Medication-related problems (MRPs) can be a significant patient safety risk, particularly in hospitalized patients. One method used to minimize this safety concern is through medication reconciliation, or the process of documentation of a patient’s outpatient medication list at the time of hospital admission. Medication reconciliation can be performed by any trained health care professional (i.e. nurses, pharmacy technicians, physicians, etc.), however improved patient safety outcomes have been demonstrated when pharmacists perform this process.
Spiraling drug costs, drug shortages, and increasingly complex and demanding regulations are making the intravenous (IV) services business more challenging than ever. Pharmacies providing IV compounding must comply with USP 797 (and soon USP 800) and state compounding regulations requiring detailed documentation. The financial impact is obvious. Increased workloads often have required staff additions. USP 797 regulations have prompted costly remodeling to provide buffer rooms and ante rooms.
Every patient’s condition and specific needs are different. Whether it’s due to an allergy, need for a special dosing, or just a lack of success with traditional options, often a personalized medication approach is the only solution that can provide effective treatment.
The cost and time commitment to develop new drugs has increased significantly over the last few decades. A variety of factors come into play, but on average, in terms of total expenditures, it has taken from $3 to $5 billion and up to 15 years to bring a new drug to market. Even after all that time and money, with challenging regulatory requirements and other factors, the odds of a new compound making it from the lab to the pharmacy are miniscule. The chance for a new drug to make it to market is a sobering 1 in 5000.
The management of bladder cancer represents one of the most costly and underestimated challenges in the oncology spectrum. Despite having the 6th highest incidence of any cancer in the United States, high recurrence rates and the need to constantly monitor patients act as the primary drivers for the high expenditures associated with the disease.
When vaccines eradicate illnesses (eg, smallpox), life is grand. However, when eradication is impossible (eg, pneumococcus), what is the goal of vaccination? The most essential vaccine function is to reduce the number and/or severity of infections.
Patients across the country continue to feel the impact of critical prescription drug shortages. As formulary managers understand, an integrated approach to solving shortages, involving all supply chain stakeholders, can have a profound effect on mitigating the impact of shortages on patients.
Assessing the clinical utility of diagnostic testing has always been a complicated undertaking. And as new genetic tests enter the equation, that complexity will only increase. To examine the issues surrounding clinical utility, I’d like to share a quick story.