Study: Common Medication Given for PTSD Has No Benefit

WASHINGTON — An antipsychotic medication commonly used by VA to treat combat-related PTSD has been found to have no discernible benefit. Patients taking the drug risperidone (Risperdal) did no better than those taking a placebo, according to a recent VA-run… Read More

InnoVAtions: Colorful 19th Century Drug Found Effective for Eczema at Atlanta VAMC

WASHINGTON — Gentian violet (pronounced jen-shen) is not a compound familiar to most modern medical practitioners. Developed in the middle of the 19th century, this combination of pararosanilines used as a component in dyes was eventually discovered to have antiseptic… Read More

GAO: Lack of Information on Inpatient Antibiotic Use Hampers Resistance Monitoring

WASHINGTON — Despite widespread warnings by federal health agencies about the dangers of antibiotic resistance, there are significant gaps in how HHS monitors those infections, according to the Government Accountability Office. A report released by GAO last month questions whether… Read More

San Diego VA Pharmacy Service Leads the Way in Fast-Emerging Field of Pharmacogenomics

Last year marked the 10th anniversary of the first draft of the human genome, which was officially completed in 2003 with the mapping of 3.1 billion base pairs. This project, conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy and the NIH,… Read More

Despite Success in Managing Warfarin Usage, VA’s Anticoagulation Units’ Role Likely to Change With New Drugs

Some 148,000 patients in the VA system receive anticoagulation therapy to prevent and treat cardiac disease, stroke and deep vein thrombosis (DVT), but the primary anticoagulation drug, Warfarin, which has been in use since the 1950s, is complex to manage,… Read More

How Long Before Early Adoption of Insulin Becomes Rule Instead of Exception for Difficult to Control Type 2 Diabetes?

Improved glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes is grounded in lifestyle modifications and pharmacologic therapy. Whether to introduce insulin early as a pharmacotherapy for patients with type 2 diabetes is a question that doesn’t have an easy, pat… Read More

New Self-Assessment Tool Helps Physicians Monitor HIV Medication Adherence

When it comes to treatment adherence, HIV is far from the easiest disease to manage. The sheer number of medications, combined with the precision with which they must be taken, can stymie patients and physicians alike. While this fact has… Read More

Although Herpes Zoster Rates Have Nearly Doubled in VA, Vaccination Levels Remain Extremely Low

The incidence of herpes zoster (shingles) in veterans seeking care at VA hospitals continues its steady increase, rising even since a 2010 report documented a near doubling of the rate using VHA Decision Support System data from 2000 to 2007.… Read More

US Army Pharmacy

Col. Carol W. Labadie MS USA is Pharmacy Program Manager and Pharmacy Consultant to the Army Surgeon General. Pharmacy today is an exciting, challenging profession, and Army Pharmacy is no exception. Uniformed and civilian Army pharmacists and technicians provide world-class… Read More

DoD Budget Proposal Addresses Growing Health Care Costs

WASHINGTON, DC—The president proposed a $672 billion budget for DoD for FY2012 that includes a base budget of $553 billion and $117.8 billion to support overseas contingency operations, primarily in Afghanistan and Iraq. The budget includes $52.5 billion for the… Read More

Pharmaceutical Solutions Lag Behind Growth in Childhood Obesity

BETHESDA, MD—With the continuing rise in the rates of diabetes and obesity, researchers are exerting more and more effort to find a viable pharmaceutical treatment to combat weight gain. The pediatric population is especially at risk. Obesity in children and… Read More

US Air Force Pharmacy

The Pharmacy Consultant to the Air Force Surgeon General advises Air Force Medical Service (AFMS) leadership and staff regarding pharmacy related issues. In my additional role as the Associate Corps Chief for Pharmacy, I serve on various selection boards and… Read More

Pharmacogenomic Advances Result in Label Changes Decades after Approval

BETHESDA, MD—Even drugs that have been on the market for years, sometimes decades, are not immune from reexamination and relabeling brought about by new scientific discoveries. In the field of pharmacogenomics especially, new opportunities are presenting themselves to use new… Read More

FDA Looking to Impact Preventable Medication Harm

SILVER SPRING, MD—“Patient safety is the primary responsibility of everyone who is involved in the healthcare system.” That is the philosophy that underlies FDA’s Safe Use Initiative and what Janet Woodcock, MD, director of the Center for Drug Evaluation and… Read More

NIH Plans Expansion of Pharmacogenomics Database

BETHESDA, MD—To help advance research on how genes affect responses to medicines, NIH is spending $15 million over five years to expand the Pharmacogenomics Knowledge Base (PharmGKB). Begun in 2000 to catalog links between human genetic variation and drug responses,… Read More

FDA Adverse Event Reporting, Analysis Being Reviewed

ROCKVILLE, MD—“One of the things the public has problems dealing with is uncertainty and building science around that uncertainty,” declared Jesse Goodman, MD, FDA’s science chief, at a recent meeting of the FDA Science Board. “We’ve seen a lot of… Read More

Telepharmacy Brings Navy Pharmacists to Remote Sites

WASHINGTON, DC—Navy patients in remote locations are expected to have greater access to pharmacists as a result of a telepharmacy system that the Navy is using. The Navy is in the midst of deploying Telepharmacy, a system developed by ScriptPro,… Read More

IHS Pharmacy Utilizes Initiatives to Boost Efficiency and Patient Safety

WASHINGTON, DC—Receiving medications by mail rather than waiting in line for them is one of the benefits of a new pharmacy initiative piloted by IHS and VA. IHS has recently partnered with VA to pilot an IHS-VA Consolidated Mail Outpatient… Read More

As Role of Pharmacist Evolves, Expands, VA Challenged to Fill Positions

WASHINGTON, DC—What does a pharmacist working in a VA hospital look like? Twenty years ago, that person would likely have been male, have entered the VA system with a baccalaureate degree, and spent much of their time behind a counter… Read More

FDA Recommitting to Regulatory Science

BETHESDA, MD—Efforts in basic science at FDA have, in recent years, been “underappreciated, under resourced, and underfunded,” even though they are an essential component of the agency, FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, MD told the members of FDA’s Science Board at… Read More