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Issue:  July 2011 •  Archive  •  Subscribe •  Unsubscribe
In This Edition Featured Article Featured CE
•  Editor's Notebook
•  Counseling Pearls
•  It's the Law
•  Clinical Corner
•  Consult Your Pharmacist
•  Educational Spotlight
•  Quick Poll
      - Rx Labels
  Photo Optimizing Patient Care in Asthma During Pregnancy
A pregnant woman with this condition is at increased risk for complications in herself and her fetus.
  Photo Diagnosis and Treatment Options in Acute Bronchitis
Symptomatic treatment of cough is the primary need in patients since the infection is likely viral in nature.

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Editor's Notebook
Like a Broken Record

It never grows tiresome to hear that pharmacies are rated as one of the top three businesses in providing customer service.
Counseling Pearls
Photo A Profile of Electronic Cigarettes

For years, smoking has been a major economic and public health burden. Offered as an alternative, these novel devices deliver vaporized nicotine without combustion or smoke, but are they safe?
Photo The Pharmacist’s Role in Preventing Antibiotic Resistance

As resistance has increased and antibiotic development has lagged, the pharmacist-directed stewardship program has become a milestone in infectious-diseases pharmacy practice and patient care.
It's the Law
REMS: A New Duty for Pharmacists?

It is misleading to believe that that restricted access programs for prescription drugs will not result in more responsibility for pharmacists.
Clinical Corner
Photo Therapeutic Update on Drug-Induced Pulmonary Disorders

A wide range of prescription and OTC drugs have been implicated as the cause of respiratory syndromes and adverse events. However, a definitive diagnosis remains challenging, as the clinical presentation is often nonspecific.
Photo Respiratory Complications in Cystic Fibrosis

Most current treatments, such as mucolytics and osmotics, target only the symptomatic complications, but emerging therapies are attempting to address the underlying causes of this genetic disease.
Consult Your Pharmacist
Allergic Rhinitis: Nonprescription Treatment Options

OTC antihistamines continue to be the standard for relieving bothersome allergy symptoms.
Educational Spotlight
Dialysis Concepts: A Review for Clinical Pharmacists

Renal replacement therapy affects the activity and dosing of many drugs.
Treatment Options in Managing Chronic Low Back Pain

Therapy should be individualized based on the severity of pain and duration of symptoms.
An Overview of Uveitis and Its Management

Significant vision loss can occur in more than one-third of patients with this condition.

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Express Scripts and Medco Announce Merger
New York, NY — Express Scripts has announced its intention to buy pharmacy benefits management (PBM) rival Medco Health Solutions for a reported $29.1 billion. The deal, which is expected to close in the first half of 2012 pending approval from regulators and shareholders, would create the world’s largest PBM, Express Scripts Holding Inc. The new company could use its size to negotiate better discounts on drug prices, although it would also have less competition than before. Last year, the two companies processed over 1.7 billion prescriptions, with combined revenue of approximately $110 billion. Express Scripts' largest competitor after the deal would be CVS Caremark Corp., which handled over 585 million claims in 2010.
Vaccines for 2011-2012 Flu Season Approved
Gaithersburg, MDThe FDA has approved the formulation for the 2011-2012 influenza vaccine. This formulation protects against the three virus strains that surveillance indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. Six manufacturers are licensed to produce and distribute the influenza vaccine in the United States. This includes Fluzone Intradermal (Sanofi Pasteur Inc.), which uses a microinjection needle to deliver the vaccine into the skin instead of the muscle. This recently approved vaccine system will be available for those 18 to 64 years old. The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends that all individuals 6 months of age and older receive an annual influenza vaccination.
Avastin’s Breast Cancer Indication May Be Pulled
Silver Spring, MD—The Oncologic Drug Advisory Committee (ODAC) unanimously recommended that FDA approval of Avastin (bevacizumab) for metastatic breast cancer be withdrawn due to safety and efficacy concerns. In December 2010, another FDA panel made a similar recommendation. The breast cancer indication was originally provided in February 2008 under the FDA's accelerated approval program. The ODAC's recommendation is not the final decision of the FDA. FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, MD, is expected to issue her ruling following the closing of the docket for public comment. Any decision will only affect the use of Avastin in relation to breast cancer; its indications for brain, colon, kidney, and lung cancers are not being challenged.
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