Clinical Insights: May 5, 2020

    Welcome to RxStrategies’ Clinical Insights, designed to help pharmacy professionals stay up to date on the ever-changing pharmaceutical and pharmacy market place. Contact us to learn more.

    New Drug Approval

    Darzalex FasproTM (daratumumab and hyaluronidase-fihj) Injection – New Drug Approval – May 1, 2020 –  The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Darzalex Faspro™ (daratumumab and hyaluronidase-fihj), a new subcutaneous formulation of daratumumab. Darzalex Faspro™ is approved in four regimens across five indications in multiple myeloma patients, including newly diagnosed, transplant-ineligible patients as well as relapsed or refractory patients. <Read More>

    New Formulation Approval

    No new update

    New Indication Approval

    No new update

    New Drug Shortage

    May 04, 2020

    May 01, 2020

    April 30, 2020 

    New Drug Recall and Safety Alerts

    No new update

    COVID-19 News

    NCPDP Issues COVID-19 Guidance For Pharmacy-Led Testing For Immediate Industry Implementation – May 4, 2020 – NCPDP announced today the availability of urgent industry guidance to aid pharmacists in expanding COVID-19 testing across the country. The NCPDP Emergency Preparedness Information Version 1.7 document has been updated with specific guidance related to pharmacist-led COVID-19 testing as well as other updates that provide standards-based guidance and resources to the pharmacy industry during a declared national emergency such as natural disaster or pandemic. <Read More> 

    COVID-19 Relief Fund Providing $10B in Assistance to Rural Hospitals, Clinics –  May 1, 2020 – A $10B rural relief fund for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was recently announced by Secretary Alex Azar of the Department of Health and Human Services. This funding will offer critical immediate assistance to rural hospitals and health clinics that have been struggling during the pandemic, according to the National Rural Health Association (NRHA). <Read More>

    New Information on Remdesivir for COVID-19 Boosts Initial Optimism; FDA Issues EUA – May 1, 2020 – Enough evidence has trickled in to support the use of the investigational antiviral Remdesivir in patients with COVID-19 that the FDA has issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the drug in that setting, but experts underscore that the data remain preliminary and need to be confirmed. <Read More>

    Clinical and Pharmacy News

    PBM Exclusion Lists: Useful For Leverage But Do They Benefit The Patient? – May 4, 2020 – In January, the two largest pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) – Express Scripts and CVS Caremark – increased the numbers of drugs on their 2020 exclusion lists. These lists include drugs that a PBM doesn’t recommend covering. PBMs’ clients – the plan sponsors – can choose not to adopt a formulary with exclusions, but they will then incur reduced rebates and consequently higher costs. <Read More>

    The New Era of Pain Management — & How Hospital Pharmacists Can Help Usher It In – May 4, 2020 – As healthcare continues its march toward value-based care, patient satisfaction, including how patients perceive the quality of their post-surgical pain care, is becoming more important. However, with the ongoing opioid epidemic, shifting the pain management paradigm away from the addictive drugs is also key — and pharmacists can play a significant role in that shift. <Read More> 

    Intensive Blood Pressure Control Has Potential to Reduce Risk of Atrial Fibrillation – May 4, 2020 – Intensive blood pressure control may reduce the risk of atrial fibrillation (AFib), an irregular heartbeat that can lead to serious complications such as stroke, heart failure and heart attacks, according to scientists at Wake Forest School of Medicine. <Read More>

    Guidelines Issued For Managing Eosinophilic Esophagitis – May 4, 2020 – Recommendations are presented for the management of eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) in clinical practice guidelines published in the May issue of Gastroenterology. Ikuo Hirano, M.D., from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, and colleagues developed recommendations for clinical management of EoE for pediatric and adult allergists and gastroenterologists; the recommendations are applicable to short-term treatment of EoE. <Read More> 

    Compounding Pharmacy Market Global Insights and Growing Trend Analysis 2020 – PharMEDium Services, Braun Group, Fagron – May 4, 2020 – The report discusses many vital industry facets that influence global Compounding Pharmacy Market industry acutely which includes extensive study of competitive edge, latest advancements, region-wise industry environment, contemporary market and emerging latest trends, leading market contenders, and current tendency of the consumers. The report also oversees market size, market share, growth rate, revenue, and CAGR reported previously along with its forecast estimation. <Read More>

    Drug Therapy Problems and the Role of Clinical Pharmacist in Surgery Ward: Prospective Observational and Interventional Study – May 4, 2020 – Drug therapy problems (DTPs) are of major concern in health care because of the associated increased cost of treatment, morbidity, and mortality. Thus, clinical practice should constitute the mainstream practice of clinical pharmacy in every ward. However, nothing is known about DTPs and the role of clinical pharmacist in the surgical ward of Ethiopia (the neglected ward). Our objective was to assess the prevalence of DTP among patients hospitalized at the surgical ward and the role of clinical pharmacists in their identification and resolution. <Read More>

    YouTube Can Change Public Perception of Pharmacists – May 3, 2020 – A European study found that patients do not perceive pharmacists as health advisers and instead see them primarily as medication dispensers.1 This attitude feels prevalent in the United States, as well, and is most likely due to lack of education about the pharmacist’s role. Patients coming to the pharmacy usually do not see the clinical decisions that pharmacists make daily. The internet is an innovative way to educate people about the health care profession, and pharmacists who use YouTube as a platform can positively change the public’s perspective on the profession. Although most health-focused YouTube stars are doctors and nurses, the online pharmacy community is growing. <Read More>

    Pharmacy Benefit Managers Are the Real Reason Behind Skyrocketing Drug Prices – April 30, 2020 – Why are drug costs so high in America? If you ask Bernie Sanders, he will tell you that it’s due to the greed of the pharmaceutical industry. If you remember when “pharma bro” Martin Shkreli, former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, made the price of the life saving drug Daraprim 5,000% higher overnight, you may agree with this assessment. But, there is more to the story, and it has to do with Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBM’s). <Read More>

    The Importance of Entrepreneurship, Pharmacist Satisfaction in the Workplace – April 30, 2020 – Each year, Pharmacy Times®  conducts a survey to evaluate how pharmacists view their salaries and their overall satisfaction for their jobs. The 2019 Pharmacy Times® Salary and Job Satisfaction Survey discovered that pharmacists are mostly content with their compensation, but only moderately happy with their jobs, with a score of 4.23 on a scale of 1 to 7 when rating their overall job satisfaction. <Read More>

    Techs’ Role in Immunization Administration Expands – April 29, 2020 – As the role of the pharmacists progresses from dispensing tasks to increasingly clinical services, the function of the pharmacy technician is changing as well. In many states, techs have been stepping into clinical roles previously performed by pharmacists. One recent change is the physical administration of an immunization. In 2017, a new administrative law made Idaho the first state to allow techs to administer immunizations in the United States. Rhode Island and Utah soon followed. Additionally, within the federal system, techs are not bound by a state’s scope of practice rules, so federal techs in many states have also begun administering immunizations. <Read More> 

    How State Medicaid Programs are Managing Prescription Drug Costs: Results from a State Medicaid Pharmacy Survey for State Fiscal Years 2019 and 2020 – April 29, 2020 – Medicaid provides health coverage for millions of Americans, including many with substantial health needs who rely on Medicaid drug coverage for both acute problems and for managing ongoing chronic or disabling conditions. (Medicaid beneficiaries who also have Medicare receive drug coverage through Medicare). Though optional, all states provide pharmacy benefit coverage and administer the benefit in different ways within federal guidelines regarding, for example, pricing and rebates. To better understand how the Medicaid pharmacy benefit is administered across the states, KFF and Health Management Associates conducted a survey of all 50 states and the District of Columbia (DC) in 2019. The survey was designed to capture information on state policies and strategies for managing the pharmacy benefit as well as planned changes for FY 2020 and future priorities and challenges. <Read More>

    340B in the News 

    House Lawmakers Want New Flexibility to Ensure Hospitals Don’t Lose 340B Eligibility Due to COVID-19 Response – April 29, 2020 – Some House lawmakers want to ensure safety net hospitals wouldn’t lose eligibility to participate in the 340B drug discount program due to their response to COVID-19. Reps. Doris Matsui, D-California, and Chris Stewart, R-Utah, wrote to House leadership (PDF) Tuesday outlining concerns that hospitals will be cut off from the program because they have to expand capacity to fight COVID-19. “To support our safety net hospitals through this crisis, we write to ask that any future supplemental relief bill include policies to temporarily protect these hospitals from losing 340B eligibility,” the lawmakers wrote. <Read More>