/publications/issue/2010/March2010/PharmacyTechProductNews-0310

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Expectant Mothers Get Text-Educated

Between tearful revelations and hard-learned lessons on MTV’s “Teen Mom Finale Special,” host and pop physician Drew Pinsky, MD, dispensed valuable advice for young expectant mothers.

“Teen moms need all the help they can get,” said Dr. Drew before recommending text4baby, a new mobile health initiative backed by the White House, the Department of Health and Human Services, and all major US mobile network operators. The service is free, requires only a cell phone to participate, and encourages wellness among pregnant women of all ages.

Mothers who text “baby” (or “bebe” for Spanish) to 511411 will be automatically registered to receive weekly messages focusing on obstetrician checkups, prenatal care, drug and alcohol use, labor and delivery, breastfeeding, and the prevention of birth defects, among other topics. The information has been vigorously reviewed by government health organizations to ensure reliability. For more information, visit www.text4baby.org.


Pillbox Prevents Rx Mixups
All pharmacists have experienced a version of it: a patient walks into the pharmacy toting an unmarked container of round, white pills and asks, “What is this?” According to information specialist David Hale of the National Library of Medicine (NLM), the scenario is not only frustrating, it’s dangerous. Medication misidentification is responsible for an estimated 6000 to 10,000 deaths a year in the United States alone. To address the issue, Hale and colleagues at the NLM have created Pillbox Beta, the first federally approved Webbased pill identification tool.

Even in beta version, the tool outshines its competition in accuracy and reliability. Unlike other pill identifiers, all Pillbox content is sourced from government-approved databases. Once a medication is correctly identified, Pillbox links users to relevant FDA-approved labeling information from DailyMed and the NLM Drug Information Portal. From there, users can quickly access targeted information from a wealth of trusted resources, including MedlinePlus and PubMed, among others.

Pillbox is available at http://pillbox.nlm.nih.gov/.


Smart Cap Counts Time Between Doses
On his blog Dose of Digital, Jonathan Richman critiqued the myriad medication reminder systems dreamt up by drug makers to improve compliance. As Richman points out, most online reminder services share a fatal flaw: they’re irritating. Many require integration of multiple devices and accounts—email inboxes, mobile phones, laptops, and PCs—and some deliver so many daily reminders, that patients simply ignore them.

Designed to improve adherence and the reduce risk of double- dosing, the Rx Timer Cap is a decidedly low-tech alternative to online reminders. It operates with the push-button simplicity of a stopwatch. The cap fits on standard prescription vials and contains a built-in LCD timer that automatically resets every time the bottle is opened. A quick look at the cap tells patients and caregivers how much time has elapsed since the last dose was administered. No programming is required, and there are no alarms to turn on or off.

For more information, visit www.RxTimerCap.com.


Compact KL60 Rescues Small Pharmacies
A postholiday spike in daily prescription volume—from 150 to 270 orders a day—could have created chaos for small independent pharmacy owner Jimmy Yuen, RPh, of Walnut Creek, California. “Thankfully,” said Yuen, “we had the KL60.”

Since its installation in December, the robotic dispenser from Kirby Lester has been filling and labeling 60 of the pharmacy’s most commonly prescribed drugs. The decision to purchase the machine “turned out to be a no-brainer,” Yuen said. The KL60 is now an integral part of Yuen’s business, enabling his pharmacy to better meet the needs of the community it serves.

The KL60 continually dispenses as many as 160 prescriptions an hour, freeing Yuen’s staff to fill labor-intensive compounding medications. It boasts a small footprint of only 9 square feet and costs approximately half as much as other midsize pharmacy robots. Installation is simple, and requires only 110-V power with no special wiring, floor supports, or compressed air. For more information, visit www.kirbylester.com. ■


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