PBM shares strategy behind Prozac switch successNovember 1st 2001
In less than 2 weeks after the launch of generic fluoxetine in August, Merck-Medco had switched 85% of its mail-order Prozac prescriptions to generic versions of the antidepressant. It says its generic switch rate for retail Prozac scripts was 69% over the same time period.
Federal protocols plus local follow-through is key to hospitals' terrorism readiness, experts sayNovember 1st 2001
The September 11 terrorist attacks and October's wave of anthrax cases have forced hospitals and health systems to examine their emergency preparedness from a new perspective. When it comes to planning for possible shortages of critical drugs and the need for biodefense, experts say the right mix of federal guidance and local implementation is key.
Practice setting, other variables determine success of preferred drug sample closetNovember 1st 2001
Harvard Pilgrim HealthCare, Wellesley, MA-It's well accepted that the provision of drug samples influences physician prescribing practices. Annually, the pharmaceutical industry provides billions of dollars worth of drug samples to physicians' offices and studies have shown the effectiveness of sample medications in shaping physician prescribing patterns.
Federal fraudbusters focus on drug pricing while quest for Rx discount card continuesNovember 1st 2001
With the government spending billions to fight terrorism at home and abroad, federal investigators are looking closely at all health care programs for opportunities to stymie abuses and collect big penalties.
Hepatitis B: An ssessment of current and future treatment options (PDF)October 1st 2001
Interferon alfa-2b and the nucleoside analog lamivudine are the currently available options for treating chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. This article reviews major efficacy findings with these agents, defines their role according to patients' clinical status, and provides the latest data on optimal duration of therapy, predictors of response, and long-term effects. The authors also explore the emergence of hepatitis B immune globulin for post-liver transplant HBV prophylaxis and offer a progress report on experimental therapies for chronic HBV infection.
Dalteparin for enoxaparin interchange: Chart review shows promising clinical, economic outcomesOctober 1st 2001
University Hospital and Medical Center (Tamarac)/University of Florida (Gainesville)-Dalteparin appears to be at least as clinically effective as enoxaparin for the prevention or treatment of the consequences of venous and arterial thromboembolic diseases, say clinicians from these two facilities.
Market share shift analysis identifies scenario allowing maximum number of ED patients to be treatedSeptember 1st 2001
Minneapolis Veterans Administration Medical Center-Decreasing or eliminating the use of alprostadil-based erectile dysfunction treatments and converting to 100% sildenafil use would save this VA medical center more than $101,000 annually. Furthermore, the projected savings would allow an additional 405 men with erectile dysfunction to be treated for an entire year, say clinicians at this facility.
Metformin prevents diabetes in high-risk subjects, but effect is trumped by lifestyle changesSeptember 1st 2001
For the first time, a large clinical trial has shown that a medication can help prevent type 2 diabetes in high-risk individuals. At the same time, drug therapy emerged as a less effective preventive strategy than fairly modest diet and exercise changes.
Florida-Pfizer deal charts new territory in overall cost control, but can it work?September 1st 2001
The unprecedented Medicaid disease management deal struck between Florida and Pfizer this summer represents an important "move past unit cost control into total disease control," according to Perry Cohen, PharmD.
Political climate could shed new light on Medicare pharmacy benefit, related issuesSeptember 1st 2001
A few weeks ago, it looked like the national economic slowdown, which was eroding the anticipated federal budget surplus, might put the costly Medicare pharmaceutical benefit on the endangered list. Congress was having trouble agreeing on a coverage plan, and interest groups were squabbling over how to craft a fair and effective pharmacy program for the elderly.