Pharmacy Week in Review: Pharmacist-Physician Partnerships, New IBS Diagnostic Technology, Opioid Duration Studied


A look at last week's top stories in the world of pharmacy.

A look at last week's top stories in the world of pharmacy.

Nicole Grassano, Host:

Hello and welcome to the Pharmacy Times News Network. I’m Nicole Grassano your host for our Pharmacy Week in Review.

Working together, pharmacists and physicians can forge a mutually beneficial collaboration that also benefits patients,

Pharmacy Times

reported. At the American Pharmacy Purchasing Alliance’s PharmCon in Orlando, Florida, held late last week, experts with collaborative practice experience discussed why these partnerships are useful and how they can effectively work. One pharmacist panelist said he helps to “bridge the gap” between pharmacists and physicians by offering educational sessions to practices. A practice transformation coach said that pharmacists can show physicians ways they can be of value to a practice and how they can help lighten the work load beyond dispensing medication. She pointed to counseling patients about prescriptions and their dosing, and educating staff members about gaps in care as areas that can be filled by pharmacists.

Researchers from the University of Western Australia used technology that was originally created to track termite munching sounds and adapted an acoustic sensing belt that offers a new way to diagnose irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) by listening to the noises in a patient’s gut, according to research presented at Digestive Week 2018 and reported on by

Contemporary Clinic

. They recruited study participants with an existing clinical diagnosis of IBS or with healthy digestive systems. Participants wore the belt, and their bowel sounds were recorded for 2 hours post-fasting, and then for 40 minutes after a standardized meal. The preliminary results showed that the acoustic index output of the belt predicts IBS with high accuracy, allowing researchers to effectively differentiate between the 2 groups.

A new study published in


indicates that reducing prescription opioid duration, not the dosage, may be more effective in curbing misuse after surgery,

Specialty Pharmacy Times

reported. For the study, the researchers examined the association between opioid prescription refills after surgery and misuse in an opioid naïve population using data on surgical patients with medical and pharmacy insurance from a database at Aetna on 38 million members between 2008 and 2016. The researchers found that 56% of surgical patients received postoperative opioids and a code for abuse was identified for 5906 patients. Although rates of misuse were low, it continued to grow rapidly with increasing opioid use, with each week of use associated with a 20% increase in misuse. Rates of misuse more than doubled among those with 1 refill, the researchers noted. Total duration of opioid use was the strongest predictor of misuse, with each refill and additional week of use associated with an adjusted increase in the rate of misuse of 44% and 19.9% increase in hazard, respectively.

Pharmacists may get more questions about Aleve Back & Muscle Pain, if their patients have seen a new commercial for the OTC medication. In the spot, called “Band,” Katie doesn’t let her back pain get to her before a performance with her band. Instead, she takes Aleve Back & Muscle Pain. According to the commercial, Aleve Back & Muscle Pain can relieve pain for up to 12 hours.

For more great coverage and practical information for today’s pharmacist, visit our website and sign up for our Daily eNews. And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Thanks for watching our Pharmacy Week in Review. I’m Nicole Grassano at the Pharmacy Times News Network.

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