I was recently asked how to prescribe Isoptin SR (verapamil) 360mg po daily for an elderly patient. She has drug coverage with Ontario Drug Benefits; hence we should try to prescribe medications that are listed for coverage by the formulary.
I can’t help but think that everyone should make an effort to listen to the pharmacists’ voices about the opioid crisis. But the news that came out recently about pharmacists feeding the opioid crisis was appalling and extremely disturbing. That’s not what I had in mind when I want to share my reflection on the opioid crisis.
With the acquisition of Pill Pack by Amazon, many analysts predict this to be a great threat to the pharmacy industry. While I cannot refute such prediction yet, I also think that it would be simplistic to think that the entire pharmacy industry will be replaced by online Pill Pack and Amazon. Here’s why.
Xofluza (baloxavir marboxil) may replace Tamiflu. It’s not yet available in Canada but I suspect it will soon.
On February 23, 2018 amidst a worst-in-a-decade flu season, the Japanese pharmaceutical Shionogi & Co. attained approval to sell a new influenza drug in Japan.1 Xofluza (or baloxavir marboxil) works unlike any antiviral previously developed. Instead of preventing infected cells from releasing viral particles, as the established Tamiflu medication does, Xofluza stops the flu from hijacking healthy cells in the first place.2
The strategy of blocking this earlier phase of the viral life cycle was proven effective in the phase 3 clinical trial CAPSTONE-1, which concluded in October 2017.3 Researchers found that taking Xofluza, as opposed to Tamiflu or a placebo, led to better outcomes.4,5 First, patients on the new drug had significantly lower virus levels at all time points after treatment. For example, at the one day mark, 90% of patients on Tamiflu were still positive for influenza whereas only 50% of patients on Xofluza…
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I didn’t care to hear about what was the right thing to do, what were the right resources for me or what I needed to do at the very moment. What mattered most was how people around me made me feel. Till now, I don’t think I remember what was said to me by the people around me. But I always remember how someone has made me feel at the lowest point in my life. We should not dismiss our feelings, our emotions.
Few years ago, I made a career decision to work for a competitor pharmacy. Based on various personal and professional considerations, I felt it was the best decision for me. At that time, my job demanded a lot of responsibilities already, with more expected after the organizational restructuring. The offer from the new job was more reasonable. At least, it allowed flexibility and a better work-life balance.
Over the years, I have written several topics on the opioid crisis. Below are few of my favourites that I want to highlight this week in recognition of International Overdose Awareness Day which is on Aug 31, 2018.