April 26 Pharmacy Week in Review: Comment Sparks Dialogue About Health Care Working Conditions, US Sees Second Viral Wave of Flu Season

APRIL 26, 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.

Primary care practices will soon receive improved Medicare payments through new payment models beginning next year, Pharmacy Times reported. According to the article, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation will invite primary care practices to participate in 5 new alternative payment models, allowing them to provide new types of services to patients that are not supported by current Medicare payments.

Primary care practices that provide more convenient access, enhanced care management for patients with chronic diseases, in-home services for patients with acute conditions, and palliative care for patients with advanced illnesses can significantly improve the quality of care for patients while reducing total health care spending. These new payment models have the potential to allow more primary care physicians to deliver these services to their patients while also saving money for the Medicare program.

A petition of almost 700,000 signatures has been created online for Washington state Senator Maureen Walsh to shadow a nurse for a 12-hour shift, Contemporary Clinic reported. The petition was sparked by controversy surrounding the senator’s recent comment regarding nurses’ daily work conditions. During a debate, the senator was quoted in saying that nurses in smaller hospitals “probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day.”

The comment has inspired a dialogue about the extremely stressful working conditions that nurses endure on a daily basis, as well as understaffing issues and lack of breaks. With Nurse Appreciation Week just 2 weeks away, many nurses online are advocating for more understanding and support from the public, which they believe starts with Senator Walsh walking a “mile in their shoes.”

A second viral wave of this year’s US flu season has made it the longest in the past 10 years, Specialty Pharmacy Times reported. CDC data show that the flu season has been officially going on for 21 weeks, the longest duration since the government began tracking seasonal flu information.

Despite beginning with a milder flu strain, a second strain emerged in mid-February that caused more illnesses and hospitalizations and contributed to the season’s longer duration. According to the CDC, signs suggest that the flu season may be over soon.

Pharmacists may get more questions about Eucrisa, if patients have seen a recent commercial for the prescription medication. In the spot, called “Ages Two and Up,” the narrator explains how the prescribed medical ointment can be used to treat those who suffer from mild-to-moderate eczema when applied as instructed. According to the commercial, the ointment works at and below the skin’s surface to block overactive PDE4 enzymes within the skin.

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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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