Pharmacy

Army Turns to NCOs to Combat Obesity, Related Issues, in Soldiers

Army Turns to NCOs to Combat Obesity, Related Issues, in Soldiers

While the vast majority of soldiers maintain healthy weights, bad habits developed during deployment and on military bases follow them after retiring from the Army. In fact, more than 70% of veterans end up overweight. To combat that trend, the… 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%.

Vitamin D3 Supplementation Improves Outcomes, Limits Costs in IBD

JOHNSON CITY, TN — The use of a vitamin D3 supplement not only improved outcomes in veterans with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) to a greater extent than a vitamin D2 formulation but also was better in limiting healthcare costs and… Read More

March 2014 Focus

In this Issue: News Update FDA Reviewing Low-T Therapy After Second Study Shows CV Issues Focus on COPD/Asthma Obstructive Sleep Apnea Significantly Increases Risk of Severe Asthma Bronchial Thermoplasty Brings Long-Term Relief to Severe Asthmatics Pharmacy Update VA Pharmacy Reengineering… Read More

February 2014 Focus

In this Issue: News Update DNA Used to Predict Amputee’s Pain Levels Focus on Cardiology VA, Army Clinicians Rapidly Increase Prescribing of Novel Anticoagulants Female Veterans Develop CVD Risk Factors at Younger Ages Pharmacy Update Greater Pharmacist Intervention Tested to… Read More

January 2014 Focus

In this Issue: News Update Army Announces Warrior Transition Unit Changes Focus on Obesity Leaner Fighting Forces Might Mean Slim Pickings for Recruiters New Formulary Drugs Promote Weight Loss, Reduce Diabetes Pharmacy Update Pharmacist Monitoring Increases Veteran Adherence to ACS… Read More

Lifestyle Changes, New Drugs Promising Tools for COPD at DoD, VA

Lifestyle Changes, New Drugs Promising Tools for COPD at DoD, VA

SEATTLE — In pursuit of the twin goals of COPD treatment — maintaining maximum lung function and improving quality of life — military and VA clinicians customize a mix of therapies that range from recently approved medications to time-tested exercise.… Read More

Spirometry Touted as Best Way to Accurately Diagnose COPD

Spirometry Touted as Best Way to Accurately Diagnose COPD

Test Results Also Valuable in Inspiring Smoking Cessation SEATTLE — Spirometry remains the only recognized method of definitively diagnosing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, but nearly two-thirds of patients with a COPD diagnosis have never had the test, according to VA… Read More

COPD Diagnosis/Staging Changed With New Global Guidelines

COPD Diagnosis/Staging Changed With New Global Guidelines

Update Expected for VA/DoD Later This Year By Annette M. Boyle BETHESDA, MD — The leading guidelines for diagnosis and management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) include significant new recommendations this year that promise to alter the way the… Read More

Repercussions of High Military Smoking Rates Affect Health Systems

Repercussions of High Military Smoking Rates Affect Health Systems

WASHINGTON – The U.S. military’s love affair with tobacco may be officially over, but the federal healthcare system is still dealing with the aftermath, especially chronic conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The DoD now has an intense… 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

Prescriptions for ‘Low T’ Therapy Vary Substantially Across VHA

Prescriptions for ‘Low T’ Therapy Vary Substantially Across VHA

Study Questions Whether Guidelines Are Being Followed By Annette M. Boyle EAST ORANGE, NJ — Across the VHA, more than 85,000 men receive testosterone supplementation therapy. The likelihood that any particular patient would be prescribed the steroid hormone, however, varies… Read More

FY 2015 Budget Seeks to Merge Three TRICARE Plans to Save DoD Costs

FY 2015 Budget Seeks to Merge Three TRICARE Plans to Save DoD Costs

WASHINGTON — In a highly controversial proposal, President Barack Obama’s FY 2015 budget request recommends merging three TRICARE health plans for those under 65 — Prime, Standard and Extra — into a “single, modernized health plan.”

Study: VA Clinicians Should Consider Antibiotic Risks Before Prescribing

Study: VA Clinicians Should Consider Antibiotic Risks Before Prescribing

By Brenda L. Mooney COLUMBIA, SC — Veterans prescribed amoxicillin over a nearly 13-year period were less likely to be diagnosed with potentially fatal heart rhythms than those using either azithromycin or levofloxacin, according to new research. The study, published… Read More

Public Health Service Pharmacy 2014: Embracing Leadership

Public Health Service Pharmacy 2014: Embracing Leadership

By Rear Adm.Scott F. Giberson Acting Deputy Surgeon General U.S. Public Health Service For well over 200 years, the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) flag has flown side-by-side with our fellow uniformed service members.  As we look forward to opportunities… 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

Lithium Has Few Adverse Effects in MS; Benefits Inconsistent

BIRMINGHAM, AL — Veterans with multiple sclerosis who were treated with lithium (Li) had few adverse events, but a consistent effect on their disease was not apparent, according to a review led by researchers from the Birmingham, AL, VAMC. The… Read More

Nurse Officer Helps Lead Team Effort Amid Arctic 'Baby Boom'

Nurse Officer Helps Lead Team Effort Amid Arctic ‘Baby Boom’

FORT WAINWRIGHT, AK — Bassett Army Community Hospital’s (BACH) Arctic Baby Boom team received Army Medicine’s Wolf Pack Award for the third quarter of 2013.

Greater Pharmacist Intervention Tested to Increase Anticoagulant Adherence Rates

Greater Pharmacist Intervention Tested to Increase Anticoagulant Adherence Rates

By Annette M. Boyle PALO ALTO, CA — Medication is only effective if taken, yet how to make sure patients maintain adherence with anticoagulants and many other long-term medications for chronic diseases poses one of the greatest dilemmas for healthcare… Read More