Pharmacy Week in Review: IV Drug Shortages, Folic Acid and Erectile Dysfunction, and Precision Medicine



A look at last week's top stories in the world of pharmacy.

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

Drug shortages continue to be problematic, which is why it is important for pharmacies to put preparedness plans in place ahead of future IV shortages, according to a panel discussion held this week at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists’ Summer Meeting and Exhibition in Denver, Colorado, and reported on by Pharmacy Times. Drug shortages can affect methods of compounding sterile products, which can lead to a higher risk of medication errors, the panelists said. Establishing preparedness processes, and best practices can help mitigate errors in the event of shortages, they said. According to an audience poll, 40% of attendees indicated running out of essential components due to shortage, and 35% reported that their supply was low enough to communicate plans for imminent shortage. Additionally, 77% of attendees responded that they were aware of medication errors that occurred at their site based on a shortage.

Researchers from Sapienza Universita di Roma in Rome, Italy have published a review article in the journal Aging Male that implicates folic acid as a contributing factor in erectile dysfunction, Contemporary Clinic reported. Previous research has suggested that a lack of folic acid may contribute to an abnormally high level of homocysteine in the blood, which impairs endothelial and erectile function. In the study, researchers examined 31 men diagnosed with the disease, and compared them to a control group.

Men with erectile dysfunction had significantly lower folic acid levels than those in the control group. Men with the lowest folic acid levels tended to have the most severe erectile dysfunction.

Published in Oncology Insights, the findings of a research-based report from Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions summarizes the views of more than 160 US oncologists on the potential of precision medicine to transform cancer treatment, Specialty Pharmacy Times reported. Although 4 in 10 oncologists see promise in the emergence of precision medicine, more than half (57%) indicate that it is still too soon to predict the long-term impact, according to the report. The oncologists included in the findings represent a variety of community and hospital-based practices. More than one-third of the respondents said that precision medicine will have a significant impact on oncology care within 2 to 3 years, whereas 57% said they think it will have a moderate impact.

Pharmacists may get more questions about Lyrica if their patients have seen a new commercial for the medication to treat nerve and muscle pain. In the spot, called 'Kenny’s Story,' Kenny recalls his life before diabetic nerve pain, when he was an active kid, an involved father, and a deft mechanic. Once the burning, pins-and-needles, shooting pain in his foot became too much to bear, he tried Lyrica, which eased his symptoms and allowed him to get back to helping people with their car troubles. According to the commercial, Lyrica can treat moderate to severe pain.

For more great coverage and practical information for today’s pharmacist, visit our website and sign up for our Daily eNews. And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Thanks for watching our Pharmacy Week in Review. I’m Kelly Davio at the Pharmacy Times News Network.

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A look at last week's top stories in the world of pharmacy.
Top news of the week from Specialty Pharmacy Times.
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