Pharmacy

Danger of Pneumonia Increases with Veterans’ Worsened Health Status

Danger of Pneumonia Increases with Veterans’ Worsened Health Status

Higher Pneumonia Vaccine Rates Urged By Brenda L. Mooney PROVIDENCE, RI – With influenza season each year comes an even greater challenge for VA hospitals — a spate of pneumonia cases in older veterans. Recent research suggests the problem will… Read More

Partnerships, Drive-Throughs Seek to Increase Veterans’ Flu Immunization

Partnerships, Drive-Throughs Seek to Increase Veterans’ Flu Immunization

Free Shots Available at Walgreen’s Locations By Annette M. Boyle SAN FRANCISCO – The VA typically has influenza vaccination rates well above the national average but is trying some innovative measures to do even better. As part of the effort to increase immunizations,… Read More

Mortality Rates Drop Dramatically with Wider Use of Anticoagulants

Mortality Rates Drop Dramatically with Wider Use of Anticoagulants

New Formulations Might Be More Effective By Annette M. Boyle BETHESDA, MD – In the last 50 years, the use of anticoagulants has transformed mortality rates for deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism (PE) and atrial fibrillation, and new anticoagulants… Read More

Statins Reduce Barrett’s Esophagus; Cancer Precursor Affects About 10% of Veterans

Statins Reduce Barrett’s Esophagus; Cancer Precursor Affects About 10% of Veterans

By Annette M. Boyle BETHESDA, MD – Veterans on statins have another good reason to continue to take their medication, according to new research. Statins not only reduce cholesterol, combat cardiovascular disease and potentially reduce the risk of prostate cancer,… Read More

Azithromycin Saves Lives of Older Pneumonia Patients Despite Cardiac Risks

Azithromycin Saves Lives of Older Pneumonia Patients Despite Cardiac Risks

By Brenda L. Mooney DALLAS – The suspected link between azithromycin and an increased incidence of cardiovascular events was borne out in a recent VA study of veterans hospitalized with pneumonia, but that was only part of the story: The… Read More

Milwaukee VA Develops Reversal Protocol for Novel Oral Anticoagulants

Milwaukee VA Develops Reversal Protocol for Novel Oral Anticoagulants

By Annette M. Boyle MILWAUKEE – Many patients prefer the devil they know. When asked whether they want to go on or switch to a novel oral anticoagulant (NOAC) that requires little monitoring, has few drug-drug or food interactions, appears… Read More

Full Cycle Automation Increases Safety at Military, Other Federal Pharmacies

Full Cycle Automation Increases Safety at Military, Other Federal Pharmacies

By Annette M. Boyle
TAMPA ‑ What price safety?

Rare Lymphoma Challenges VA Clinicians from Diagnosis to Treatment

Rare Lymphoma Challenges VA Clinicians from Diagnosis to Treatment

An estimated 5-10% of all cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) diagnosed each year occurs in veterans treated by the VA. The cancer, classified as presumptively caused by Agent Orange exposure, is notoriously difficult to diagnose and often tricky to treat. That… Read More

Gene Sequencing Helps Target Therapies for Metastatic Breast Cancer

Gene Sequencing Helps Target Therapies for Metastatic Breast Cancer

By Annette M. Boyle DURHAM, NC — Women initially diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer have only a 23% overall five-year survival rate — and will spend most of their lives battling their cancer with a series of chemotherapies that might… Read More

Consolidated Pharmacy Services in New DHA to Save $2B by 2019

Consolidated Pharmacy Services in New DHA to Save $2B by 2019

WASHINGTON — The consolidation of 10 functions that have been performed separately by the Army, Navy and Air Force under the Defense Health Agency is projected to save $2 billion by 2019.

New VA Initiative Seeks to Reduce Opioid Use

New VA Initiative Seeks to Reduce Opioid Use

MINNEAPOLIS — A new initiative to reduce the use of opioids at the VA already is demonstrating some success at eight launch sites in Minnesota, where high-dose use of the painkillers has been reduced more than 50%.

Approval of Topamax for Migraines Extended to Adolescents

TITUSVILLE, NJ — Food and Drug Administration approval of Topamax (topiramate) for migraine headaches prophylaxis has been extended to adolescents ages 12 to 17. It was the first FDA approval of a drug for migraine prevention in this age group.… Read More

New Treatment Option Approved for Leishmaniasis; Affects U.S. Troops

MONTREAL — The Food and Drug Administration has approved Impavido, for the tropical disease leishmaniasis, which has plagued U.S. troops deployed to areas such as Iraq. Leishmaniasis is caused by Leishmania, a parasite which is transmitted to humans through sand… Read More

FDA Approves Otezla for Active Psoriatic Arthritis

SUMMIT, NJ — Clinicians have a new tool in their arsenal to treat active psoriatic arthritis. The Food and Drug Administration recently approved Otezla (apremilast) to treat adults with active psoriatic arthritis (PsA). The drug is marketed by Celgene Corporation,… Read More

VA’s Mail-Order Pharmacy Ranked Top in Nation – Again

VA’s Mail-Order Pharmacy Ranked Top in Nation – Again

Highest Customer Satisfaction for Fourth Year in A Row By Annette M. Boyle MILWAUKEE — For the fourth year in a row, the VA’s Consolidated Mail Outpatient Pharmacy (CMOP) received the highest customer satisfaction score among the nation’s public and… Read More

Marketing Allowed for First TENS Device to Prevent Migraines

WASHINGTON — For the first time, the Food and Drug Administration is allowing marketing of a device as a preventive treatment for migraine headaches. The transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) device, marketed as Cefaly, also is the first to be… Read More

FDA Approves Another Lower-Dose NSAID for Moderate Pain Control

PHILADELPHIA — A new nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) was recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of mild to moderate pain in adults. Iroko Pharmaceuticals, LLC, announced that its product Tivorbex was approved in 20 mg… Read More

FDA: Use Doripenem Cautiously in Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia

WASHINGTON — Label changes on Doribax (doripenem), an antibacterial drug used to treat ventilator-associated pneumonia, have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA said the drug carries an increased risk of death and lower clinical cure rates… Read More

VA Pharmacy Reengineering Project Plagued by Ongoing Problems

VA Pharmacy Reengineering Project Plagued by Ongoing Problems

By Annette M. Boyle WASHINGTON — Originally launched in March 2003 and restarted in October 2009, the Pharmacy Reengineering (PRE) software development project continues to miss deadlines, stumble in deployment and suffer from project management failures. That’s according to a… Read More

First Gel Approved for Sealing Corneal Incision in Cataract Surgery

BEDFORD, MA — The first gel sealant has been approved to stop leaking fluid through the corneal incision after cataract surgery with intraocular lens placement. Until the Food and Drug Administration approved the ReSure Sealant Kit,  stitches were the only… Read More