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Issue:  January 2013 •  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
  – Schedule II Hydrocodone
  Photo Pharmacist Update on Autism and Its Management
Developmental disorders are marked by significant social, communication, and behavioral impairments.
  Photo Identification, Prevention, and Treatment Recommendations for Concussions
Sports-related head injuries are being increasingly discussed in an attempt to raise awareness of the severity of complications relating to concussions.
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Editor's Notebook
The Pharmacist Safety Net

Rx-to-OTC switching is likely to continue unabated due to the high cost of health care in the U.S.
Counseling Pearls
Photo Pharmacologic and Complementary Therapy for Migraine Prophylaxis

Migraine, a chronic neurologic disorder, involves episodic attacks of headache and associated symptoms. Although almost 26% of migraine patients fulfill criteria for preventive therapy, only one-half of sufferers use daily preventive medications.
Photo Epilepsy: Treatment and Management

Epilepsy is a disorder comprising a collection of seizures that differ in cause, symptoms, severity, and treatment. Drug therapy is based on type of seizure, age, gender, comorbidities, adverse-effect potential, drug interactions, and cost.
It's the Law
Off-Label Promotion Is Free Speech

Does the ban on off-label marketing of drugs violate a pharmaceutical sales representative's freedom of speech?
Clinical Corner
Photo The Neurologic Complications of Ischemic Stroke

Neurologic complications of ischemic stroke are a leading cause of disability in the U.S. Achieving cerebral reperfusion within 90 minutes of a stroke event remains the optimal opportunity to prevent neurologic deterioration and reduce complications.
Photo Generalized Convulsive Status Epilepticus in Adults: Initial Pharmacologic Management

This condition is a neurologic emergency requiring immediate medical attention. The current pharmacotherapy recommendations stress the use of benzodiazepines and antiepileptic drugs through nonenteral routes of administration.
Consult Your Pharmacist
Meniere's Disease and the Pharmacist

Pharmacists should watch out for troubling symptoms such as dizziness, vertigo, and hearing loss.
Educational Spotlight
A Pharmacist-Only Class of Drugs: An Idea Whose Time Has Come?

There are pros and cons to implementing a behind-the-counter drug class, an idea currently under FDA consideration.
Cultural Competence in Behavioral Health Care

Those involved in the delivery of behavioral health care must be ready to address the cultural factors and health perceptions that can affect care.
Drug-Induced Osteoporosis: A Review of Medications That Affect Bone Mineral Density

Since most diseases treated with these agents render the occurrence of low BMD more likely, these drugs can further compromise a patient's bone structure.
Generic HIV Drugs Could Provide Significant Cost Savings
Boston, MA — According to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, the U.S. health care system could save almost $1 billion a year if current antiretroviral drugs for HIV infection were replaced with generic versions. However, researchers warned that the savings might come at the cost of more patients experiencing treatment failure because the generics might be slightly less effective and would also require patients to take three daily pills instead of one, which would increase the risk of some patients missing doses. Currently, the recommended treatment for newly diagnosed HIV patients is a single pill (Atripla) taken daily that combines three brand-name antiretrovirals: tenofovir (Viread), emtricitabine (Emtriva), and efavirenz (Sustiva). Generic emtricitabine became available in January 2012, and a generic version of efavirenz is expected in the near future.
Most Consumers Are Not Loyal to Any Particular Pharmacy
Toronto, ON— A consumer perceptions study of pharmacy retail in the U.S. by the Empathica Consumer Insights Panel has found that 60% of customers would not recommend a particular pharmacy brand to their family and friends. In addition, only 40% of patients are highly committed subscribers to loyalty programs at their primary pharmacy. According to the survey, much of this lack of consumer engagement can be attributed to a slow adoption of technology by pharmacies. Results showed that 3 out of 4 patients still place and fill their prescription orders in-store, and most are not aware of online pharmacy services.
Costco Launches Its Own PBM Program
Seattle, WA — Costco Wholesale Corp., the large warehouse store chain, has started a pharmacy-benefit management (PBM) program for small and midsize businesses. Costco Health Solutions will fill prescriptions for business customers, much like programs at traditional pharmacies. The PBM program offers prescription drugs through Costco's in-warehouse pharmacies or a network of 64,000 independent pharmacies that have agreed to prenegotiated prices. Costco is targeting employers that are located close to their warehouses and is providing a benefit that members would save money on prescriptions by using them. Costco expects this new program to increase foot traffic in their warehouse stores.
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