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August 2014 Briefing - Pharmacy

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Pharmacy for August 2014. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Report Highlights Progress, Challenges in Health IT

FRIDAY, Aug. 29, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Progress has been made toward widespread adoption of electronic health records (EHRs), although there are still barriers to adoption of advanced use of EHRs, according to a report published by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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Long-Term Use of Sulfonylureas Tied to Coronary Heart Disease

FRIDAY, Aug. 29, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Among women with diabetes, long-term use of sulfonylureas is associated with a significantly higher risk of incident coronary heart disease (CHD), according to a study published online Aug. 22 in Diabetes Care.

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CDC: Most U.S. Toddlers Getting Their Vaccines

THURSDAY, Aug. 28, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- More than 90 percent of children 19 to 35 months of age are getting the vaccines that prevent measles, mumps, and rubella; polio; hepatitis B; and varicella, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The new findings were published in the Aug. 29 issue of the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Aspirin Post-Anticoagulation Tx Cuts Risk of VTE Recurrence

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 27, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with first unprovoked venous thromboembolism (VTE), aspirin after anticoagulant treatment reduces the risk of recurrence, according to a study published online Aug. 25 in Circulation.

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Oral Contraceptive Equal to Antibiotics for Acne Care

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 27, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- At six months, oral contraceptive pills (OCPs) are comparable to systemic antibiotics for acne management, according to a review published in the September issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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FDA: Steer Clear of Dietary Supplements for Concussions

TUESDAY, Aug. 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- As the fall sports season starts and young players face the risk of concussions, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns that dietary supplements that claim to prevent, treat, or cure concussions are untested, unproven, and possibly dangerous.

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Confusional Arousal Common, Linked to Other Disorders

TUESDAY, Aug. 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Confusional arousals (CAs) are common in the general population and they may be associated with other factors, such as medication consumption, sleep disorders, and mental disorders, according to research published in the Aug. 26 issue of Neurology.

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Vitamin D Deficiency Worsens Outcomes With B-Cell Lymphoma

TUESDAY, Aug. 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Vitamin D deficiency (VDD) contributes to worse outcomes in elderly patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) treated with rituximab, according to a study published online Aug. 18 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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State Medical Cannabis Laws Cut Opioid Overdose Mortality

MONDAY, Aug. 25, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- State medical cannabis laws correlate with reduced state-level opioid overdose mortality rates, according to a study published online Aug. 25 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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New Rules for Religious Objections to Health Care Law

MONDAY, Aug. 25, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Responding to a Supreme Court ruling handed down late in June, the Obama administration on Friday proposed a compromise path that it said would allow women to obtain contraceptives through their health plan, while respecting the views of companies that objected to the provision on religious grounds.

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U.S. to Tighten Access to Certain Narcotic Painkillers

FRIDAY, Aug. 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is going ahead with tough new controls on painkillers containing hydrocodone, which has been tied to a surge in dangerous addictions across the United States.

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Opioid Use in Disabled Medicare Patients Common

FRIDAY, Aug. 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Opioid use is common among disabled Medicare beneficiaries under 65 years of age, according to research published in the September issue of Medical Care.

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Telemedicine Improves Stroke Care in Rural Areas

FRIDAY, Aug. 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Telemedicine can improve stroke care in rural areas, according to a study published online Aug. 21 in Stroke.

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New Therapy May Combat Lethal Virus in Late Stages

THURSDAY, Aug. 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A new agent tested in nonhuman primates shows efficacy in the treatment of the Marburg virus (MARV), a filovirus which is closely related to the Ebola virus, even in the late stages of the infection, according to research published in the Aug. 20 issue of Science Translational Medicine.

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FDA Approves Cerdelga for Type 1 Gaucher Disease

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 20, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Cerdelga (eliglustat) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat type 1 Gaucher disease, a rare inherited disorder caused by the body's insufficient production of a key enzyme.

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Clarithromycin Linked to Increased Risk of Cardiac Death

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 20, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- There is a significantly increased risk of cardiac death associated with clarithromycin use, according to a study published online Aug. 19 in BMJ.

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Boxed Warnings Are Common in Novel Therapeutics

TUESDAY, Aug. 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Boxed warnings are common on recent drug approvals, and many occur years after approval, according to a research letter published online Aug. 15 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Fenofibrate Effective for Women and Men With T2DM

TUESDAY, Aug. 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with type 2 diabetes, fenofibrate is effective in women, improving their lipoprotein profile more than in men, according to a study published online Aug. 18 in Diabetologia.

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Commentary Focuses on 2014 Ebola Outbreak in West Africa

TUESDAY, Aug. 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The Ebola epidemic is spreading in West Africa, with little hope for treatment, and an experimental therapy is unlikely to be provided to African patients, according to two commentaries published online Aug. 19 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Early Research With Drug Restores Hair in Alopecia

MONDAY, Aug. 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A drug used to treat a rare type of bone marrow cancer restores hair in patients with alopecia areata, according to a study published online Aug. 17 in Nature Medicine.

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SSRI Meds Up Bleeding Risk in A-Fib Patients Taking Warfarin

MONDAY, Aug. 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with atrial fibrillation taking warfarin, use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) medications is associated with an increased risk of major hemorrhage, according to a study published in the Aug. 15 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

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FDA Approves Avastin for Late-Stage Cervical Cancer

FRIDAY, Aug. 15, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The anti-cancer drug Avastin (bevacizumab) has been newly approved to treat aggressive and late-stage cervical cancer, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said in a news release. The new approval is for use in combination with other anti-cancer drugs, including paclitaxel, cisplatin, and topotecan.

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Antibiotic Regimens Similar for Premature Membrane Rupture

FRIDAY, Aug. 15, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- There is no difference in fetal or maternal outcomes among women with preterm premature rupture of membranes who receive azithromycin instead of erythromycin, according to a study published online Aug. 4 in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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FDA Warns of Fake Ebola Treatments on the Internet

FRIDAY, Aug. 15, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- As the death toll in the West Africa Ebola outbreak passes 1,000, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning against products sold online that claim to treat the deadly disease or prevent infection.

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Prevnar-13 Should Be Routine for Seniors

THURSDAY, Aug. 14, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A second vaccine to protect seniors against pneumonia has been recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

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FDA Approves Belsomra for Insomnia

THURSDAY, Aug. 14, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Belsomra (suvorexant), an orexin receptor antagonist, has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat insomnia.

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Post-Op Doc Shopping Ups Narcotic Use in Ortho Patients

THURSDAY, Aug. 14, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Orthopedic trauma patients who seek multiple narcotic providers postoperatively are at greater risk of prescription drug abuse, according to research published in the Aug. 6 issue of The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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NSAID Use May Cut Breast CA Recurrence in Obese Women

THURSDAY, Aug. 14, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Daily use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may reduce the recurrence rate of hormone-responsive breast cancer in overweight or obese women, according to research published in the Aug. 15 issue of Cancer Research.

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Evidence Weak for Drugs to Help Shift Workers Sleep, Wake

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 13, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Evidence for the efficacy and safety of pharmacologic interventions to treat sleep disturbances and sleepiness caused by shift work is lacking, according to a review published online Aug. 12 in The Cochrane Library.

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Most U.S. Patients With MI Discharged on High-Dose Aspirin

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 13, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Most U.S. patients with myocardial infarction (MI) are discharged on high-dose aspirin, according to a study published online Aug. 12 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

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Medicaid-Insured Children Have Higher Prescription Use

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 13, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Regional variation exceeds payer-related differences in prescription use among children, according to a study published online Aug. 11 in Pediatrics.

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Tranexamic Acid Aids Outcomes With Hip, Knee Surgery

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 13, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The clotting drug tranexamic acid is effective in reducing the need for blood transfusions while not increasing the risk of complications during orthopedic surgery, according to a study published online Aug. 12 in BMJ.

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WHO Experts Give Nod to Using Untested Ebola Drugs

TUESDAY, Aug. 12, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A panel of ethicists specially appointed by the World Health Organization says it is ethical to give untested treatments to people battling Ebola in the current outbreak.

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Meta-Analysis Strategy Impacts Estimation of Tx Outcome

TUESDAY, Aug. 12, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Estimation of treatment outcome varies with the meta-analysis strategy, according to a study published in the Aug. 13 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Digoxin Ups Death Risk in Newly Diagnosed A-Fib Patients

TUESDAY, Aug. 12, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Among patients with newly diagnosed atrial fibrillation (AF), the use of digoxin is associated with increased risk of death, according to research published in the Aug. 19 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Falling Insulin Requirements Linked to Placental Dysfunction

TUESDAY, Aug. 12, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For women with preexisting diabetes, falling insulin requirements correlate with increased risks of adverse outcomes associated with placental dysfunction, according to a study published online July 28 in Diabetes Care.

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Ethicists Weigh Questions Over Early Release of Ebola Drugs

MONDAY, Aug. 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- As the number of dead in the West African Ebola outbreak nears 1,000, many people are calling for the wider production and release of untested medicines that might help patients.

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EHR Adoption Increasing, But Stage 2 Criteria Often Not Met

MONDAY, Aug. 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Most U.S. hospitals and office-based physicians have adopted electronic health records (EHR), according to two studies published in the August issue of Health Affairs.

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Antibiotic Prophylaxis Cuts UTIs in Congenital Hydronephrosis

FRIDAY, Aug. 8, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Continuous antibiotic prophylaxis (CAP) reduces the risk of febrile urinary tract infection (UTI) in children with asymptomatic antenatal hydronephrosis (ANH), according to a study published online July 22 in the Journal of Pediatric Urology.

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Zoster Vaccine Still Effective With Subsequent Chemo

FRIDAY, Aug. 8, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Zoster vaccine is effective even for individuals who subsequently undergo chemotherapy, according to a study published online Aug. 4 in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

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Polypill Can Potentially Offer Global Cardiovascular Benefit

FRIDAY, Aug. 8, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Use of a polypill can potentially improve global cardiovascular health, according to research published in the Aug. 12 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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FDA Approves Orbactiv for Drug-Resistant Skin Infections

THURSDAY, Aug. 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The antibacterial drug Orbactiv (oritavancin) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat drug-resistant skin infections in adults, the agency said in a news release.

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VA Health Care Reform Bill Signed Into Law

THURSDAY, Aug. 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A bill signed into law Thursday by President Barack Obama is meant to provide veterans with easier access to government-paid health care.

Health Highlights: Aug. 7, 2014

Low Vitamin D May Up Risk of Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease

THURSDAY, Aug. 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Low concentrations of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) may increase the risk of developing all-cause dementia and Alzheimer's disease, according to research published online Aug. 6 in Neurology.

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U.S. Hospitals See Big Rise in Drug-Related Suicide Attempts

THURSDAY, Aug. 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Drug-related suicide attempts in the United States increased over a recent six-year period, with dramatic increases seen among young and middle-aged adults, health officials reported Thursday.

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Statins May Improve Wound Healing

THURSDAY, Aug. 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Statin therapy can improve wound healing, according to a review published in the August issue of the Annals of Thoracic Surgery.

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Prophylactic Aspirin Use May Help Prevent Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Prophylactic aspirin use seems to be beneficial for men and women between ages 50 and 65 in the general population, with increased benefits seen for long-term use, according to a review published online Aug. 5 in the Annals of Oncology.

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Review: Earlier Alteplase Benefits Acute Ischemic Stroke More

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Alteplase delivered within 4.5 hours of acute ischemic stroke onset is associated with increased odds of a good stroke outcome irrespective of age or stroke severity and despite an increased risk of fatal intracranial hemorrhage, with earlier treatment associated with bigger proportional benefits, according to a review published online Aug. 6 in The Lancet.

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Variants ID'd in Phenytoin-Related Adverse Skin Reactions

TUESDAY, Aug. 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- CYP2C variants have been identified as being involved in phenytoin-related severe cutaneous adverse reactions, according to a study published in the Aug. 6 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Experimental Serum May Have Been Key to Ebola Recovery

TUESDAY, Aug. 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- An experimental serum never before tried in people may have been pivotal in helping treat two Americans stricken with Ebola, according to media reports.

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Statin Use After CRC Diagnosis Reduces Mortality Risk

TUESDAY, Aug. 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with newly diagnosed colorectal cancer, statin use is associated with reduced cancer-specific mortality risk, according to a study published online Aug. 4 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Review: Ketamine Does Not Adversely Affect Outcomes

MONDAY, Aug. 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For intubated patients, ketamine is unlikely to adversely affect patient outcomes compared with other intravenous sedatives, according to a review published online July 22 in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.

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FDA Approves Jardiance for Type 2 Diabetes

FRIDAY, Aug. 1, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Jardiance (empagliflozin) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat type 2 diabetes, the agency said Friday in a news release.

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Oral Contraceptive, Breast Cancer Link Varies by Formulation

FRIDAY, Aug. 1, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Recent use of oral contraceptives is associated with increased breast cancer risk, which varies by formulation, according to a study published in the Aug. 1 issue of Cancer Research.

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Ferric Citrate May Reduce Dialysis Patients' Rx Needs

FRIDAY, Aug. 1, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Ferric citrate may reduce the need for dialysis patients to take multiple drugs that treat complications related to kidney disease, according to a study published online July 24 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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