November/December 2008, Vol 1, No 9

The way physicians order medications for patients has not changed for more than a century. New technologies, including electronic prescribing (e-prescribing), make the handwritten prescription seem like an archaic link to the past.

The use of generic drugs is one of the key drivers of value in the pharmacy benefit today. Both drug benefit plan sponsors and beneficiaries realize cost-savings by increasing the use of generic drugs when medically appropriate. On average, generic drugs cost 30% to 80% less than their brand-name counterparts.1 It is important for plan sponsors and plan beneficiaries to understand the safety and efficacy of generic drugs, as well as the potential cost-savings.

F. Randy Vogenberg: There have been attempts to look at large claim databases (eg, WellPoint's) of patients receiving erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs). News about the cutback on ESA use was accompanied by reports about the rise in the number of transfusions. At the same time, articles published in pharmacy and hospital journals were advocating the use of ESAs to avoid transfusions. So, the message is mixed. What people are doing in an inventory environment is not the same as what they are doing in an institutional inpatient environment.

The Clinical and Economic Complexity of Biologics

Adherence to medications is essential for patients with chronic disease for optimizing clinical outcomes. When used appropriately, medication is a very cost-effective method for treatment and prevention of disease. Patients who fail to take their medications as prescribed do not get the full benefit from the drugs, and they may also end up with unnecessary hospitalizations, emergency department visits, and nursing home admissions. Cost-effective, scalable interventions are essential to reduce nonadherence.

Efficient Automated Call System Improves Adherence, but What about Net Costs?

Talk is swirling around Washington as to who may replace Dr Andrew C. von Eschenbach at the helm of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). One well-known blogger has even begun a voting contest where readers can choose from several candidates for FDA Commissioner and cast a vote. There is little question that the policy environment is pregnant with change, but in most cases, it is quite possibly less important who is appointed rather than what the changes may entail.

Several antithrombotic drugs in late-stage development were featured at the 2008 Scientific Sessions of the American Heart Association (AHA).

A number of new specialty products are in late stages of development, said Deborah B. Cooper, PharmD, Clinical Advisor, Pipeline Series, CVS/Caremark, at the 2008 educational conference of the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy. Specialty products comprise 49% of new chemical compounds currently in phase 3 and 55% of the phase 3 ambulatory care agents. The 53 new specialty drugs slated for launch in 2008-2009 are for these categories (several products are included in more than 1 category):

Real-world data on a new therapy and a userfriendly assessment tool to evaluate real-world studies facilitate formulary and reimbursement decisions, said Diana Brixner, PhD, RPh, Professor and Chair, Department of Pharmacotherapy, and Executive Director, Pharmacy Outcomes Research Center, University of Utah, at the 2008 educational conference of the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy.

Cardiovascular (CV) disease (CVD) is the leading cause of mortality and one of the leading causes of disability worldwide.1 In the United States alone, more than 80 million adults have at least one type of CVD, with hypertension, coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke, and heart failure among the most common forms of the disease. Elevated levels of cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia) and abnormal lipid profiles (dyslipidemia) are important risk factors for CVD.

Experts Debate Meaning of JUPITER for Clinical Practice

Whether Americans are flocking overseas for medical care remains a question. One estimate put the number at 150,000 in 2006,1 jumping to 750,000 in 2007.2 Nevertheless, the popular press continues to devote articles to this phenomenon that may very well be creating the market.

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