April 19 Pharmacy Week in Review: Experimental Ebola Vaccine Demonstrates Protection, Kratom Linked to Overdose Deaths

APRIL 19, 2019


This weekly video program provides our readers with an in-depth review of the latest news, product approvals, FDA rulings, and more. Our Week in Review is a can't miss for the busy pharmacy professional.


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

A recent study has indicated that direct-messaging services could improve medication adherence in patients with diabetes, Pharmacy Times reported.

Researchers divided 330 patients into 2 groups. One group received counseling from a pharmacist about management strategies, as well as daily text messages about medication adherence and exercise, while the other received the usual care given solely by a physician. All participants were on glucose-lowering oral and/or injectable drugs.

The text messages were shown to improve quality of life and adherence in both medication and dietary habits. The group that received direct messages were also shown to have reduced blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels.

As technology advances, pharmacists have more opportunities to integrate technology and medicine for the care and quality of life of their patients.

A new report from the CDC found that kratom caused 91 overdose deaths in 27 states, Contemporary Clinic reported.

The CDC analyzed data from the State Unintentional Drug Overdose Reporting System, which contains detailed information on opioid overdose deaths from death certificates and medical examiner and coroner reports. Of the 27,338 overdose deaths in 27 states during 2016 to 2017, 152 of these deaths tested positive for kratom, according to toxicology reports.

Kratom was considered to be the cause of death for 91 of those who tested positive for the substance.

Data showed that an experimental Ebola vaccine being used to contain the outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is protective 97.5% of the time, Specialty Pharmacy Times reported.

Of more than 90,000 individuals who were vaccinated, just 71 went on to develop Ebola, and 56 of those individuals developed symptoms fewer than 10 days after being vaccinated. Additionally, just 15 individuals developed Ebola more than 10 days after being vaccinated. None of the people who developed Ebola 10 days or more after being vaccinated died from their illness.

Although the vaccine is still unlicensed, the vaccine has been shown to be highly efficacious. The  World Health Organization vaccine advisory committee has recommended that the vaccine be used as part of the arsenal of tools deployed to quell outbreaks.

Pharmacists may get more questions about Repatha, if patients have seen a recent commercial for the prescription medication.

In the spot, called “Father of the Bride,” the narrator says that despite eating right and exercising, high bad cholesterol can still put an individual at risk for heart attack or stroke. According to the commercial, Repatha helps lower bad cholesterol by 63% and reduces heart-attack risk by 27%.

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

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