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Pharmacy: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
Which 5 Companies Dominate the Health Insurance...
Five companies dominate the healthcare insurance field. Here's some information about them.
9 Top Responsibilities of a Pharmacist
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.
5 Largest Pharmacy Benefit Managers
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.
Tips for Helping Patients Choose Medicare Part...
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 do Pharmacy Billing
Pharmacy billing is very dependent on technology, but it's vital to understand the process.
What Are Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients, or...
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.
What Is Medical Marijuana?
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.
Over-The-Counter Medicines (OTC Medicines)
Over-the-counter medicines (OTC medicines) are available without a prescription but are regulated by the FDA
Medicare and Drug Compounding
Unless otherwise specified, Medicare Part B covers compounded drugs administered in hospitals and long-term care facilities.
7 Essential Interview Questions for Pharmacy...
Seven Essential Interview Subjects for Pharmacists
When Is It OK to Import a Prescription Drug...
Patients living in the United States can only obtain medications for personal use from suppliers based outside the country if they satisfy strict criteria.
Controlled Substances: What DEA and State Drug...
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.
Drug Compounding 101
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.
What Is Nonsterile Drug Compounding?
Nonsterile drug compounding is the millennia-old practice of preparing specific medication doses for patients to drink, swallow, insert or apply to the skin.
Pharmacist Immunizers Fill an Essential Public...
Pharmacists can help prevent disease by offering vaccination services to patients.
Why and How to Become a Pharmacist Certified...
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.
A Quick Overview of Medicare and Medicaid
A Quick Overview of Medicare and Medicaid, including the differences between the two plans
How to Earn Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation
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.
A Quick Introduction to Pharmacy Malpractice...
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.
7 Ways the Hatch-Waxman Act Changed the Field
The Hatch-Waxman Act changed the playing field for branded and generic drugs.
Pharmacy Merchandising Strategy
How to best display items in your drug store to boost sales
How to Plan and Prepare for an Emergency...
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.
The FDA Drug Approval Process
How Branded, Generic and OTC Drugs are approved for the U.S. market
What Is Medication Therapy Management?
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.
Internet Pharmacy FAQs: 5 Frequently Asked...
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.
How To Deal With Health Insurance Companies
Learning how to deal with health insurance companies can make a pharmacist's day run much more smoothly.
Working in a Long-Term Care Pharmacy
Working in a long-term care facility is more clinical than a traditional pharmacy.
Brand Name Drugs
Branded drugs drive innovation in the drug industry
How Are OTC Drug Ads Regulated? Does It Matter?
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.
Indian Generic Companies
Companies are seeing great success in the U.S.
A quick rundown of pharmacy system software
A quick rundown of pharmacy system software
PBM, Medicare and Medicaid Reimbursement Terms,...
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.
Drug Compounding
Compounding is practiced typically in specialty pharmacies but can be practiced anywhere. Here's the basic information about it.
Working in a Compounding Pharmacy
Compounding drugs is a specialized niche of pharmacy
What Are Generic Drugs?
Generic drugs are a more affordable way for Americans to get their medication. But what are they?
What Is the Strategic National Stockpile?
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.
How Does FDA Regulate Drug Compounding by...
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.
Generic Drug Trends: Are We Headed for an...
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.
What Obamacare Means for Community Pharmacists
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.
What the Obamacare Health Insurance Rules Mean...
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.
Pharmacy Technology: The Future Is Now for...
Pharmacy technology is making life easier and faster for pharmacists, pharmacies and patients.
Working in a Hospital Pharmacy
Working as a hospital pharmacist means less contact with patients and working closelye with doctors
Electronic Prescribing
Electronic prescribing frees up pharmacists' time and improve patient safety.
How to Incorporate Homeopathy and Nutrition...
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.
Biogeneric Drugs
Biogeneric drugs are generic versions of biologic drugs but they remain controversial.
How to Prevent Thefts From Pharmacies
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.
Homeopathic Medicine: Why All The Controversy?
Homeopathic medicine is controversial but many prefer it over traditional drugs.
Sterile Compounding Guidelines: Standards,...
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
Cross-Merchandising Done Right
Combining items increases sales and basket size
What Obamacare Means for Health-System...
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.
Pharmacists' Conscience Rights: When Is It OK...
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.
Authorized Generics: The Lowdown
Authorized generics are controversial. Here's a rundown of what they are.
How to Prevent Drug Compounding Errors
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.
Where Do Pharmacists Practice?
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.
Cultivating Excellent Patient Relationships
Cultivating excellent patient relationships will likely give you customers for life.
What Do Drug Side Effect Terms Mean? Part 5,...
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.
What Are Dietary Supplements and How Are They...
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.
Biosimilars and Obamacare: A Role for...
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.
Pharmacist Among 15 Arrested for Oxycodone...
Narcotic painkillers were illegaly obtained with forged orders and resold on the black market, according to the state attorney general.
ACOs -- Accountable Care Organizations
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.
Maintaining Good Physician Relationships
Pharmacists deal with doctors all day long. Here's how to make you're maintaining good physician relationships.
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)
RFID is an important tool to keep the drug supply system safe for patients
Why and How to Become a Certified Pharmacy...
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.
The Food & Drug Administration
The FDA's Mission and Roles. Pharmacy.
DMEPOS 101 for Pharmacists, Pharmacy Technician...
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.
What Do Drug Side Effect Terms Mean? Part 4,...
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.
Working in Chain Pharmacy
Working for grocery chain Supervalu, Amir Masood is a residency preceptor, a clinical specialist, and a clinical point person.
What Do Drug Side Effect Terms Mean? Part 3,...
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.
What Do Drug Side Effect Terms Mean? Part 2,...
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.
Pharmacy Continuing Education is Vital
What You Need To Know About Pharmacy Continuing Education
Medical Homes -- aka, Health Homes
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.
U.S. National Pharmacy Associations, Part 2
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.

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