Pharmacy

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

VHA Seeks to Expand Telepharmacy’s Reach in 2014

By Sandra Calenda, PharmD, CACP; Chasitie Levesque, PharmD; Julie Groppi PharmD, CDE; Helen Kasimatis, PharmD; Donna Leslie, PharmD History of Telepharmacy The Veterans Health Administration (VHA), the largest integrated healthcare system in the United States, focuses on patient centered &… Read More

VA, Army Clinicians Rapidly Increase Prescribing of Novel Anticoagulants

VA, Army Clinicians Rapidly Increase Prescribing of Novel Anticoagulants

WASHINGTON — Use of novel anticoagulants has risen sharply both at the VA and in the Army in the last three years, freeing more atrial fibrillation patients from food restrictions and regular checks for coagulation time, as required when using warfarin.

Pharmacist Monitoring Increases Veteran Adherence to ACS Therapy

Pharmacist Monitoring Increases Veteran Adherence to ACS Therapy

DENVER — Personalized attention from a pharmacist increases medication adherence in patients to nearly 90% in the year following hospitalization for acute coronary syndrome (ACS), according to a recent study.

Few HIV Patients at VA Reduce Risks by Achieving Undetectable Viral Loads

By Annette M. Boyle Jeffery McCombs, PhD LOS ANGELES — While achieving undetectable viral loads reduces the risk of death associated with hepatitis C by 45% and other adverse liver-related complications by 27%, only 4% of eligible patients in a… Read More

Uniformed Pharmacists Take Half of Next Generation Pharmacist Awards

By Annette M. Boyle LAS VEGAS, NV — Of the 30 finalists in this year’s Next Generation Pharmacist awards, 30% worked in military or public health pharmacies, the strongest representation seen in the awards program. Even more telling, uniformed pharmacists… Read More

First-in-Class Product Approved for Rosacea-Caused Facial Redness

FT. WORTH, TX — The first treatment for facial erythema in adults caused by rosacea has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Galderma Laboratories announced the approval of Mirvaso (brimonidine) topical gel, 0.33%* for the topical treatment of… Read More

Expanded Options Available for Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer Treatment

SUMMIT, NJ — The approved uses of Abraxane — paclitaxel protein-bound particles for injectable suspension, albumin-bound — have been expanded by the Food and Drug Administration to treat patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer in late stages. “Patients with pancreatic cancer… Read More

New Therapy Approved for Adults Suffering Major Depressive Disorder

DEERFIELD, IL — Brintellix (vortioxetine) has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat adults with major depressive disorder (MDD). “Major depressive disorder can be disabling and can keep a person from functioning normally,” said Mitchell Mathis, MD,… Read More