Pharmacy

Preoperative Opioid Use Predicts Post-Surgical Chronic Pain

SEATTLE – The most important predictor of chronic postoperative pain after elective knee arthroscopy is preoperative opioid use, according to a single-center retrospective study. Background information in the study, published recently in the journal Anesthesia & Analgesia, notes that chronic… Read More

Legislators Decry Delays in VA/DoD Medical Record Interoperability

Legislators Decry Delays in VA/DoD Medical Record Interoperability

WASHINGTON – After years of assurances that the project is on track, the VA and DoD still struggle to make their emergency medical records interoperable

Military Pharmacies Expand e-Prescribing Option to Civilian Providers

Military Pharmacies Expand e-Prescribing Option to Civilian Providers

By Annette M. Boyle FALLS CHURCH, VA – A recent expansion of e-prescribing at all military treatment facility (MTF) pharmacies brings them in line with their civilian counterparts by allowing them to accept electronic prescriptions from providers located off-base. “This… Read More

Issue Raised: Should TRICARE Be Replaced by Commercial Insurance?

Issue Raised: Should TRICARE Be Replaced by Commercial Insurance?

WASHINGTON – DoD should replace TRICARE with a selection of commercial insurance plans, similar to the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, a recent report suggested.

COPD, Asthma or Both? Navigating Landmines in Correct Diagnosis, Treatment

COPD, Asthma or Both? Navigating Landmines in Correct Diagnosis, Treatment

By Annette M. Boyle CHICAGO – Your patient presents with wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath. Is it asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or both? The diagnosis and decision about treatment are not so simple, however. In fact, they… Read More

Pharmacist Role Expanded with Success in Managing Polypharmacy Patients

Pharmacist Role Expanded with Success in Managing Polypharmacy Patients

FALLS CHURCH, VA – The DoD has successfully reversed a trend toward increased use of opioids by engaging pharmacists in oversight and management of polypharmacy patients in Warrior Transition Units.

New Law Ups Prices of Prescription Drugs for Some DoD Beneficiaries

New Law Ups Prices of Prescription Drugs for Some DoD Beneficiaries

WASHINGTON – A new law puts into place a $3 increase this year for all prescription copays for non-active duty DoD beneficiaries except for mail order generic drugs, while leaving the question of further increases in future years still in play.

December 2014 Focus

In this Issue: Focus on HIV-HCV New Treatments Offer More Options, Fewer Side Effects for HIV-Infected Veterans Despite High Costs, VA Makes Sure Veterans Have Access to Newest HCV Drugs Pharmacy Update Partnerships, Drive-Throughs Seek to Increase Veterans’ Flu Immunization… Read More

November 2014 Focus

In this Issue: Focus on Oncology Increasing Cancer Treatment Delays Have Plagued VAMCs for Nearly a Decade Male Breast Cancer at the VA Rarer Than the Female Disease, but More Deadly Pharmacy Update Training Program Prepares Military Pharmacy Techs for… Read More

Defense Health Agency: Good First Year, Challenges Ahead

Defense Health Agency: Good First Year, Challenges Ahead

By, USAF, director, Defense Health Agency We just completed a remarkable first year in the Defense Health Agency.  In December, you will all be receiving our first Annual Report on what we have accomplished, and where we are headed in… Read More

Senate Committee Chairman Decries High Costs for Potential HCV Cure

Senate Committee Chairman Decries High Costs for Potential HCV Cure

VA Suggests High Price Could Be Offset Future Savings

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

Canakinumab Is Option for Patients Intolerant of Other Therapy

SAN DIEGO – Treating gouty arthritis is problematic in patients who have contraindications for, or are unresponsive or intolerant of, nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or colchicine. A new study has found, however, that canakinumab (CAN), a selective, fully human, anti-IL-1β… Read More

Midterm Elections, Planned Retirements Prompt Key Committee Changes

Midterm Elections, Planned Retirements Prompt Key Committee Changes

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON – The November midterm election results that strengthened Republican control of Congress, coupled with planned retirements, will mean significant changes for key committees working on military and VA issues when Congress returns in January. Among those… Read More

October 2014 Focus

In this Issue: Focus on Oncology Increasing Cancer Treatment Delays Have Plagued VAMCs for Nearly a Decade Male Breast Cancer at the VA Rarer Than the Female Disease, but More Deadly Pharmacy Update Training Program Prepares Military Pharmacy Techs for… Read More

September 2014 Focus

In this Issue: Focus on Pain Telecare Program Effectively Manages Pain, Reduces Opioid Use in VA Patients Research Finds Unexpectedly High Rates of Pain, Opioid Use in Recently Deployed Soldiers Pharmacy Update Statins Reduce Barrett‘s Esophagus; Cancer Precursor Affects About… Read More

Federal Healthcare Timeline

  1964 S. Medicine publishes its first issue. The new Naval Station Hospital Saigon receives the first American combat casualties directly from the Vietnam War. 1965 A U.S. Marine Corps Hawk air defense missile battalion is deployed to Da Nang,… Read More

Discharge to Deployment: Military Diabetes Management Changes Over 50 Years

Discharge to Deployment: Military Diabetes Management Changes Over 50 Years

By Annette M. Boyle WASHINGTON – In 1964, a diagnosis of diabetes led to immediate discharge from the Army. Today, soldiers with well-managed diabetes can continue to have long and successful military careers. “With the increased understanding of diabetes and… Read More

Training Program Prepares Military Pharmacy Techs for Assignment Anywhere

Training Program Prepares Military Pharmacy Techs for Assignment Anywhere

SAN ANTONIO – A newly minted Navy pharmacy technician could find herself working alone on a ship with no pharmacist within hundreds of miles. Daunting?