December 13 Week in Review: More Than Half of Patients with Penicillin Allergies Able to Take Antibiotics from Same Drug Class; Multiple Myeloma Drug Costs Account for Majority of Disease-Related Costs in Patients

December 13th 2019

This weekly video program provides our readers with an in-depth review of the latest news, product approvals, FDA rulings, and more. Our Week in Review is a can't miss for the busy pharmacy professional.

This weekly video program provides our readers with an in-depth review of the latest news, product approvals, FDA rulings, and more. Our Week in Review is a can't miss for the busy pharmacy professional.

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

A pharmacy-driven assessment found that more than half of patients with reported penicillin allergies were able to take antibiotics from the same drug class, rather than resorting to substitutes,Pharmacy Timesreported. The results of the study were presented at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists 54thMidyear Clinical Meeting and Exhibition in Las Vegas. The investigating pharmacists interviewed 63 eligible patients with reported allergies from Februrary to April of 2019. The investigators then carefully reviewed their medication history prior to verifying orders for substitute antibiotics. Over 3 months, the investigators found that 68% of the studied patients had previously had success using other beta-lactams, most often cephalosporins. Pharmacists recommended switching to a beta-lactam antibiotic with 100% prescriber acceptance.

Death by external causes—primarily accidents and suicide—take the lives of more than 5 million people each year, and it has evolved into a major health concern on a global scale,Contemporary Clinicreported. A recent study of Japan found that external causes take the lives of women 10 years earlier than those by all other causes. The study sought to investigate the association between female reproductive factors, and the risk of external causes of death among middle-aged women in Japan. The study followed about 50,000 women for 20 years, approximately 900 of whom had died. Of these deaths, 328 were by external causes: 148 by suicide, and 167 by accident. Women who were pregnant had a lower risk of suicide than those who were not pregnant. The study concluded by noting that these suicides and accidents are not the consequence of a single cause, but rather a combination of personal, cultural, social, and biological features which likely interact with fluctuations in sex hormones among women.

Multiple myeloma drug costs, followed by hospital utilization, account for the majority of disease-related costs in these patients,Specialty Pharmacy Timesreported. The study results were presented at the American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting and Exposition, in Orlando, FL. Using a large national administrative claims database, the researchers collected data on patients enrolled in commercial health plans or in Medicare supplemental plans. The study included approximately 3100 patients with multiple myeloma. Pharmacy drugs accounted for about 33% of total disease-related costs, whereas hospital inpatient visits were about 30% of cost and hospital outpatient costs were 26% of total disease-related costs. The researchers concluded that pharmacy and hospital inpatient utilization accounted for two-thirds of total disease-related costs in patients with multiple myeloma.

Pharmacists may get more questions about Cosentyx, if patients have seen a recent commercial for the prescription medication. In the spot, called “Four Years and Counting,” the narrator explains that real patients are using Cosentyx and are feeling relief from plaque psoriasis with less joint pain and less tenderness. According to the commercial, Cosentyx is a prescribed medical injection that is intended to treat adults who suffer from moderate to severe plaque psoriasis when taken regularly as prescribed.

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Thanks for watching our Pharmacy Week in Review. I’m Nicole Grassano at the Pharmacy Times News Network.

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