The Spectrum marketing team recently had a discussion about summer planning around key dates, vacations and visions of the beach. This brought up the surfing film Endless Summer. In the 1966 cult classic, the camera follows two surfers in search of the perfect wave. Since it’s always summer somewhere, the ambitious surfers travel around the world, hoping for the next big wave just over the horizon. It wasn’t lost on us how their quest is a metaphor for life and for business, and we just can’t get the beach out of our heads. We had to share our thoughts with our pharmacy customers, and how they may apply the theme to their practices.
The week of May 6-12, 2018 is both National Pet Week and Be Kind to Animals Week. What better tribute to all the many creatures than to educate our audience about veterinary health care. Compounded veterinary medications provide unique benefits and advantages over traditional pre-made medications like oral tablets and liquids. Of course, compounding for animals also presents unique challenges and concerns.
I mean, they’re cute and everything… but why does Spectrum Pharmacy Products send ducks to our customers? Because we’ve got our ducks in a row, so to speak. It’s a metaphor. Or a simile. Or an idiom – yeah that’s it. We looked it up. It’s definitely an idiom.
So what does having our “ducks in a row” mean?
Here is the textbook definition:
"...to have one's ducks in a row.” (verb phrase, idiom) - To be fully prepared; to be organized; to DO one's HOMEWORK.
National Pharmacist Day is recognized by several national and state pharmacy organizations. It honors and recognizes the important role that pharmacists play in healthcare.
Pharmacists’ role in healthcare has evolved over centuries and significantly changed over the past 30 years. Before WW II, pharmacists compounded most medications that they dispensed pursuant to a physician’s prescription or order. After WW II, pharmacists performed the more familiar and traditional “lick and stick” pharmacy – counting tablets and capsules or measuring liquids, putting them in properly labeled prescription bottles, and counseling the patients about the use and storage.
It is flu season again and time to immunize. Unfortunately the flu vaccine is not like other vaccines, such as the MMR or dTAP, because a new vaccine has to be developed on an annual basis because the virus constantly mutates. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), quadrivalent and trivalent influenza vaccines will be available for the 2017-2018 season. Inactive influenza vaccines (IIVs) will be available in trivalent (IIV3) and quadrivalent (IIV4) formulations. Recombinant influenza vaccine (RIV) will also be available in trivalent (RIV3) and quadivalent (RIV4) formulations. Live attenuated vaccine (LAIV4), also known as FluMist®, is not recommended this year due to concerns of effectiveness; however, there are no recommended preferences between the different injectable products. This season the vaccine viruses include an A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus, an A/HongKong/4801/2014 (H3N2)-like virus, and a B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus (Victoria lineage). Additionally the quadrivalent influenza vaccines contain aa B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus.[i] Despite popular belief in the general population, no one can get the flu from an inactivated influenza vaccine. The vaccine only covers the respiratory-type of influenza, not the “stomach flu”.
The art of pharmacy has been practiced for centuries and it is truly one of the oldest professions. According to the University of the Pacific Academy of Student Pharmacists, pharmacy and the treatment with drugs goes back to about 2600 B.C. in Babylonia and it has evolved into one of the most trusted and respected professions. The doctors and healers used to compound medicines for their patients, but starting in the late 1600s, apothecarists (the old term for pharmacists) started to compound medicines and created a variety of different medicines and tonics touted to cure different ailments. Most medicines were actually compounded by pharmacists until World War II when more drug manufacturers were started.
Only 5% to 10% of breast cancers are genetically linked or “runs in the family”. Most cancers are “sporadic” meaning there is no genetic connection to developing the disease. Some risk factors can be reduced or avoided with changes in lifestyle and habits: sedentary, poor diet, obesity, frequent alcohol consumption, and hormone replacement therapy. The following risk factors cannot be avoided or changed:
The USP standards generally outline characteristics of a quality assurance program, but really do not specifically go into detail or requirements for a program. The pharmacist has the professional discretion to create a quality assurance program for his or her practice site. According to the USP<797>1, characteristics of a QA program include the following:
There is growing clinical interest in the coenzyme Q10 and its health benefits either as a supplement or in its natural state. Also known as CoQ10, this coenzyme is a natural antioxidant synthesized by our bodies and found in almost all cell membranes. These antioxidants are responsible for removing free radicals from our bodies that can damage cells and contribute to aging, as well as heart disease, cancer, and other health problems.
Physicians who perform certain procedures or minor surgical procedures are currently in a crisis and patients are having difficulty getting the treatment or care that they need. The ACA, commonly known as “Obama Care” cannot take the fall for this one. Since the Drug Quality and Security Act (DQSA) was implemented, the FDA has taken the stance that “for office use” compounding should not and cannot be done by 503A pharmacies. Even though several state boards of pharmacy allow pharmacies to compound for office use, pharmacy owners are choosing not to do it anymore because of the risk of being inspected by the FDA. The FDA is attempting to prevent sterile medications from being compounded by pharmacies that may not be following standards leading to the preparation and dispensing of contaminated preparations. The action by the FDA may be having the opposite effect than the Agency is intending to have.