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Every article tells you what's new - and gives you a quick review. Scores of articles cover top-selling drugs and common health conditions.

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2.0 Hours of Pharmacy Law CE for Pharmacists,
Nurse Practitioners & Pharmacy Technicians
1.5 Hours of Diabetes CE for Pharmacists,
Nurse Practitioners & Pharmacy Technicians
2.0 Hours of Patient Safety CE for Pharmacists
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Rx News Advisory Feed View All
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Drug Therapy Updates & Reviews/CE View All
  • The Healthy People 2020 report, published by the US Department of Health and Human Services, includes targets for reducing vaccine-preventable disease rates and increasing vaccination rates in all age groups. According to the report, for each birth cohort (group of individuals born in the same year), immunization with the routine childhood vaccination schedule prevents 14 million cases of disease and reduces direct healthcare costs by $9.9 billion. Vaccines are one of the most cost-effective clinical preventive services; however, thousands of people in the US do not receive them and suffer – even die – from vaccine preventable diseases. From 2010 through 2014, flu-related deaths in the US ranged from 12,000 to 56,000 per year. Pneumococcal pneumonia leads to about 19,000 deaths every year, and as many as 1.4 million people currently suffer from Hepatitis B, with liver cancer as a potential complication. There have been a number of recent measles and pertussis outbreaks in communities with pockets of unvaccinated and under-vaccinated children.

    In order to meet the Healthy People 2020 targets, all healthcare providers should stay up-to-date on vaccine recommendations and play an active role in immunizations. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and its Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) update their recommendations for routine immunizations annually, while vaccine-specific recommendations are typically updated every 3-5 years (except influenza, which is updated yearly). Additionally, the CDC publishes the General Recommendations on Immunization and the Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases (known as “The Pink Book”), which are considered core references for vaccine providers...

  • The past few years have seen a number of legislative and regulatory changes at the federal level; both with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). This article will address key changes impacting pharmacy practice in the areas of compounding, drug supply chain security, biosimilars, and the regulation of controlled substances in order to prevent diversion and abuse.

    The passage of the Drug Quality and Security Act of 2013 (DQSA) updates the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) in the areas of human drug compounding and drug supply chain security.1 Previously, compounding was mostly regulated by individual states under section 503A of the FDCA. In the years to come, the FDA will continue to clarify regulations surrounding compounding and drug supply chain security.

    The FDA has developed policy regarding biological medications, particularly around nearly identical biological products (biosimilars) and their therapeutic substitution. A new online publication called the “Purple Book” lists biological products, and specifies those that are biosimilar and/or interchangeable....

    2.0 Hours Pharmacy Law CE - 0.20 CEU. Target Audience: pharmacists, nurses, nurse practitioners, advanced practice nurses and pharmacy technicians.

  • Interest in medication errors was heightened by publication of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) report “To Err is Human,” which revealed the burden of medical errors and the impact on patients in the US. Following publication of the report in 2000, health care organizations bolstered efforts to reduce medical errors and the illness and death that result. Despite these efforts, a recent analysis based on studies conducted since the IOM’s report highlighted medical errors (including medication errors) as the third leading cause of death in the US. Extrapolating to the total number of US hospital admissions in 2013, the authors estimated that more than 250,000 deaths per year are caused by medical errors – and that includes only inpatient deaths.

    Medication errors have been identified as the most common type of medical error. The FDA estimates that medication errors occur in about 1.3 million people annually and result in at least one death every day in the US. In the hospital setting, adverse drug events (ADEs) occur in nearly 5% of patients; preventable ADEs are one of the most common types of inpatient errors. In the outpatient setting, ADEs account for more than 3.5 million physician office visits, 1 million emergency department (ED) visits, and 125,000 hospital admissions annually. It is estimated that nearly half of these ADEs are preventable. Given the impact of medication errors and ADEs on healthcare utilization and costs in the US, error prevention practices remain key for both prescribers and pharmacists. Because pharmaceutical care involves the identification, resolution, and prevention of drug therapy problems and medication errors, pharmacy personnel, as well as prescribers and patients, have a key role in error prevention.

    2.0 Hours Medication Errors CE - 0.20 CEU. Target Audience: pharmacists, nurses, nurse practitioners, advanced practice nurses and pharmacy technicians.

  • This CE activity meets the Florida Board of Pharmacy requirement for a Board-approved 2-hour continuing education course on the Validation of Prescriptions for Controlled Substances. It also meets other state board requirements for a continuing education course on patient safety.

    The appropriate and safe management of pain, and concerns about opioid overuse, abuse and overdose, have been making headlines for the past 20 years. Historically, opioids have been used for chronic non-cancer pain despite a lack of high-quality evidence for efficacy. Pain management societies and organizations (eg, THE Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations [JCAHO]) embraced pain as a “vital sign” in the mid-1990s and encouraged more aggressive use of opioids for chronic pain. The amount of prescription opioids sold in the US increased nearly 4-fold from 1999 to 2014, despite no increase in reported pain.

    According to IMS Health, a firm that tracks national prescription statistics, the number of opioid prescriptions dispensed peaked in 2012. For the first time in 20 years, the IMS data indicated a 12% overall decline in US opioid dispensing since the peak. Tightening of federal regulations for opioid prescriptions (eg, moving hydrocodone to schedule II status) likely contributed to the decline. Experts note, however, that the level of prescribing is still very high – with a growing overdose epidemic including fatal overdoses, which reached 28,000 in 2014.

    Regulators and the public are looking to clinicians to "do the right thing" regarding pain management, but the "right thing" has been a moving target. What actions are in the patient’s or public’s best interest, and in the best interest of the clinician and their professional practice? There are opposing pressures from 1) patients and pain management experts who advocate providing opioids for individuals with pain, and 2) families, caregivers, and regulatory officials, who want to prevent prescription drug diversion, abuse and overdose. Finding the right balance to provide safe and effective pain management is a “moral imperative,” professional responsibility, and duty of healthcare professionals.

  • With breast cancer so often in the news, it is easy to forget that the diagnosis is an emotional and life-changing event for an individual patient. In the United States (US), an estimated 231,840 women and 2,350 men1 were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in 2015. One in every 8 women in the US will be diagnosed with breast cancer during her lifetime. In contrast, a man’s lifetime risk is about 1 in 1000. Following skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women. During recent years, the incidence of breast cancer has been stable for Caucasian women; however, it has increased slightly for African-American women, due in part to longer life expectancy and improved screening and detection. Because of earlier detection and improved treatment, the death rate for breast cancer in the US has declined since 19891; however, it is still the second leading cause of cancer death in women, after lung cancer. In 2015, an estimated 40,290 women will die from breast cancer.

    Over the past decade, the treatment options for breast cancer have expanded, especially for advanced disease. One area of progress that has made an impact in the community setting is the development of new oral medications for advanced disease. 1.5 Hours Pharmacotherapy CE - 0.15 CEU. Target Audience: pharmacists, nurses, nurse practitioners, advanced practice nurses and pharmacy technicians...
  • For more than 50 years, vitamin K antagonists such as warfarin were the only oral anticoagulation option for patients with blood clotting disorders. Dabigatran (Pradaxa®), an oral direct thrombin (factor IIa) inhibitor, finally broke onto the scene with FDA approval in October 2010 as the first of the next generation of oral anticoagulants.Since that time, 3 additional oral anticoagulants have been approved in the US. Rivaroxaban (Xarelto®), apixaban (Eliquis®), and the very recently approved edoxaban (SavaysaTM) are oral direct factor Xa inhibitors that share the convenient attributes of dabigatran: fixed dosing, no routine coagulation monitoring (eg, INR testing), and no known dietary interactions – to name just a few...

Pharmacists: Continuing Education Network, Inc. is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education.

Advanced Practice Nurses : (Nurse Practitioners and Clinical Nurse Specialists): CE hours provided by Continuing Education Network (in The Rx Consultant) meet the ANCC criteria and the AANP criteria for formally approved continuing education hours. Click here for more information about the ANCC criteria. Click here for more information about the AANP criteria.

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