Not-to-Miss Highlights from Pharmacy Times

Published Online: Wednesday, August 20, 2014
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Pharmacist Provider Status
Can the focus on achieving provider status bring the many factions of pharmacy together under a common goal? Pharmacy Times Editor-in-Chief Fred M. Eckel, RPh, MS, ScD (Hon), believes that the push to pass the legislation could be a potential uniting force. He discusses the topic in detail in his June 2014 editorial.

Contraception Controversy: The Pharmacist’s Perspective
Contraception has become an increasingly controversial topic, especially in the wake of the recent decision in the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby case, allowing employer-sponsored insurance plans to refuse to cover certain contraceptives for religious reasons. The controversy over contraceptives is just as heated within the pharmacy community. In many states, pharmacists have the right to exercise conscientious refusal to dispense contraceptives, but they also have a responsibility to meet patients’ and employers’ needs. Setting personal beliefs aside and understanding all sides of the argument can be difficult, but pharmacists’ attitudes about birth control can influence medication access.

The Heroin Epidemic and Abuse-Deterrent Formulations
Has the launch of an ADF extended-release oxycodone resulted in the current heroin problem, or was it a coincidence that cartels ramped up inexpensive and potent heroin just as the new drug was emerging on the retail market? In the June 2014 Drug Diversion and Abuse column, Cmdr John Burke argues that the rise of heroin as the abusers’ drug of choice is more complicated.

Topical Corticosteroids: 10 Must-Know Facts
Topical corticosteroids are the most prescribed dermatologic drug and the standard treatment for many conditions. The medications are commonly used in both prescription and OTC strengths, and pharmacists should understand key facts about their use. Knowing these details can help keep the use of topical corticosteroids safe and effective for your patients.

Drug-Induced Nail Changes: Counting to 10
Pharmacists often see patients more frequently than their primary care physicians and, may be the first to notice changes in their health or adverse reactions to medications. Patients’ nails can reveal side effects of medication or illness. Familiarity with drug-induced nail changes can help pharmacists to identify reactions to medications, answer patients’ questions, and direct them to appropriate care.

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A University of Kentucky pharmacy professor has developed a nasal spray of naloxone (Narcan) to treat potentially fatal overdoses from heroin and prescription opioids.
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