardiovascular safety of canagliflozin, a sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitor, with three types of non-gliflozin agents used to treat type 2 diabetes. Researchers representing Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital, both located in Boston, used a large U.S. commercial health care database to identify adult diabetics with no baseline heart disease. (Click for more...) ACIP issues 2018 child and adolescent vaccine schedule 2/7/2018 9:00:01 AM February 07, 2018 CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) have issued the 2018 immunization schedule for children and adolescents. The updated scheduled includes guidance on use of an optional third dose of mumps-containing vaccine during a mumps outbreak, clarifies timing for giving newborns the hepatitis B vaccine, and also whether children should receive two or three doses of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. For the influenza vaccine, the recommendation continues to be that all children aged 6 months and older should be vaccinated. (Click for more...) FDA's scientific evidence on the presence of opioid compounds in kratom, underscoring its potential for abuse 2/7/2018 9:00:01 AM February 07, 2018 FDA has released details on some of the key scientific tools, data, and research that have contributed to the agency's concerns about kratom's potential for abuse, addiction, and serious health consequences. (Click for more...) Asthma attacks declining among U.S. children 2/7/2018 9:00:01 AM February 07, 2018 CDC reported Tuesday that children with asthma in the United States are having fewer asthma attacks, missed school days, and trips to the hospital. According to the Vital Signs report, the percentage of children who reported one or more asthma attacks in the preceding year dropped to 53.7% in 2016, from 61.7% in 2001. "We are making progress—but health care providers, parents, caregivers, and schools can do more to help children avoid asthma attacks," said CDC Acting Director Anne Schuchat, MD. "Asthma attacks can be terrifying for children and their families. (Click for more...) DIR fees tops list of legislative concerns among independents 2/7/2018 9:00:01 AM February 07, 2018 The fourth annual survey of National Community Pharmacists Association members reveals that direct and indirect remuneration (DIR) fees are the top legislative or regulatory obstacle for community pharmacists. According to NCPA CEO Douglas Hoey, "This year's top priorities are tied to the questionable business practices of lightly-regulated PBM corporations. Complaints about DIR fees have skyrocketed, so it is not surprising that reining in PBM clawbacks would top the list. (Click for more...) Medication synchronization reveals medication adherence barriers 2/7/2018 9:00:01 AM February 07, 2018 Medication synchronization systems have proven effective in improving medication adherence rates. At Graves Pharmacy, a regional pharmacy chain across Kansas, clinical leaders use medication synchronization to identify various patient adherence barriers, according to Dared Price, PharmD, president of Graves Drug Stores. The pharmacy's medication synchronization system flags patients who might require more help managing their medications, either because they have complex medication regimens or because they have a long history of poor medication adherence. (Click for more...) Pharmacists, physicians enrolling in Joplin, Jasper County prescription drug monitoring programs 2/7/2018 9:00:01 AM February 07, 2018 Joplin and Jasper County in Missouri are enrolling pharmacists and soon physicians in their new prescription drug monitoring programs, which are overseen by the St. Louis County Department of Public Health. The local programs went live on February 1. After watching attempts to pass a statewide system fail for years, St. Louis County launched its own database last April in an effort to curb opioid addictions in the state. The St. Louis-based program has been adopted or is in the process of being authorized by nearly 60 jurisdictions in Missouri. (Click for more...) DC law will let women get birth control without doctor's visit 2/7/2018 9:00:01 AM February 07, 2018 In Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser signed into law on January 31 a bill to give women access to birth control prescriptions at pharmacies. Insurers will be required to pay for contraceptives under the law, and pharmacists could start prescribing up to a 12-month supply of contraceptives to eligible patients as early as October. Women would be required to use a self-screening tool developed by the DC Board of Pharmacy to identify risk factors such as high blood pressure so pharmacists can determine if prescribing contraceptives would be safe. (Click for more...) MA court weighs if pharmacies must notify doctors of insurance issues 2/7/2018 9:00:01 AM February 07, 2018 The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court is considering whether pharmacies have an obligation to inform physicians when health insurers refuse to pay for a patient's prescription without prior authorization. On Tuesday, the state's highest court questioned a lawyer for unit of Walgreens Boots Alliance on the issue. (Click for more...) Florida bill that would have let pharmacists test and treat influenza, strep stalls in committee 2/7/2018 9:00:01 AM February 07, 2018 In Florida, SB 524—a measure that would have given pharmacists authority to test and treat for influenza or strep infections—was shelved this week in a state Senate committee meeting. The bill would have required pharmacists to undergo 8 hours of training for certification; however, some physicians expressed concern that pharmacists still would not have the medical training to adequately diagnose influenza or any complications a patient might have from a basic test. (Click for more...) Over-the-Counter Medication Donations Needed for Honduras 2/7/2018 12:00:00 AM Nurse Practitioner and DNP students from the WVU School of Nursing will provide primary care services in remote areas of Honduras in April. The team members pay their own way and bring all medications and supplies needed for the week. (Click for more...) A year of hope 2/6/2018 6:05:01 PM February 06, 2018 (Click for more...) Editorial Invitation to Become a Reviewer for the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences 2/6/2018 6:05:01 PM February 06, 2018 (Click for more...) They’re convenient, but texted orders put patient safety at risk 2/6/2018 10:25:45 AM February 06, 2018 Quicker than a phone call, simpler than an e-mail—text messaging has become the communication mode of choice for many of us. A survey from the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) warns health care providers that the use of texting to send medication orders is a bad idea. ISMP conducted an online survey for patient care providers about text messaging practices and summarized findings in a report, The Texting Debate: Beneficial Means of Communication or Safety and Security Risk? (Click for more...) Pharmacy coalition to Trump administration: Meet with us about opioid crisis 2/6/2018 9:58:04 AM February 06, 2018 The National Conference of Pharmaceutical Organizations (NCPO), a coalition of organizations representing more than 300,000 pharmacy practitioners, pharmaceutical scientists, pharmacy regulators, and pharmacy educators, has invited the Trump administration to meet to discuss ways of addressing the nation’s opioid crisis. (Click for more...) New HHS chief, Alex Azar, takes the helm 2/6/2018 9:56:07 AM February 06, 2018 Alex Azar, the former president of the U.S. arm of Eli Lilly & Co., was sworn in last month as Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS). He was President Trump’s pick to lead the department after HHS Secretary Tom Price resigned in September. APhA Executive Vice President and CEO Thomas E. Menighan, BSPharm, MBA, ScD (Hon), FAPhA said, “APhA and our members look forward to working with Secretary Azar and the Department of Health and Human Services on the many issues of importance to the pharmacy profession, pharmacists, and the patients they serve.” (Click for more...) Taking folic acid and multivitamins before and during pregnancy may lower autism risk 2/6/2018 9:54:54 AM February 06, 2018 Evidence is mounting that children born to mothers who take folic acid and multivitamins during pregnancy may have a lower risk of developing autism compared with children whose mothers do not take supplements. In the latest research, a case-control cohort study of 45,300 Israeli children published online in JAMA Psychiatry on January 3, researchers compared 572 children who had received a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) with those who did not receive an ASD diagnosis. (Click for more...) Bristol-Myers says a key trial for its lung cancer drug succeeds 2/6/2018 9:00:01 AM February 06, 2018 Bristol-Myers Squibb on Monday said it found a new way to identify cancer patients who are treatable by immunotherapy drugs. It said non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients whose tumor cells had a high level tumor mutation burden (TMB) showed a highly statistically significant improvement in progression-free survival with a combination of its immuno-oncology drugs nivolumab (Opdivo) and ipilimumab (Yervoy) versus chemotherapy. Companies had been classifying patients in terms of a tumor's expression of a protein called PD-L1. (Click for more...) Winn-Dixie offering $2 select heart medications 2/6/2018 9:00:01 AM February 06, 2018 In support of Healthy Heart Month, all in-store pharmacies at Winn-Dixie stores are offering discounts on select generic heart medications. Throughout the month of February, Winn-Dixie pharmacies are offering eight common generic heart medications for $2 and one generic medication for free. Certain restrictions apply. The program is in addition to the company's everyday low price generics program, which offers $4, 30-day and $10, 90-day supplies as well as select free antibiotics and maintenance drugs. (Click for more...) MinuteClinic providing no cost heart health screenings every Wednesday in February 2/6/2018 9:00:01 AM February 06, 2018 In support of the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women movement, CVS MinuteClinic is offering free "Know Your Numbers" heart health screenings every Wednesday this month. On those days, customers can visit any of the more than 1,100 MinuteClinic locations nationwide and receive a heart health preventive screening at no cost to them. The screenings will provide patients with the five key personal health numbers that can help them measure their risk for heart disease: total cholesterol, HDL (good) cholesterol, blood pressure, blood glucose, and body mass index. (Click for more...) APhA among group joining in fight against opioid abuse 2/6/2018 9:00:01 AM February 06, 2018 The National Conference of Pharmaceutical Organizations (NCPO), a coalition that includes APhA, issued a public statement seeking support from the Trump administration to address the growing opioid epidemic. The coalition is a group of organizations and associations that represent more than 300,000 pharmacy practitioners and pharmaceutical scientists, companies engaged in health care delivery, pharmacy regulators, and educators. (Click for more...) CVS executive hired to run Hudson's Bay 2/6/2018 9:00:01 AM February 06, 2018 Helena Foulkes, president of CVS Health's pharmacy division, was named CEO of Hudson's Bay Company on Monday. Hudson's Bay, which owns Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor, is seeking ways to transform its struggling department store operations as well as to boost its digital strategy. "We have a great opportunity to run our businesses more profitably, and Helena is the perfect person to help us accomplish that," said Richard Baker, executive chairman of Hudson's Bay. (Click for more...) Migraine and risk of cardiovascular diseases 2/6/2018 9:00:01 AM February 06, 2018 Migraine may be a key risk factor for many cardiovascular diseases, according to findings from a cohort study in Denmark. Analyzing nationwide hospital data from 1995–2013, they used Cox regression analysis to compare risks of various cardiovascular problems in patients suffering from migraine with risks in the general population. Among 51,032 patients with incident migraine and 510,320 controls matched by age, gender, and calendar year, investigators found no statistically significant association between migraine and peripheral artery disease or heart failure. (Click for more...) More than 100 million Americans have high blood pressure, AHA says 2/6/2018 9:00:01 AM February 06, 2018 New statistics from the American Heart Association (AHA) reveal that the number of Americans at risk for heart attacks and strokes has increased. An estimated 103 million U.S. adults have high blood pressure, comprising nearly one-half of all adults in the United States. "With the aging of the population and increased life expectancy, the prevalence of high blood pressure is expected to continue to increase," said epidemiologist Paul Muntner, MD, co-chair of the group that wrote AHA's Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2018 Update, published January 31 in Circulation. (Click for more...) Kareway Products recalls eye wash solution due to potential microbial contamination 2/6/2018 9:00:01 AM February 06, 2018 Kareway Products has announced a voluntary recall of 60,000 lots of Gericare Eye Wash, Sterile Eye Irrigation Solution, due to potential microbial contamination. The eye wash is packaged in 4 fluid ounce (118 ml) bottles and was distributed nationwide to wholesale businesses. The affected product lots include the following Lot #86041601 and expiration date of September 2019. The product can be identified by UPC 3-57896-18604-3. (Click for more...) Pharmacists turn to lawmakers after reimbursement changes hit 2/6/2018 9:00:01 AM February 06, 2018 Lower reimbursement rates that took effect on January 1 in Arkansas are stinging pharmacies, which are imploring state lawmakers and insurance representatives for relief. Insurers pay a PBM a certain price per drug that is filled by a pharmacy, which is then reimbursed by the PBM for a share of the original cost. The legislative change, however, means that percentage has narrowed considerably, leaving pharmacists with the unenviable choice of taking a loss on profit or turning away customers. (Click for more...) Nursing homes sedate residents with dementia by misusing antipsychotic drugs, report finds 2/6/2018 9:00:01 AM February 06, 2018 A new Human Rights Watch report released Monday estimates that each week more than 179,000 people living in U.S. nursing facilities are given antipsychotic medications, even though they do not have the approved psychiatric diagnoses to warrant use of the drugs. Most of these residents are older and have dementia, and researchers say the antipsychotic medications are administered as a cost-effective "chemical restraint" to suppress behaviors and ease the load on overwhelmed staff. Researchers visited 109 facilities in six states between October 2016 and March 2017. (Click for more...) Indiana gets federal approval for Medicaid plan that could slice enrollment 2/6/2018 9:00:01 AM February 06, 2018 New Medicaid rules in Indiana require adult program participants who qualified for coverage under the Affordable Care Act to present proof of employment or be shut out of enrollment for 3 months. Along with another previously established "lockout" clause, which puts a 6-month block on enrollees who neglect to pay the monthly premium and are above the federal poverty line, the change could cost the program tens of thousands of beneficiaries. (Click for more...) California lawmaker proposes limiting opioid prescriptions to 3 days 2/6/2018 9:00:01 AM February 06, 2018 California Assemblyman Freddie Rodriguez (D-Pomona) has introduced legislation that would put severe limits on the number of prescription opioids patients can receive. The bill seeks to prevent patients from abusing opioid analgesics by requiring more stringent oversight from doctors and a much lower tablet count per refill. Patients would be limited to a 3-day supply, after which they would need to go to a pharmacy to refill their prescription. Doctors would need to justify ordering more than three refills. (Click for more...) WVU Rural Health Day 2018 2/1/2018 12:00:00 AM Registration is now open for the 3rd annual WVU Rural Health Day on Saturday, April 14, 2018 at the WVU Health Sciences Center in Morgantown. The purpose of WVU Rural Health Day is to give pre-health students interested in rural medicine the opportunity to hear about and participate in activities that will enhance, impassion, and provide support in the sometimes daunting path to applying to medical school. (Click for more...) SOP 'Dean's Hour' features lessons for success from 'The Wizard of Oz' 1/24/2018 12:00:00 AM Almost everyone has seen the 1939 movie "The Wizard of Oz," but what they may not realize is that it contains valuable lessons that are useful to all of us as we seek success in our personal and professional lives. (Click for more...) WVU School of Pharmacy announces Dean's List for fall 2017 term. 1/23/2018 12:00:00 AM Congratulations to all of our students who made the Dean's List! To make the list, a student must achieve a GPA of 3.5 or higher. Each recipient gets a signed letter from School of Pharmacy Dean, Bill Petros. Below is a complete list. (Click for more...) WVU School of Pharmacy seeks Director of Experiential Learning 1/23/2018 12:00:00 AM The WVU School of Pharmacy is seeking a Director of Experiential Learning at the rank of assistant professor to manage the APPE/IPPE programs and the Office of Experiential Learning. Apply online at https://goo.gl/18PTuk. (Click for more...) NIH funds WVU research to make diabetes and hypertension management a community activity 1/8/2018 12:00:00 AM Managing diabetes and high blood pressure can feel like a solitary enterprise dependent on relationships with objects (like pills or foods) and activities (like brisk walks or early bedtimes) instead of relationships with people, but a group of West Virginia University researchers is hoping to change that. (Click for more...) Mindful Morsels: Mindful Eating- January 16, 2017, 11:00 am, John Jones C 1/5/2018 12:00:00 AM Mindful Morsels is back for 2018. Mindful Eating will be held January 16, 2017, at 11:00 am in John Jones C. (Click for more...) Cancer Institute to sponsor talk on LGBTQI patient care 1/2/2018 12:00:00 AM WVU Cancer Institute will sponsor a talk on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) patient care on January 9, 2018, from 12 to 1 p.m., in the Fukushima Auditorium. Mandi Pratt-Chapman, MA, associate center director, patient-centered initiatives and health equity for the George Washington Cancer Center, will present What You Should (and Want) to Know About Your LGBTQI Patients. Chapman's personal mission is to make evidence-based cancer control strategies available to more people as quickly as possible. (Click for more...) Pharmacy residency program ASHP accredited 1/1/2018 12:00:00 AM WVU Medicine Jefferson Medical Center's pharmacy residency program has been approved for accreditation by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). (Click for more...) Maynor named director of student affairs and academic initiatives 12/14/2017 12:00:00 AM Lena Maynor, PharmD, has been appointed director of student affairs and academic initiatives for the Health Sciences Center at West Virginia University. (Click for more...) Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy alumni are WVU 2017 Homecoming Award recipients 10/4/2017 12:00:00 AM Three School of Medicine alumni and a School of Pharmacy graduate are being recognized by the WVU Alumni Association as 2017 Homecoming Award recipients. (Click for more...) Discussion leaders named for Post-Charlottesville Town Hall 9/19/2017 12:00:00 AM Seven volunteer discussion leaders will take part in the Health Sciences-WVU Medicine Town Hall this Wednesday (Sept. 20) at noon in the Patteson Auditorium at WVU. (Click for more...) WVU, WV attorney general expand eighth grade drug prevention program 9/12/2017 12:00:00 AM West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and West Virginia University have partnered to expand a program aimed at sharing drug abuse prevention information with eighth grade students in West Virginia. The initiative, launched in March with the West Virginia University School of Nursing, now also involves West Virginia University's School of Pharmacy and two other universities. (Click for more...) Student and faculty international travel grants available 9/1/2017 12:00:00 AM In honor of the legacy of a long-time staff member in WVU's Global Health Program, the Global Engagement Office (GEO) at Health Sciences is pleased to announce that the application period for the Nancy Sanders Memorial Student Travel Grant and the Nancy Sanders Memorial Faculty Research Abroad Grant is now open. (Click for more...) WVU health care simulation week kicks off Sept. 12 8/30/2017 12:00:00 AM September 12 kicks off national Health Care Simulation Week, and the WV STEPS Center welcomes visitors to a series of events highlighting simulation education. (Click for more...) WVU in the News - Study aims to increase effectiveness of opioid addiction treatment 8/15/2017 12:00:00 AM A new study being conducted at WVU is aimed at increasing the effectiveness of addiction treatment. As many as 20 percent of people addicted to opioids will not respond to the standard treatment of suboxone. Genetic background is one of several factors WVU and the West Virginia Clinical and Translation Science Institute will study to provide better more patient-specific addiction treatment. Get the full story on WV Always. (Click for more...) West Virginia health research gets $55 million boost 8/1/2017 12:00:00 AM MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Recommitting themselves to bring the benefits of research out of labs and hospitals and into the lives of West Virginia people and communities, a coalition of federal agencies, universities, hospitals and clinics will develop dozens of efforts over the next five years to battle addiction and cancer and reduce the impact of cardiovascular and neurological diseases. (Click for more...) Academy of Excellence in Teaching and Learning applications being accepted 7/20/2017 12:00:00 AM The WVU Health Sciences Faculty Development Program is now accepting applications, CVs and biographies for the 2017 Academy of Excellence in Teaching and Learning. (Click for more...) WVCTSI and WVU research aims to increase addiction treatment effectiveness 7/13/2017 12:00:00 AM MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Up to 20 percent of people with opioid use disorder may not respond to standard treatment. A new study at West Virginia University seeks to understand why. (Click for more...) Madhavan named to Fulbright Specialist Roster 7/10/2017 12:00:00 AM The U.S. State Department has added S. Suresh Madhavan, Ph.D., of the WVU School of Pharmacy to Fulbright Specialist Roster for the next three years. (Click for more...) Leukemia Research Foundation supports cancer research at WVU 7/5/2017 12:00:00 AM The Leukemia Research Foundation has awarded $100,000 to Wei Du, M.D., Ph.D., of the West Virginia University Cancer Institute to investigate a method for increasing the effectiveness of stem cell transplantation. (Click for more...) Town Hall to focus on heart care and research Thursday, June 15 6/6/2017 12:00:00 AM Two WVU Medicine heart specialists will be the special guests at an open forum for Health Sciences and WVU Medicine faculty, staff, and students at noon on Thursday, June 15, in the Okey Patteson Auditorium in the Health Sciences Center. (Click for more...) Meet the Graduates: Lindsey Glotfelty 5/16/2017 12:00:00 AM When asked what she wanted people to know about her, Lindsey Glotfelty of Finzel, Maryland, stated it's not really what she wants people to know about her, but rather the messages she wants them to get. She has four lessons that she has learned in her life, and they are the principles by which she lives. (Click for more...) ASK WVU MEDICINE: Breast to Brain Cancer - Risks and Research 5/15/2017 12:00:00 AM Join Hannah Hazard-Jenkins, M.D. and Paul Lockman, Ph.D., doctors who are dedicating their efforts to research and treatment of breast cancer, at the next Ask WVU Medicine Community Conversation, Tuesday, May 23 at 6 p.m. in the WVU Health Sciences Center Fukushima Auditorium. (Click for more...) WVU School of Pharmacy's Suresh Madhavan recipient of Distinguished Pharmacy Alumni Award from Purdue University 5/9/2017 12:00:00 AM S. Suresh Madhavan, MBA, Ph.D., was the recipient of Purdue University College of Pharmacy's 2017 Distinguished Pharmacy Alumni Award. Dr. Madhavan was one of four Purdue alumni who received this award, which recognizes the recipient's outstanding achievements in professional and scientific endeavors. (Click for more...) Cancer researcher is first alum to lead WVU School of Pharmacy 4/26/2017 12:00:00 AM William (Bill) Petros, PharmD, FCCP, has been appointed to the position. (Click for more...) WVU recognizes Health Sciences staff and faculty 4/10/2017 12:00:00 AM West Virginia University honored 13 individuals and two teams at the Health Sciences Center for outstanding achievement on Wednesday, April 12 at 4 p.m. in the Pylons Lobby. (Click for more...) Frank Alderman, MD, to speak at WVU College of Business and Economics Distinguished Speaker Series 4/3/2017 12:00:00 AM Frank Alderman, MD, CEO of MedExpress and a graduate of the WVU Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy, will speak at the WVU College of Business and Economics's Distinguished Speaker Series on April 19 at 3:30 p.m. at the Morgantown Event Center. (Click for more...) WVU and WVCTSI fund two addiction projects 3/29/2017 12:00:00 AM MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University (WVU) Addiction Task Force and West Virginia Clinical and Translational Science Institute (WVCTSI) have funded two new research projects to combat the opioid epidemic in the state. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, West Virginia continues to be devastated by this epidemic, having the highest rate of drug overdose deaths in the nation. (Click for more...) Vera Bradley Bingo Relay for Life fundraiser 3/28/2017 12:00:00 AM The West Virginia University School of Pharmacy Relay for Life Team and the Lambda Kappa Sigma student organization will be hosting a Vera Bradley Bingo at 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 2, in room 1909 at the WVU Health Sciences Center in Morgantown. Doors open at noon. (Click for more...) WVU health professions students provide information on fall risk prevention 3/24/2017 12:00:00 AM Students from the West Virginia University School of Pharmacy and School of Medicine Division of Physical Therapy visited Sundale Rehabilitation – Long Term Care on March 22 to discuss fall risk prevention. (Click for more...) FDA Outlines Conditions for Pharmacies to Repackage Drug Products 3/9/2017 7:00:00 PM A guidance issued by FDA on January 12 makes clear that the agency does not favor some long-standing habits of pharmacy personnel related to the repackaging of drug products. (Click for more...) Maine Pharmacists Eye Legislation to End Drug Plans' Retroactive Fees 3/9/2017 7:00:00 PM Direct and indirect remuneration (DIR) fees are a "dragon" that pharmacists in Maine are trying to slay, says Felicity Homsted, chief pharmacy officer for Penobscot Community Health Care (PCHC) in Bangor and president of the Maine Society of Health-System Pharmacists (MSHP). (Click for more...) Alabama Pharmacists Push for State Collaborative Therapy Law 3/9/2017 7:00:00 PM The February 7 start of Alabama's 2017 legislative session is a fresh opportunity for the state to codify collaborative drug therapy management (CDTM) as part of pharmacy practice. (Click for more...) HSC Interprofessional Education Week celebration is March 27-31 3/6/2017 12:00:00 AM Join us for the inaugural HSC Interprofessional Education Week celebration (Click for more...) New pharmacy scholarship honors longtime West Virginia pharmacist 3/6/2017 12:00:00 AM The Jack H. Smith Family Pharmacy Scholarship was established not only to honor Suzanne Smith-Fox's father, but to assist a student who holds the same values as her father – generosity, community involvement, quality citizenship and an outstanding passion for receiving an education. Jack was a 1956 graduate from the West Virginia University School of Pharmacy, and the endowed scholarship also honors Jack's father (Suzanne's grandfather) who was a pharmacist in Parkersburg, West Virginia. (Click for more...) Abuse Potential of Noncontrolled Drugs Often Overlooked, Official Says 2/26/2017 7:00:00 PM To get a real handle on drug abuse, clinicians need to look beyond opioids and consider the abuse potential of noncontrolled drugs, says Michael Cohen, operations officer for the investigations branch of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) in Washington, D.C. (Click for more...) Updated Research Rule Aims for Friendlier Consent Process 2/26/2017 7:00:00 PM It's not just full-time researchers who need to grapple with the recently revised Common Rule, a federal regulation that underpins U.S. research involving human subjects. (Click for more...) Pharmacists Turn Naloxone Training Programs into Video for Broad Audience 2/26/2017 7:00:00 PM A pharmacy project to train emergency medical services (EMS) and law enforcement personnel in how to administer naloxone in cases of opioid overdose has grown into an educational effort that features a video aimed at any potential responder. (Click for more...) Family Focus Helps Pharmacist Improve Diabetes Care for Native Americans 2/12/2017 7:00:00 PM When Cherith Smith started work about a decade ago as a pharmacist at the Missoula Urban Indian Health Center in Montana, she saw a common thread of hopelessness in people with diabetes who visited the center. (Click for more...) VA Project Expands Clinical Pharmacy Services to Rural Veterans 2/12/2017 7:00:00 PM A major project at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to position pharmacists as healthcare providers in rural settings is poised to generate new data on how pharmacists improve patient care. (Click for more...) Proposed Legislation, CMS Guidance Portend Advancements for Pharmacists 2/12/2017 7:00:00 PM Federal efforts to advance pharmacists' role in healthcare got off to a fast start in January with developments including the following: (Click for more...) Deflazacort Approved for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy 2/9/2017 7:00:00 PM FDA and Marathon Pharmaceuticals LLC on February 9 announced the approval of deflazacort oral tablets and oral suspension for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy in patients 5 years of age or older. (Click for more...) WVU School of Pharmacy receives reaccreditation 2/9/2017 12:00:00 AM The West Virginia University School of Pharmacy's Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) professional program recently received continued accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE). The accreditation is valid until 2025—a full eight years, which is the maximum length of time for ACPE's accreditation. (Click for more...) Baugh named director of interprofessional education for health sciences 12/19/2016 12:00:00 AM Gina M. Baugh, Pharm.D., associate professor and director of Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences at the West Virginia University School of Pharmacy, has been named director of interprofessional education for the WVU Health Sciences Center. (Click for more...) DEA registration renewal process changing 12/19/2016 12:00:00 AM As of January 1, 2017, those with an expired DEA registration will need to fully reapply; the DEA will no longer allow a grace period for expired registrants. (Click for more...) WVU Pharmacy students educate youth about substance and prescription drug abuse 10/31/2016 12:00:00 AM Second-year students at the West Virginia University School of Pharmacy visited West Preston School on Thursday, Oct. 27, to discuss the dangers of substance and prescription drug abuse. (Click for more...) WVU student pharmacists offer health screenings at Bridge Day 10/14/2016 12:00:00 AM MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Students from the West Virginia University School of Pharmacy will be offering a variety of health screenings and information Saturday, Oct. 15, from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Bridge Day at New River Gorge in Fayetteville, West Virginia. (Click for more...) WVU's food bank to open second location, The Rack II@HSC 10/6/2016 12:00:00 AM West Virginia University Health Sciences will soon open "The Rack II@HSC," WVU Health Sciences' Campus Food Bank, to assist with campus-wide efforts to address the growing population of homeless and/or hungry employees/students. (Click for more...) WVU Pharmacy student writes song to benefit disaster relief efforts 9/22/2016 12:00:00 AM MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — You never know from where a source of inspiration might come. (Click for more...) Griffith named WVU Medicine vice president of cancer services 9/21/2016 12:00:00 AM Niesha L. Griffith, a graduate of the West Virginia University School of Pharmacy, has returned to her alma mater as vice president of cancer services for WVU Medicine. She began her new role Sept. 13. (Click for more...) NIH awards WVU $1.8 million to widen health options for children 9/21/2016 12:00:00 AM Seriously ill children across West Virginia will have easier access to new medical treatments in their own communities, thanks to a four-year, $1.8 million grant awarded to West Virginia University today by the National Institutes of Health. (Click for more...) WVU to mark Morgantown Overdose Awareness Day with panel discussion 8/23/2016 12:00:00 AM Makalynn, a WVU student in a 12-step recovery program, is among the WVU and Morgantown representatives who will take part in a panel discussion at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 31, at the Mountainlair. (Click for more...)
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