Optimizing Medication Therapy & Improving Outcomes

October 26, 2016

MTM in Hospitalized Elderly Patients: A Focus on OTC Agents

Despite the widespread use of OTC medications, many patients and healthcare professionals are not fully aware of the potential adverse events associated with these products. OTC agents can be associated with potential adverse effects upon multiple organ systems and numerous laboratory results. Elderly patients are more susceptible to adverse drug events compared to the general population. Many patients and healthcare providers also fail to add OTC drugs to their official medication list. It is critical that pharmacists recognize these concerns and identify appropriate monitoring parameters when completing a comprehensive medication therapy review that includes OTC products with each hospital admission. Read more.

New Therapies Approved for Multiple Myeloma

Multiple myeloma (MM) accounts for approximately 1% of all cancers and 10% of all hematologic malignant disorders. MM occurs slightly more often in men than in women, and it is twice as common in African American persons compared with white persons. The median age at diagnosis is approximately 65 years. Although MM is incurable, several treatments are available, and the last two decades have seen great progress in understanding the biology and treatment of MM. Pharmacologic agents approved over the last 15 years for the treatment of MM have markedly improved patient outcomes. In 2015, the FDA approved four novel agents—panobinostat, ixazomib, elotuzumab, and daratumumab—for the treatment of relapsed MM, potentially offering the hope of improved survival. Read more.

Diabetes in Long-Term-Care and Skilled Nursing Facilities

As the number of elderly people in the United States continues to rise, an increasing proportion of older adults will develop diabetes and will need long-term or skilled care. In early 2016, the American Diabetes Association issued a position statement on the management of diabetes in long-term-care and skilled nursing facilities. This statement provides recommendations for the general approach to care; goals and strategies for glycemic control; diabetes management during transitions of care and end of life; and suggestions for integration of diabetes management into long-term-care facilities. Pharmacists can play an active role in each of these areas in order to help optimize glycemic control in their patients. Read more.

Medication Therapy Management in the News

Common Features of Children With Difficult-to-Control Asthma

A new study underscores how differently children with asthma can respond to treatment, with some pediatric patients showing no improvement despite adherence to intensive, guideline-based treatment. Read more.

Acute Exacerbations Linked to Lung Function Loss in Mild COPD Patients

Results of new research indicates that those with mild COPD (GOLD 1) experienced the greatest FEV1 following acute exacerbations, and that each severe exacerbation was associated in that group with an additional 87-mL/year decline. Read more

Poor, Less-Educated Depression Patients Fail to Receive Timely Treatment

Results of a study published online by JAMA Internal Medicine indicate that respondents who screened positive for depression were more likely to be in the lowest income group; to be separated, divorced, or widowed; have public health insurance; or have less than a high school education. Read more.

Pharmacist-Directed Care Tripled Number of Patients Reaching Cholesterol Goals

According to a new Canadian study published in the Canadian Pharmacists Journal, patients’ cholesterol levels also dropped farther than for others who were given only test results, a pamphlet, and usual care. Read more.