December 20 Week in Review: Removing Barriers from Drug Assistance Programs May Decrease Cost-Related Non-adherence; High Prevalence Rates in Reduced Serum Immunoglobin Concentrations in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis

December 20th 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:Hello and welcome to thePharmacy TimesNews Network. I’m Nicole Grassano your host for our Pharmacy Week in Review.

Removing barriers to the drug assistance programs, and reducing private insurance medication costs may decrease cost-related nonadherence among patients with HIV infection and improve their health,Pharmacy Timesreported. The CDC’sMorbidity and Mortalityreport included population-based data on prescription drug cost-saving strategies among US patients with HIV. The CDC analyzed cross-sectional, nationally representative surveillance data on behaviors, medical care, and clinical outcomes among adult patients with HIV. The report found a link between nonadherence due to prescription drug costs, reporting an unmet need for medications from the Ryan White AIDS Drug Assistance Program, having Medicaid coverage, and having private insurance. Furthermore, patients who were nonadherent because of cost concerns were more likely to have visited an emergency department, have been hospitalized, and not be virally suppressed.

Tasty desserts and dinners may have some patients with diabetes worried for the holidays, but the latest nutrition recommendations can account for the holiday diet while also keeping choices individualized,Contemporary Clinicreported.Contemporary Cliniccontributor, Sara Hunt is a lincensed and board-certified family nurse practitioner. Aside from common advice like drinking less alcohol and limiting carbohydrates, Hunt suggests that patients with diabetes should avoid sugary drinks in favor of dairy products. Other suggestions include eating smaller portions. A healthy plate can include half a plate of vegetables, one-quarter of a plate of healthy protein, another quarter of whole-grain starch, 1 serving of dairy and 1 serving of fruit. Hunt writes that physicial activity can increase the body’s sensitivity to insulin and protect tissues from oxidative stress. Finally, making sure that patients have refilled their medications in time for the holidays is vital to avoid emergencies situations.

A new study has demonstrated high prevalence rates of reduced serum immunoglobulin concentrations in patients with multiple sclerosis with or without disease-modifying treatments,Specialty Pharmacy Timesreported. The retrospective analysis of 2 independent European cohorts included approximately 327 patients with multiple sclerosis; 226 from Bern, Switzerland and Athens, Greece. According to the study, patients with multiple sclerosis were significantly more likely to have immunoglobulin G concentrations below normal limits. Researchers found no significant difference in frequencies of immunoglobulin A or immunoglobulin M concentrations under normal limits. Although the significance of the levels are unknown, researchers believe that the information is useful to monitor immunoglobulin levels, especially with anti-B-cell therapies and to consider immunoglobulin substitution when levels drop below 400 miligram/deciliters.

Pharmacists may get more questions about Eliquis, if patients have seen a recent commercial for the prescription medication. In the spot, called “Around the Corner: Food Truck,” the narrator explains that, in a 6-month study, almost 98% of patients didn’t experience another deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary when treated with Eliquis. According to the commercial, Eliquis is a prescribed medical injection that is intended to treat and help prevent deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism blood clot recurrences.

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