Do you have excess prescription or non-prescription medications laying around? Failure to dispose of unused/unwanted medications, particularly controlled substances, presents a significant risk for drug diversion. Get rid of excess medications at the upcoming DEA Drug Take Back Day, scheduled for April 27th, from 10AM-2PM. See the website, www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/ for locations near you. If you can't get there, at least follow these simple directions: 1. Mix medicines (do NOT crush tablets or capsules) with an unpalatable substance such as kitty litter or used coffee grounds; 2. Place the mixture in a container such as a sealed plastic bag; and 3....
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Health literacy is a topic that has been attaining increasing interest in the health care community. A recent article in US News & World Report cites research conducted by Kaiser Permanente and the University of Washington School of Medicine which found that low health literacy was correlated with poorer medication adherence. Given the fact that medication non-adherence costs an approximated $290 billion for the United States, improving health literacy is of prime importance. To understand this, we must first understand what low health literacy means. Low health literacy implies that individuals may be unable to carry out tasks as simple...
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In 2003, the National Assessment of Adult Literacy found that only 12% of Americans were proficient in health literacy. As defined by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, health literacy is the “degree to which an individual has the capacity to obtain, communicate, process and understand basic health information and services to make appropriate health decisions.” By the basis of this definition, literacy rates do not directly correlate with health literacy rates. The fact that nearly 9 out of 10 Americans experience difficulty when using everyday health related information that is readily available sheds light on the...
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Adherence and compliance are commonly used terms when referring to patients taking their medications as prescribed. While both of these words have their own connotation, one term suggests a more collaborative effort. Concordance implies that patients and doctors have an interactive dialogue, which produces a mutual understanding of treatment regimens thereby increasing the likelihood of adherence. While prescribers and pharmacists would be ideal advocates of medication concordance, they are often unable to provide the necessary dialogue because of time constraints. Observant of this lapse in care, initiatives around the nation have begun to embark on improving adherence. One initiative is...
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By Grace Earl, PharmD, APhA-ASP faculty advisor There are many opportunities for students in the College of Pharmacy to participate in activities on campus as well as network with other students on a regional or national level. Many students become members of the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists. This important organization gives students a chance for developing leadership skills. Student leaders work with their team on campus to develop an agenda of activities that include health screenings, health promotion events, and educational events. For the 2012-2013 year, students at the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy (PCP) attended the Mid-Year Region...
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“Money makes the world go round” –whether you first heard the idiom in the 1960’s musical “Cabaret” or as the title of an R&B song by R. Kelly, the popular phrase is highly relevant to the pharmaceutical industry (pharma). According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the global pharmaceuticals market is worth $300 billion a year. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services found that retail prescription drug spending in the US rose to $263 billion in 2011, and did so at a faster rate compared to previous years. This rise was attributed to increased prices, especially for new and...
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I recently had the opportunity to speak at the MINTIFF Conference in Berlin, Germany about using television shows such as The Simpsons as an educational tool. Here is a video of my talk:
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Released earlier this month, the 2012 Drug Trend Report by Express Scripts highlights the decrease in spending of traditional drugs by Americans. Notably, this decrease was offset by an 18.4% increase in the total spending for specialty drugs. As it varies based on patient need, specialty drugs can be defined as those that treat a complex disease state or require a more complex route of administration (i.e. intravenous). With specialty drugs making such a profound increase in costs, it is important to understand their special place in the market. Following the profound importance of specialty drugs, there has been a...
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$290 billion a year—a study by the New England Healthcare Institute found this to be the amount spent in the United States as a result of medication non-adherence and other avoidable issues. An analysis by Capgemini Consulting estimated that $188 billion account for pharmaceutical industry losses in the United States for the same reason. With such considerable monetary losses in addition to the health risks associated with non-adherence, the profitable future for health information technology (health IT) is becoming increasingly apparent. After recognizing the significant financial costs associated with non-adherence, many insurance providers are utilizing new initiatives based on health...
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These are the words of former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop. While the concept is simple, practitioners have been researching and implementing innovative methods to get the point across. Before we look at this, let’s first define the terms. Adherence, persistence, and compliance—in reference to patients taking their meds, these all mean the same thing right? Not necessarily. These seemingly synonymous words have their distinct differences and varying methods of measurement that should be considered. Simply put, compliance is represented by a percentage of doses taken as prescribed in respect to timing, dosage and frequency. On the other hand,...
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