November 16 Pharmacy Week in Review: Emergency Ebola Fingerstick Test with Portable Reader Receives Authorization

NOVEMBER 16, 2018


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.


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

An infectious diseases specialist should be consulted before patients receive intravenous antimicrobial infusion therapy outside the hospital, according to updated guidelines released by the Infectious Diseases Society of America and published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, Pharmacy Times reported. Once they begin receiving outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy or OPAT, patients should be monitored regularly, according to the guidelines.
 
Since previous guidelines were published in 2004, large studies have concluded that there is no difference in the number of adverse events related to OPAT compared with hospital-administered IV antimicrobial therapy. Additionally, recently published research underscores the value of review by an infectious diseases nurse, pharmacist, or physician before starting OPAT, noting that it is associated with a lower risk of hospital readmission.

FDA officials have issued an emergency use authorization for a rapid, single-use test for the detection of Zaire Ebola virus, making it the second Ebola rapid antigen fingerstick test available under EUA but the first that uses a portable battery-operated reader, Contemporary Clinic reported.

The test, called the DPP Ebola Antigen System, is used with blood specimens, including fingerstick whole blood, from individuals with signs and symptoms of Ebola, in addition to other risk factors, such as living in an area with large numbers of Ebola cases and/or having contact with other individuals exhibiting signs and symptoms.

The FDA’s EUA authority allows the agency to authorize the use of an unapproved medical product or the unapproved use of an approved medical product when, among other circumstances, there are no adequate, approved and available alternatives. Recent Ebola outbreaks in remote areas with limited resources can benefit from rapid diagnostic tools, FDA officials said in a statement.

A new report published in the CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report has linked cases of acute hepatitis A virus or HAV infections from certain states to person-to-person transmission from drug use or homelessness, Specialty Pharmacy Times reported. HAV incidence in the United States steadily decreased after a vaccine was introduced but stabilized at an annual average of about 1600 cases, according to the CDC.

Outbreaks typically occur among international travelers returning from countries with endemic HAV or foodborne outbreaks but can also be spread through injection drug use and conditions associated with homelessness. The MMWR analysis showed that investigations conducted by local and state health departments pointed to direct person-to-person transmission for sustained HAV infections in certain states.

Pharmacists may get more questions about Mucinex DM if their patients have seen a new commercial for the OTC medication. In the spot, called “Far Away,” when asked about her cough, a woman says she took Mucinex DM and sent it far away. The mucus, searching for the woman in a jungle, asks a gorilla if he has seen her, but the gorilla tosses the mucus further into the jungle. According to the commercial, Mucus DM works fast and can last 12 hours.

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

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