Do You Inhale?



Over the past few years, a multitude of new inhalation devices that are not your standard point-and-press inhalers have come into the market. 
 
They all involve some patented form of twisting, clicking, or loading than can appear quite complicated to the first time user.
 
Please visit this link to read the entire article.



Thanks
Steve

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Who's Looking At The Whole Picture? "Medication Therapy Management"



How many medications do you or your loved ones take?  Are they all necessary?  Do any interact with each other, and what about all those added dietary supplements?  Is there any one individual looking at the entire picture?


Thanks
Steve

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Opioid Abuse Counseling Tips


The rise in prescription narcotic abuse coupled with the increase in heroin use has more than doubled the drug overdose death rate in the United States over the past 10 years. On any given day, it is possible that a pharmacist is dispensing an opiate to a patient who has never taken this category of medication before. Did this patient receive appropriate pharmacist counseling, or was he or she handed the prescription and sent on his or her way?  Opioid abuse is a national epidemic, but there are many tools that pharmacists have to help decrease this problem on an individual level.

7 Ways Pharmacists Can Counsel Against Opioid Abuse



Thanks
Steve

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Potentially Inappropriate Meds In The Elderly



The American Geriatric Society recently updated the Beers Criteria for potentially inappropriate medications in the elderly.  Quite a few changes were added.  This article summarizes the new changes.


Thanks
Steve

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Medications In Pregnancy



With more than 6 million pregnancies in the United States each year, health care providers require accurate and up-to-date information on the risks associated with prescribing medications to pregnant patients and breastfeeding infants.  Take a moment and read the entire article.


Thanks
Steve
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Counterfeit Xanax Causes Deadly Outcome



Two young men from Santa Cruz County, California, recently died after ingesting what they thought was Xanax. These 2 separate incidents follow 3 very similar deaths of men in San Francisco who appear to have died from ingesting what they also assumed was Xanax.

Read the entire article:


Thanks
Steve

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The Greatest Pharmacists Never Known



Over my nearly 3 decades of pharmacy practice, I have worked with some of the greatest pharmacists never known.    Each and every one of them has influenced my practice in ways I never expected. For American Pharmacists Month, I would like to take a few moments to thank the following pharmacists:

Take a moment to read the article:

Thanks
Steve

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Understanding Neurogenic Rosacea



Every day, patients come into the pharmacy with questions about specific medications or disease states. Usually, I am able to discuss the specific situation with some level of confidence. But now and again, a question comes along that requires a bit of research. Today, I had one of those questions. 

Take a moment to read the article to understand what it is all about.


Thanks
Steve

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Introducing Our New Logo



Same elements, easy to recognize, and perhaps not quite as scary!

The "Bowl of Hygeia" is a recognized symbol of pharmacy that originated in Greek mythology. Hygeia was the daughter and assistant of Aesculapius, the god of Medicine and Healing. The classic symbol of Hygeia is a bowl containing medicinal potion with the Serpent of Wisdom guarding it. The Pharmacy Scales are a more recent symbol of pharmacy and healing.
The Bowl of Hygeia, the Serpent of Wisdom and the Pharmacy Scales combine to provide a symbol that depicts a balanced and unwavering understanding of healing through medication.

Thanks
Steve

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What Do You Do When Opiates Fail?



Similar to psychiatry, dermatology, cardiology, and any other medical specialties, the treatment of chronic pain is a specialty practice. When opiate failure occurs in the primary care setting, patients would do well to be referred to a pain specialist.



Thanks
Steve

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Pharmacists; Is MTM Certification Necessary?


I understand the basic premise of MTM, but taking the time to fully understand it from start to finish was an eye-opening experience.  Take a moment and read the full article.

Thanks
Steve

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5 Rules of Antibiotic Therapy



Follow these 5 simple rules to optimize your antibiotic treatment cycle.



Thanks,
Steve

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Babies Born Addicted


The significant increase in both illicit and prescription opiate use is a topic we read about almost daily. What we don't read about are the neonates who unknowingly participate in their mothers' narcotic intake.

Please take a moment and read the article:


Thanks
Steve

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Do Pharmacists Ever Retire?


After searching through workforce data bases, I could not locate a specific number depicting which percentage of pharmacists continue to practice after they retire, but my instinct tells me that it is much higher than most professions.
Read the entire article:

Thanks, Steve
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Medication Adherence Tool



NURSES * PHARMACISTS * CARE-GIVERS * STUDENTS * DOCTORS

Here is an incredibly simple "Non-Tech" medication adherence tool.  Take a moment to read the article and then save the Personal Medication Record TEMPLATE to your computer to use as often as you like.


Thanks
Steve

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Hospice Care Medication Counseling


One of the most difficult situations practicing community pharmacists face is counseling family members about hospice medications for their loved ones. Such counseling requires not only medication information, but also compassion and empathy.

Please take a moment and read the full article:

Thanks
Steve

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Managing Medications with PillPack and AudibleRx

I recently had a conversation with a representative from a company called PillPack.  In my opinion, PillPack is the Community Pharmacy of Online Pharmacies.  They offer a wonderful service for patients who need assistance organizing their doses.  We have the good fortune of posting a guest blog from a representative of PillPack here on the AudibleRx blog page.

The number of individuals diagnosed with diabetes is growing exponentially in the United States and abroad. There are different kinds of diabetes – Type 1 and Type 2 are the most well known, but there’s also monogenic diabetes, which is rarer but still affects many.  As an individual recently diagnosed with diabetes becomes accustomed to their new lifestyle, there are many different aspects that need to be taken into account.

One of the scariest aspects of diabetes is that if it’s left untreated, or if it’s not treated properly, it can lead to lots of other conditions and complications. This can include things like blindness, kidney failure, or even heart disease.

As a result, the medicines can quickly add up for some people who have diabetes, especially if they have any of these other health problems. This can be especially problematic for many people who are older and may have age-related problems that they need to take medicine for. Making sure they’re taking the right medications on the right days and at the right times can be both stressful and potentially dangerous.

Recently I learned about a new online pharmacy called PillPack that is helping people make sure they receive the right medications at the right times. Instead of just handing over a bunch of bottles of medicine for you to figure out on your own, they separate the pills you need to take at one time into individual packets. It really makes the process of managing multiple medications a lot simpler than if you had to do it all on your own.

According to their website, they send two weeks’ worth of medication at a time. Each packet can be torn off and opened when the time comes. It’s also easy to plan ahead for things like trips and vacations so you can bring the right dosages along with you.  They also have the ability to ship things other than pills.  For diabetes users who have insulin pen needs, PillPack can include refrigerated items that are taken as needed along with your other medicines.

Each of the medications included with the pack includes written instructions, the same as if you were given the medication at your local pharmacy.  PillPack would be an great tool to pair with AudibleRx to further simplify the process of medicine management.  Too often, patients do not take the time to read over the paper handouts, either because they are not willing or unable.  AudibleRx will be able to play to both of these concerns by bringing to light the potential dangers that come with each drug.  This not only gives important, potentially life saving, information but also empowers the individual to form clear, educated questions to bring back to their health care provider or PillPack’s support team.

PillPack works with most major insurance companies, including Medicare Part D. They also handle all of the communication between your doctor and insurance companies, including following up to get information about refills and new prescriptions before your supply runs out. There’s no additional cost for having your medicine shipped to you through PillPack.

Overall, pairing PillPack and AudibleRx is an amazing way to make sure you’re getting the medication you need at the right time, safely – whether you have diabetes or some other disease or condition that might require daily pills or other medicines.


Thanks

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Pharmacists Are Not Just Mere Sellers

Our former Intern at AudibleRx, Luka, is now a professional pharmacist practicing in London.  We have the good fortune of hearing from Luka now and again.  Here is a guest blog Luka submitted the other day expressing his views on medication counseling.

It was a nice day. Windy with some sunny spells, nice 21 degrees C which translates into 70 degrees F. After living in UK for 5 months, I am well accustomed to this kind of weather. I decided to check my Facebook page to see what is going on around the world and with the people I hold dear and whom I left behind in my home country. In one of many posts loaded into my news feed, I discovered that a brand new machine which is able to dispense popular consumer products had been installed in Ljubljana recently. There is a progress to be seen in my country after all! Anyway, I decided to read the comments as they are a good reflection of what people think. Surprisingly, I discovered that they reflect people’s ignorance as well.

There was a specific comment which caught my attention: “O krasno - ta avtomat se zagotovo ne bo ob vsakem mojem nakupu "vsiljivo posvetoval" z mano tako kot se vsakič prodajalka v lekarni.” This can be roughly translated as “Oh great - this machine will for sure not “intrusively consult”  me like a salesperson does in a pharmacy every time.”

Let me express that I, as a pharmacist, am deeply offended by this word. Sellers. I am sorry but we underwent extensive educational programme and trainings to be able to handle, consult and serve patients and consumers the best and most efficient way possible. Of course I do not take this personally. I still believe that the problem is lack of proper education. Since I like educating people, this represents a challenge which I will try to overcome.

It is a fact that pharmacists are not just mere sellers. Employees who work in a pharmacy are Masters or Doctors of Pharmacy and Pharmacy Technicians. You can refer to us as a pharmacist too. We will not be offended if you left out Master or Doctor (at least I would not be). Yes, you are right, of course we do sell stuff but please do not refer to us as sellers. Our purpose is so much more than just selling.

Have you ever asked yourself why a pharmacist “bothers” you with all those questions or have you ever thought of why such long queues in pharmacies? We want to know if there is anything which might interfere with you medications. We try to understand why you you need medications you have bought as there might be an underlying health problem. We want to make sure you know how to use your medications properly.

If you do not want to speak to us, that is perfectly fine, you can easily decline counselling. We do not force you into anything. However, I strongly advise you to listen to your pharmacist as they know the medications you have just received. They will be able to give you the best advice on how to use your newly prescribed medications to achieve the best possible outcome.

I like to say that I cannot be taken aback by anything as I  like to think that I know how things are nowadays. Yet, everyday situations (like this one) continue to prove me how wrong I am. This is partially great as I love to educate people on things I am passionate about. Being a pharmacist is one of them. So please, the next time when you go fill your prescriptions or just get anything else from the pharmacy, remember that we are not just mere sellers. We are so much more and we are here for you.


 Thanks Luka!



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Depression and Senior Citizens


Without a basic understanding of brain chemistry, many Senior Citizens will take their anti-depressant medication for 2-3 days then throw them out!  Read this for a simple explanation of what's happening.


Thanks
Steve

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Non-Dispensing Pharmacist Opportunities


Medication Therapy Management, Health Information Technology, Vaccinations, Prescription Counseling, Readmission Consulting: Many opportunities exist for the enterprising Pharmacist.  


Thanks
Steve

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Nurses and Patient Medication Education



Someday, it could be common place for every patient to have a medication therapy management session with a pharmacist prior to discharge. Until then, pharmacists need to support and thank nurses for their efforts on the front lines of patient medication education.


Thanks
Steve

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Pharmacist of the 21st Century


Shortly after my graduation I was fortunate enough to get a job relatively quickly. I wished that I would get my first job opportunity somewhere outside of my home country, abroad. My wish came true and I traveled to London, where I have been working at a pharmaceutical company for almost four months now. A couple of weeks ago, I got this wonderful opportunity to participate at the European Pharmaceutical Students Association (EPSA) Annual Congress which took place in Toulouse, France. Since I had never been on a business trip, an idea of it was quite exciting and unnerving at the same time.

So I embarked on a 2 days long business trip to an unknown territory. I had never been to France before. Do you know all those stereotypes about how bad French people are in English? I expect no one to be perfect in it but since I do not speak French, English represent a language in which I try to communicate. The stereotype proved to be partially true. The first minute I set my foot outside of the airport I felt completely lost. New country, new language and English absolutely nowhere to be found. Nada. However, I managed to find my way around the city.


Let me emphasize that Toulouse is a gorgeous city! Thankfully, I had enough time on the first day to walk through the city. I was accommodated in the city center so I had an easy access to different landmarks. 

High technology has been changing the pharmacy profession in many ways and will continue to do so in the future. That was the key message I wanted to deliver to students at the European Pharmaceutical Students Association (EPSA) Annual Congress, which took place in Toulouse, France, which I attended last month as a Pharmaceutical Company representative.

Technology constantly evolves. For example, a computer you buy today might already be obsolete tomorrow. It has impacted many areas and pharmacy is no different. The point of it is to make pharmacy services even better, more efficient and patient tailored. With all the data within our reach, we as pharmacists are able to provide the patients with the best advice possible, tailored to a certain individual and medication counseling with only one purpose – to achieve the best possible outcome.

We have seen various wearable devices already on the market. Their purpose now is so much than just measuring time. They consist of different sensors, which may measure your pulse, blood pressure and different parameters of physiological and health functions. These are stored in their memory, making it available later for a user to review. That information, known as electronic health records, along with online pharmacy services (anytime purchase), location-based marketing and loyalty programs (personalization) will have an impact on logistics, services and consumer behavior. All of that will inevitably have an impact on pharmacists. One might wonder how will pharmacy work around all those advancements? Will they be its doom or an opportunity? Personally, I believe it will be the latter.

A lot of things mentioned are not really new and have been around for a quite some time. For example, Apple has just launched a new Apple Watch and it is not the first of its kind in the field of wearable technology. What exactly does this term refer to? All electronic technologies or computers that are incorporated into items of clothing and/or accessories which can be comfortably worn on the body, such as glasses, watches, clothing and jewelry. Principally, we already have a technology ready. People can look at a variety of different health conditions and monitor them. Diagnostics and condition monitoring are going to be a big thing for a pharmacy. Patients will be able to gather all the data on their current condition, let’s say their blood pressure and glucose level, using a smart watch or an app on their phone. They will be able to download and share it with their doctors or pharmacists. Patients may also get an insight into their behavior such as exercises they do and how have those affected their health. Apple’s Health App would be a good example.

Personalization is all about consumers. Some pharmacy chains are personalizing their programs depending on what consumer buys, just like the groceries stores do at the moment. Those programs are being executed in Boots chain pharmacies in the UK but that’s going to happen even more. How we see the pharmacy in the future changing is that a pharmacy will be the first point of call for all our healthcare needs. So for example if you’ve got a high blood pressure you would probably go to the pharmacy first because the GP is someone who might become more and more exclusive. Therefore, a variety of different services have been offered in pharmacies to offer a patient an advice on some core health care conditions like blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, asthma etc.

What are the other trends, which have impacted pharmacies already? Personalized programs have been mentioned earlier which have been present in different stores and pharmacy is no exception. This is particularly interesting for prescriptions. Pharmacies have different programs in place and in one of those you actually get rewarded for filling in your prescription. This is happening in the UK and US at the moment. Also, personalized medication delivery to patients’ home exists.

Another example would be augmented experience which is a fantastic technology being used in many different areas. I was fortunate enough to go to the Shopper Science Lab facility, which is being used to track shoppers’ behavior. They have a mockup pharmacy store set up (among many other things) and they perform studies to better understand consumers’ behavior and how different things impact our behavior and attract us when shopping. I was able to participate in an experiment, which included high technology goggles. Wearing them I would go from shelf to shelf and they would capture my eye movements, where I looked etc. and sent all the data to the system for researches to make sense out of it afterwards. They could also be used to deliver all the relevant information to the consumer regarding medications, helping them review dosage instructions, identify medications, or even for a targeted advertisements.

Almost everyone has an access to the Internet nowadays. We know that digital has increased transparency and patient/shopper access to information. The information is easily accessible. The question here is, what kind of information? Is the information relevant and correct? Do patients have enough knowledge to critically process and filter the information they read on certain drugs? Where was the information obtained? People love to turn to different communities (blogs) found on Internet to read about experience other people have had with a certain product. A vast majority of information they receive that way might be biased and incorrect. We as pharmacists would want to channel all that information into the right areas. However, if it were available through different blogs and communities, we would want to make sure that it is the right information available. How can we as a pharmacists influence this? AudibleRx would be a perfect example of a service, which provides relevant and useful information for the patients in a form of audio recordings on specific medications and blog. The information is double checked and critically filtered by a doctor of pharmacy for the patients to use.

Anytime Purchase is also the future. Even small pharmacies in the UK and US have their own online stores. Some services have even been shifted on-line; a patient completes the online form and based on a result, they are said to see GP or the pharmacy sends them prescription products. If you have a severe acne condition for example and you do not feel comfortable going to the pharmacy, you might just send a photo and pharmacist would provide you with a product judging by the photo and questionnaire you filled in.


Technology is one of the areas, which evolves every single day. There are lots of benefits and potential pitfalls. Yes, you might be able to do everything from the comfort of your home but we need to consider that nothing will ever replace face-to-face conversation. For the end, I strongly urge everyone to double check the information they acquire through their browsing with their respective pharmacist or doctor. We have knowledge available and are here for you to help you the best way possible.

Thank you Luka and Best of Luck with your new employment!
Steve

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Patient Claims Generics Don't Work


Are generic medications really the same as the associated brand name medication?  Please read this article to understand the similarity and differences.


Thanks
Steve

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How to Choose a Community Pharmacy (step-by-step tool)



Many patients have been lulled into the reasoning that in order to get a prescription filled, they need to stop by the most conveniently located big-box pharmacy, and for no reason other than convenience, they continue to frequent the same pharmacy.

Read the Step-By-Step tool for choosing a Community Pharmacy:


Thanks
Steve

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New Hope for Multiple Sclerosis Treatment


Recently, a study showed promise with two commonly prescribed medications. It is exciting to think that one of these two medications may provide the key to treating MS.  Please, take a moment to click on the link and read the article.


Thanks
Steve

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Do You Think You Are Ready To Grow Old?



AudibleRx was recently invited to participate in a national survey to help define how prepared Americans are when it comes to aging.  As it tuns out, Americans are not prepared to grow old!  Please, take a moment and review this well organized and written discussion.



Thanks
Steve

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Mandatory Vaccination Bill SB-277



Take a moment and read the article to see what the California Vaccination Bill SB-277 is all about.


Thanks
Steve

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Nurse-Pharmacist Relationships


In addition to routine follow-up with physicians regarding appropriate medication considerations for patients, they commonly interface with the laboratory and microbiology team to discuss a patient's electrolyte, hematology, or culture results. Importantly, health-system pharmacists interact with pharmacy technicians all day long to assure timely, accurate, and efficient acquisition, preparation, and distribution of medications to every corner of the hospital.   But, above all, nurses are health-system pharmacists' team members in patient care.

Please click the link to read the article:

Thanks
Steve
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Emotional Pain Relief and Acetaminophen



Has increased usage of Acetaminophen over the past 50 years contributed to the Emotional Unavailability of the adult population?  Click the link and read the 60 second post, then SHARE with your peers.


Thanks
Steve

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Dangerous Insulin


U-500 insulin orders should always be considered a red flag and handled with the greatest attention to detail. Pharmacists need to take extra time with patients and nursing staff to ensure everyone understands the dosing considerations when measuring and administering this concentrated form of insulin.

Please read this article to understand the warnings.

Thanks
Steve

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Life-Saving Family Care; What is our role?


We need to preemptively understand how our values and priorities exist within our health care practice setting. Do we want to be a health care provider for our family, or would we rather help our family receive appropriate care while we stand by their sides, comforting and advocating for them?
Please take a moment to click on and read the article:


Thanks
Steve

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Medication Therapy Management



As stated by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services:

Requirements for Medication Therapy Management Programs (MTMP):  Part D sponsors must have established a MTM program that, including other factors, also includes the following:
  • Ensures optimum therapeutic outcomes for targeted beneficiaries through improved medication use
  • Reduces the risk of adverse events
The Medication Therapy Management and Empowerment Act of 2015 introduced in the United States Senate recently affects the eligibility of participants.  Take a moment to click on the following link and read this review of the act.



Thanks
Steve

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25 Years




Yes, I know this is supposed to be a pharmacy blog; however, I like to think that understanding your medications is a bit about living.  Living involves many components, of which one primary ingredient is relationships. 

Perhaps you may feel it is a bit of rubbish hearing relationship advice from your pharmacist, albeit virtual pharmacist, but this isn't really advice.  I have been off on a ski holiday for the past week with my wife, had a few discussions, listened to a couple of podcasts, and came to a bit of an understanding.  All I am doing is sharing that bit of understanding with you.

The other night we were lying in bed listening to a podcast together, as we quite commonly do.  This is a really cool thing to do together and I am constantly amazed by the amazing stories told on shows such as The Moth, This American Life, Snap Judgment or The TED Radio Hour.

This particular evening we were listening to The TED Talk show and the discussion for the evening was "How to solve for X".  Not to bore you (or ruin it for you if you haven't listened to the latest episode) with the details, but toward the end of the show was an interview with a mathematician who has created a set of calculations that will help determine the likely compatibility between two individuals.  In addition to this calculation, he also presented a situation that will determine, within 90%, the potential for a couples long term success in a relationship.

The calculations that determine compatibility are interesting; however, are somewhat unrealistic and complicated.  If interested, I would encourage you to listen to the program yourself in order to determine their practical and/or meaningful application in finding your partner. 

The second half of this process, discussing the potential for long term survival of a relationship, is worthy of further investigating.  The gentleman goes on to describe a process whereby he would ask a couple to have a seat in a quiet room together.  He then goes on to ask them to begin a discussion about the most contentious point of their relationship.  The couple needs to bring up and discuss something that has significantly affected their life such as finances, children, fidelity, drugs, family or whatever it may be for them.

The point of this exercise is not to create a battle ground between the two, but rather examine how the two deal with conflict when addressing each other.  Do they get angry, manipulative, aggressive or passive with each other, or do they give each other the time for their portion of the discussion while listening to each other's concerns?

Sounds simple…but it isn't.  The bottom line of this TED Talk is that couples who work through tough issues before going to sleep will have a much greater chance of long term success in their relationship.  Those couples that go to sleep without resolution will get up the next day, put on a reasonable face and continue as if there is no problem.  This practice of denial will lead to resentment, dissatisfaction, and eventual separation.

In the Fall of 1979 my wife and I went on our first date, she was 14 and I had just turned 16.  Over the next 11 years we dated and separated more than once, went to school, got jobs, and generally grew up.  On July 7th, 1990 we married and will soon have been married 25 years.

Over the past 25 years we have had amazing, wonderful times with each other, accompanied with some devastatingly difficult issues to work through.  We both have our own way of expressing our self to each other and we have come to reasonably accept each other's methods. 

Throughout our marriage we have attempted to practice this tool of not going to sleep until we resolve a critical issue.  Sometimes we have had success, other times, not so much.  The critical point is that if the issue is not resolved in some sort of mutual understanding, it is not buried, it will continue to come up and be right in front of us until we somehow work it out.


Here's to another 25 years!

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Life-Threatening and Fatal Medication Warning



Do you know if your medications have any Black Box Warnings associated with them?  If not, ask your pharmacist.  Take a moment, read this warning, and be in a better position to understand your medication treatment.



Thanks
Steve

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Pharmacy Teamwork



"Individual commitment to a group effort--that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work."  --Vince Lombardi

Take a moment to read this article about teamwork.

Thanks
Steve

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Tweeting and Heart Disease



Do those around us, who use social media, have an influence on OUR health?

Read this article to find out.


Thanks
Steve

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When you pick up a new prescription from the pharmacy how much time do you really spend talking to the pharmacist?  Are you asked by the clerk if you would like to have a consult, or are you directed over to the counseling counter and told that the pharmacist would like to discuss your medication with you?

Medication counseling is your right as a patient, unfortunately, all to often, patients are given the opportunity to "opt-out" of their counseling session.  This is a practice, that I feel, should be discouraged at all cost.

Without medication counseling, patients are sent out of the pharmacy with some medication leaflets and the directions on the label, left to figure it out on their own.  Please take a moment and read this article that describes, in detail, what needs to be covered in a medication counseling session.  Click on DRUG below.


Thanks
Steve

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SR, CD, XL, EC; Why is there no standardization?


Please take a moment and read this article discussing the problems with using acronyms in medication names.

Medication Acronyms Lack Standardization

Thanks
Steve

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Death by Prescription Opiates Up Fourfold in Ten Years

Prescription opiate related deaths are on the rise over the past decade.  Yes, stringent regulations have been instituted and pharmacies are on ultra-high alert for any sign that a prescription for a controlled substance should not be filled.

This process of heavy handed oversight is a grand effort in control; however, it may be time spent heading down the wrong direction.  Perhaps what we need is an education campaign of such universal proportions it would make the current "control" effort seem like no more than a proverbial single pill in the large bottle.

From clinics to hospitals to pharmacies, the understanding and treatment of pain would be well served if it were treated with a universally agreed upon strategy and plan.  Perhaps at that time we may begin to see a decreases in prescription related opiate deaths.

Please read this article to understand the situation we have created over the past decade.


Thanks
Steve

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30 Years of Opiate Prescribing


Why has Opiate Prescribing increased so drastically over the past 30 years? Take a look at my most recent article discussing the issue.


Thanks
Steve

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Medication Adherence and Micro-Technology

Remember when it was considered cutting edge to document your doses in a booklet, so you could take your notes with you to your doctor's appointment and show them that you have been taking your medication.  This process I describe in the following article takes this level of medication adherence documentation to an entirely new level of sophistication. Please, take a moment, click the link, read the article, and see if you feel this is a necessary step in the path of medication adherence documentation.

Medication Adherence; The Next Step

Thanks
Steve

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Pregnant and In Pain

Pregnant and in pain; what's a patient to do?  Many pain medications have the potential to cause unwanted effects on the unborn baby; however, untreated pain may also lead to situations that may compromise the the condition of the unborn baby.

Pleases take a moment to read the article.



Thanks
Steve

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Medication Counseling is a Two Way Street


"Medication counseling is an acquired skill which takes not only knowledge, but communication skills which must be patient-specific and flexible based on patient feedback." 

Empathy is a critical component of any practice, not just pharmacy.  Please take a moment to read the article.


Thanks
Steve

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Drug Interactions

Sudden death from an antibiotic?  This interaction drills home the importance of assuring that your pharmacist is aware of your entire medication profile.

Click the following link to read the article.



Thanks
Steve

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Visual Impairment Does Not Affect Intelligence


More than 20 million Americans are visually impaired.  Here's the question, how do these individuals read their prescription labels when they are at home by themselves?

Click the following link and read article about current prescription labeling regulations.


Thanks
Steve

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Schizophrenic Medication Education

Schizophrenia constitutes a group of psychotic disorders which involve severely impaired thinking, emotions and behaviors. Typically, schizophrenic patients are unable to filter stimuli to their senses such as sounds, colors and other environmental stimuli. If left untreated, most schizophrenics will gradually withdraw from other people, interactions and eventually lose their ability to take care of the simplest of daily personal tasks.

An excellent description of schizophrenia, including causes, symptoms, treatments and realistic expectations are available at the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001925/

Regularly I talk about effective patient medication counseling and overcoming the barriers to effective counseling. This category of medications and patients poses some of the steepest barriers to effective counseling of all the medications. We get a short time with the patient in the pharmacy, and there is a significant amount of important information to cover in this category of medications.

It is great when we have a family member or caregiver to listen in and show understanding of the pharmaceutical therapy; however, quite often the patient is on their own.  This presents with an ideal situation for audible Consumer Medication Information.  Patients who are challenged with literacy or visual impairment may "listen" to a 4-6 minute audio file describing all of the important information about their particular mediaiton.
 
Health Literacy describes, amongst other things, the importance of understanding why you are taking a medication and the consequences of not treating your diagnosis.  When patients understand their therapy they are much more likely to be an active participant in their own treatment. 
 
AudibleRx will help individuals understand what they do and don't know about their medication and leave them in a much better position to take educated questions back to their own health care provider.

Please visit www.AudibleRx.com for more information.
 
Thanks
Steve

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Expensive Pills


The hospital that I work at has developed a program that places out-patient pharmacists in the hospital, every morning, five days a week, in order to help the medical and nursing staff with discharge education.  Quite often patients are discharged with medications that are very expensive and difficult to fill.  Our goal is to identify these specific cases and help coordinate the filling of the prescription so that the patient may leave campus with the prescription in their hand.

Please click on the following link to read the full article.


Thanks
Steve

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