Pharmacy: Most Popular Articles
Five companies dominate the healthcare insurance field. Here's some information about them.
Pharmacist do much more than fill prescriptions. To help patients treat disease and maintain their health, pharmacists also counsel, recommend dietary supplements and lifestyle changes like eating better, manage pharmacy staff, confirm orders from doctors, deal with insurers, keep records and share their medication therapy expertise with other health care providers.
Seven Essential Interview Subjects for Pharmacists
Pharmacies in only a handful of states are allowed to sell medical marijuana, but there are moves afoot to change the laws in others.Here's a rundown of what medical marijuana is.
Federal and state governments restrict the prescribing, dispensing and use of drugs that can cause addiction, be abused for nonmedical purposes and cause potentially fatal side effects. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration maintains a list of controlled substances divided in five categories, and each state has a separate schedule that often differs from the one DEA publishes. Pharmacists and prescribers must have DEA licenses to work with controlled drugs.
Very large pharmacy benefits management companies cover prescription drugs for more than 50% of Americans with health insurance. This list includes basic facts about the five largest PBMs as measured by covered lives and prescription volumes.
Pharmacy billing is very dependent on technology, but it's vital to understand the process.
Also known as bulk pharmaceuticals, active pharmaceutical ingredients, or APIs, make prescription and over-the-counter drugs work. Chemical plants in China and India produce nearly half of all APIs used around the world, meaning U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulators and officials from similar agencies can face challenges in ensuring quality and safety. A drug's generic name matches the name of its API.
The Hatch-Waxman Act changed the playing field for branded and generic drugs.
Unless otherwise specified, Medicare Part B covers compounded drugs administered in hospitals and long-term care facilities.
Pharmacists can help prevent disease by offering vaccination services to patients.
Drug compounding is typically practiced in specialty pharmacies, and is a throwback to the old days of pharmacy. Here's the low-down on what it involves.
Nonsterile drug compounding is the millennia-old practice of preparing specific medication doses for patients to drink, swallow, insert or apply to the skin.
Patients living in the United States can only obtain medications for personal use from suppliers based outside the country if they satisfy strict criteria.
Changes to how community pharmacists handle Medicaid claims, DMEPOS sales and providing medication therapy management services are coming with the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Every Medicare beneficiary has the option to change his or her Part D prescription drug plan each year. Pharmacists, especially those practicing in community and long-term care pharmacies, should be prepared to help seniors and adults with permanent disabilities find and judge PDP information. Pharmacists do need to keep in mind that they can cannot recommend one plan over another to a patient.
How to best display items in your drug store to boost sales
Earning certified pharmacy technician status can be required by some employers and in some states. Qualifying as a CPhT requires passing an exam, than completing at least 20 hours of continuing pharmacy education. Becoming and staying certified can help pharmacy technicians advance in their careers and demonstrates to other members of the pharmacy profession that a paraprofessional has advanced knowledge, skills and abilities for helping to operate a health care practice and meet the medication needs of patients.
Working as a hospital pharmacist means less contact with patients and working closelye with doctors
Medication therapy management (MTM) helps save lives because pharmacists work closely with patients to ensure they comply with taking their medication and ensure there are no drug interactions.
Giving a patient a prescription drug other than the one prescribed, administering an incorrect dose of medication or incorrectly counseling patient on how to take a drug can make a pharmacist, student pharmacist or pharmacy technician liable for pharmacy malpractice. Carrying individual professional liability insurance can keep a pharmacy practitioner from losing everything in a civil lawsuit stemming from a medication error.
Health care improvement provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act focus on managing medication therapy to reduce hospital and long-term care admissions, prevent medication errors, and keep readmissions to a minimum. Programs developed to accomplish these goals call for health-system pharmacists' skills.
Compounding is practiced typically in specialty pharmacies but can be practiced anywhere. Here's the basic information about it.
Working in a long-term care facility is more clinical than a traditional pharmacy.
Companies are seeing great success in the U.S.
Over-the-counter medicines (OTC medicines) are available without a prescription but are regulated by the FDA
How Branded, Generic and OTC Drugs are approved for the U.S. market
Pharmacists deal with doctors all day long. Here's how to make you're maintaining good physician relationships.
Preventing the theft of money and medications from pharmacies in chain, retail, hospital, clinic and mail-service setting requires a combination of physical security features, software programs and personnel interventions. Federally controlled substances such as Schedule II narcotic painkillers are particularly prone to be targeted during armed robberies committed by addicts. This article points to pharmacy safety checklists, pharmacy software resources and information on how to conduct criminal background checks and pre-employment reference checks.
A nutritionist working with pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in an independent pharmacy and a PharmD pharmacist who developed an integrative consultant practice share their insights on meeting patients' growing need for complementary and alternative medicine services.
Branded drugs drive innovation in the drug industry
Biogeneric drugs are generic versions of biologic drugs but they remain controversial.
Patients, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians can understandably get lost trying to understand all the essential information in U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved prescription drug prescribing information package inserts and medication guides. The scientific terminology and technical medical language used often does more to confuse than educate users and health care providers about side effects and adverse events. This multipart mini glossary presents plain English definitions of words and phrases frequently used in describing problems medications can cause. The complete National Library of Medicine medical dictionary is also linked.
What health insurance companies, pharmacy benefits managers, Medicare and Medicaid pay pharmacies, hospitals, clinics and long-term care facilities for prescription drugs dispensed and administered to beneficiaries varies according to the formulas the health care programs use to calculate the wholesale and retail prices for drug products. Those calculations are named average manufacturer price, average sale price, average wholesale price, federal upper limit, maximum allowable cost, wholesale acquisition cost and widely available market price. Dispensing fees reflecting the costs of doing business and providing patient care and counseling are added to product cost estimates to yield pharmacy reimbursement rates.
Chain and independent community pharmacies supply many patients with durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and supplies. These health care products range from blood glucose meters to shoes for people with diabetes and from wheelchairs to contact lenses for people with cataracts. Billing private insurance companies, Medicare and Medicaid for DMEPOS presents challenges for pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and clerks.
Patients, doctors, nurses, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians can all find the language used in drug labeling confusing and confounding. Warnings and lists of side effects in prescribing information and on packages are essentially useless if no one understands them. This goes double for U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved medication guides. Knowing what the medical and technical terms mean in plain English helps everyone use medications safely and with the best health effects. To cut through the fog, I've created this glossary of adverse reaction names and terminology. I have also linked to the National Library of Medicine's official medical dictionary.
A Quick Overview of Medicare and Medicaid, including the differences between the two plans
With cases of diabetes doubling since 1995, patients find themselves in steadily increasing need of individual attention from health care providers such as pharmacists who have the knowledge and skills to help them manage their diet, exercise, weight and blood glucose levels. Earning a certified diabetes educator certification requires pharmacists to demonstrate their ability and commitment to providing such care.
As businesses and essential links in the health care response system following natural disasters, terror attacks and pandemics, community, hospital and other types of pharmacies must have well-developed emergency plans. Those plans must account for pharmacists', student pharmacists', pharmacy technicians' and sales clerks' safety while also laying out a path for business continuity. Multiple resources and guides for business emergency planning in general, and for pharmacy in particular, are available.
Generic drugs are a more affordable way for Americans to get their medication. But what are they?
Eight leading pharmacy organizations established the Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board in 2006 to certify the qualifications and quality of drug compounding practices in the United States. Earning PCAB accreditation requires a pharmacy to pass an on-site inspection every three years by demonstrating that all of its pharmacists, interns and pharmacy technicians have the proper training and certifications; that the facility is properly constructed and equipped to ensure sterility; and that all active pharmaceutical ingredients meet the highest standards for potency and purity.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authority to regulate pharmacies and pharmacists that prepare compounded medications. The rules regarding whether pharmacy-made compounded drugs must be approved by the agency and labeled in accordance with FDA regulations differ from those enforced for pharmaceutical manufacturers, however. A key distinction between a compounding pharmacy and a drugmaker is scale, but federal laws do not set a numerical value on how many customized dosage forms a pharmacy can prepare.
Homeopathic medicine is controversial but many prefer it over traditional drugs.
Prescription drug coverage is listed among 10 essential health benefits required for health insurance plans certified as meeting standards established by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. Each insurance plan must cover at least one medication in each of the 50 drug categories defined by the U.S. Pharmacopeia, as well as at least one drug in each medication category’s classes and formulary divisions. Patients can begin purchasing coverage through web-based health insurance exchange in October 2013, and nearly all Americans must have some health insurance from a private provider, the government or their employer by Jan. 1, 2014.
Electronic prescribing frees up pharmacists' time and improve patient safety.
RFID is an important tool to keep the drug supply system safe for patients
Pharmacy technology is making life easier and faster for pharmacists, pharmacies and patients.
Compounding drugs is a specialized niche of pharmacy
Dietary supplements such as vitamins, mineral, herbals, botanicals and enzymes are regulated, but not approved as safe and effective, by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Supplement makers must comply with a federal law known as DSHEA, which bars the inclusion of medication in product formulations and making explicit health claims for products.
What You Need To Know About Pharmacy Continuing Education
A quick rundown of pharmacy system software
Get links and information about pharmacy professional and educational organizations, including AMCP, ACPE, AACP, AAPS, ACCP, AIHP, ASCP, BPS, ISMP, NASPA, NABP, NCPDP, PTCB and SNPhA. Links to to affiliated health care organizations for doctors, nurses, hospitals and drugmakers are also included.
Language used in prescribing information package inserts and medication guides for U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved prescription drugs can be confusing for patients, doctors, nurses, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. This glossary of medical terms provides plain English definitions of words and phrases frequently used to identify drug side effects and adverse events. A link to the medical dictionary maintained by the National Library of Medicine is included.
Technical terms for drug side effects can be difficult for patients, doctors, nurses, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to understand. Having straightforward definitions can help people stay safe while realizing the greatest benefits from medications. To help make the meanings for warnings and lists of side effects included on prescription drug package inserts and medication guides for U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved drugs clearer, I’ve put together this selected glossary of terms used to name adverse reactions. I have also linked to the medical dictionary used by the National Library of Medicine.
Conscience issues most often come up in pharmacies in relation to filling and dispensing prescriptions for emergency contraceptives like Plan B (levongestrel from Teva Women's Health Care). Pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and student pharmacists may have moral, ethical or religious reasons for refusing to fill prescription orders, and conscience clause laws and policies exists in many places to protect those pharmacy practitioners' rights. Patients should never be left with no way to obtain a legally prescribed medication, however.
Companies that market over-the-counter drugs tend to include fewer warning in advertising than do prescription drug manufacturers. OTC drugmakers can omit side effects information because the Federal Trade Commission, rather than the Food and Drug Administration, regulates ads for nonprescription medications. The FTC applies less stringent regulations than FDA. Trade groups have developed voluntary OTC drug advertising regulations, but patients', pharmacists' and pharmacy technicians' best resource for accurate, unbiased OTC information is the FDA-mandated Drug Facts label.
Preventing medication errors involving compounded drugs requires pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to pay close attention at every step of the prescription drug ordering, dosage preparation, dispensing and usage processes. Guidelines have been developed by pharmacy professionals, doctors, nurses, regulators and patient advocates on how to identify and address potential problems that can create compounding mistakes. Also, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration maintain lists of inherently unsafe drugs that should never be used by compounding pharmacies.
Authorized generics are controversial. Here's a rundown of what they are.
Cultivating excellent patient relationships will likely give you customers for life.
Patients who look to save money or circumvent prescription requirements by going online to buy drugs risk their health and break the law. Legitimate online pharmacies exist and can be identified by the Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites logo. VIPPS websites require prescription orders and operate in compliance with federal and state laws regulating mail service pharmacies.
The most significant associations for pharmacists to consider
Accountable Care Organizations, a new patient care model created under Obamacare for Medicare beneficiaries, can bring together doctors, pharmacists and other health care providers to collaborate and coordinate services.
Learning how to deal with health insurance companies can make a pharmacist's day run much more smoothly.
Utilization of generic prescription medications in the United States has grown steadily since adoption of the Hatch-Waxman Act in 1984 eased the requirements for getting unbranded follow-on small-molecule drugs approved by FDA. Subsequent changes in regulations and heath insurance program, especially to Medicaid and Medicare, have driven officials, doctors, pharmacists and patients to prefer generics over brand name drugs. A pathway now exists for licensing biosimilar products.
Established under federal law in 2006 for Medicare beneficiaries, medical homes are identified in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 as a model for doctors, pharmacists and counselors to provide coordinated and collaborative health care for chronically ill Medicaid beneficiaries. CMS officials generally refer to medical homes as health homes in regulations and guidance.
An independent pharmacy is often at the heart of a community. Here's what running one entails.
Narcotic painkillers were illegaly obtained with forged orders and resold on the black market, according to the state attorney general.
Prescription drug package inserts and medication guides for U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved drugs often include language that does more to confuse patients, doctors, nurses, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians than to educate medication users. Defining words and phrases frequently used to identify drug side effects and adverse events in simple English is essential. Additional terminology can be found through a link to the National Library of Medicine’s medical dictionary.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention maintains the Strategic National Stockpile with funding from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The SNS includes prescription drugs, OTC medications and surgical and other medical supplies needed to treat victims of natural disasters, pandemics and terrorist attacks. Extensive federal and state training is required for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians who work with the stockpile, who are often members of the National Guard or a National Pharmacy Response Team organized under the National Disaster Medical System.
Acts of terrorism, disease epidemics and natural disasters can create massive needs for health care services. Pharmacists, student pharmacists and pharmacy technicians from community, educational, hospital and federal practice settings can step up to meet those needs in many ways. Three basic opportunities for pharmacy practitioners to serve as first responders include signing up with Rx Response, volunteering for a National Pharmacy Response Team and serving as a U.S. Public Health Service or military pharmacist, intern or technician.
Working for grocery chain Supervalu, Amir Masood is a residency preceptor, a clinical specialist, and a clinical point person.
Central fill is pharmacy software that most pharmacies should look at using
Pharmacists have essential roles to play in ensuring patients get the greatest health benefits from biosimilars and that insurers realize the greatest savings with follow-on biologics.
Pharmacists practice in chains, independent stores, hospitals and military clinics, as well in nursing homes, medical marijuana dispensaries and prescription mail-order fulfillment facilities. What pharmacists do in each practice setting varies from simple medication dispensing to counseling patients and compounding dosages.
Keeping contaminants such as fungi and bacteria out of compounded medications requires using specialized equipment and following strict guidelines for preparing, assaying and storing customized dosage forms. The most comprehensive guidelines for sterile compounding are spelled out in a U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention document titled USP 797
Follow these tips to conduct a good, fair pharmacy job interview and find the perfect candidate for your job.
The FDA's Mission and Roles. Pharmacy.
Combining items increases sales and basket size
Checking references is vital when hiring a new employee
Student pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacists have professional organizations that represent their interests, provide educational opportunities and offer chances to connect with their colleagues in their home countries and around the world.
Stocking medicines, food and supplies ranging from batteries to blankets, community pharmacies make perfect places for people to stock up on the materials they will need in the event of natural disasters or emergencies that leaves them without electricity or access to grocery stores and hospitals for days or weeks. Pharmacists also need to make sure their patients have complete and up-to-date medication records and sufficient supplies of prescription drugs.
The medication, which will be marketed by Shionogi Inc., acts like estrogen in women's bodies, strenghtening and triggering lubrication of vaginal tissues.
Kynamro (mipomersen sodium) injection from Genzyme and Isis joins Aegerion's Juxtapid (lomitapide) as recently approved medications specifically indicated to treat homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia.
Massachusetts pharmacists and pharmacy technicians could need new specialty licenses to prepare sterile customized dosage forms.