December, 2023

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The Role of Pharmacists in HIV Care Continues to Expand

Pharmacy Times

Pharmacists play a vital role in HIV care by addressing social determinants of health, managing complex HIV medication regimens, and providing comprehensive patient counseling.

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The Unintended Impact of Opioid Prescribing Guidelines: Part 1

Drug Topics

The CDC first released opioid prescribing guidelines in 2016.

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Addressing Burnout: Why Psychological Safety Matters at Work

Pharmacy Times

Psychological safety substantially contributes to team effectiveness, learning, employee retention, and—most critically—better decisions and better performance.

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STAT+: UnitedHealth used secret rules to restrict rehab care for seriously ill Medicare Advantage patients

STAT

Health insurance giant UnitedHealth Group used secret rules to restrict access to rehabilitation care requested by specific groups of seriously ill patients, including those who lived in nursing homes or suffered from cognitive impairment, according to internal documents obtained by STAT. The documents, which outline parameters for the clinicians who initially review referrals for rehab care, reveal that many patients enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans were routed for a quick denial based on c

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Position Your Pharmacy for Expansion

Speaker: Chris Antypas and Josh Halladay

Access to limited distribution drugs and payer contracts are key to pharmacy expansion. But how do you prepare your operations to take the next step? Meaningful data: Collect and share clinical data regarding outcomes, utilization, and more Reporting: Limited distribution models require efficient tracking and reporting systems Workflows: Align workflows with specific pharma and payer contractual requirements For in-depth, expert insights on pharmacy expansion, watch this webinar from Inovalon.

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Done deal: Pfizer completes $43B acquisition of Seagen, doubling its oncology pipeline

Fierce Pharma

Pfizer’s $43 billion acquisition of Seagen is in the books, the company said on Thursda | It’s a done deal. Pfizer’s $43 billion acquisition of Seagen is in the books, as it becomes the largest M&A transaction in the biopharma industry since AbbVie snatched up Allergan for $63 billion in 2019. The buyout of the antibody-drug conjugate specialist has doubled Pfizer’s pipeline to 60 programs.

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How to avoid prednisone withdrawal

The Checkup by Singlecare

Millions of people are prescribed prednisone each year for conditions that range from psoriasis and eczema to multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Prednisone belongs to a class of drugs called corticosteroids (also sometimes called glucocorticoids)—steroids that reduce inflammation in the body by replacing cortisol, a hormone produced in the adrenal glands, and slowing down an overactive immune system.

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Pharmacists Play Unique Role in Advancing Health Equity for Patients With Chronic Disease

Drug Topics

A new study, outlined in a poster at ASHP Midyear 2023, identified 3 key themes associated with the ways in which pharmacists are positioned to advance health equity for patients with chronic diseases.

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Doxycycline for Treatment of Pneumococcal Infection Could Reduce Clostridioides difficile Infection

Pharmacy Times

Less than 1% of individuals developed Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI), but for those who previously had a CDI the year before, 12% developed a new infection.

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We wish we’d written that: STAT staffers share their favorite stories of 2023

STAT

It’s time to take stock of the year that was in health and science: the meteoric rise of weight loss drugs , the approval of the first CRISPR-based therapy , the continuing effects of abortion access restrictions after the Dobbs decision, and much more. Below is our annual list of stories that STAT staffers loved, and wish that they had written.

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Pfizer warns of further sales decline for COVID products, plots $500M in additional cost cuts

Fierce Pharma

Using Tuesday to announce good news—that its $43 billion acquisition of Seagen would be | Using Tuesday to announce good news—that its $43 billion acquisition of Seagen would be finalized on Thursday—Pfizer sandwiched its bad news, which came on Wednesday with its 2024 guidance. The company expects revenue to reach between $58.5 billion and $61.5 billion next year, coming up short of the analyst consensus of $63.2 billion, largely because of the plummeting demand for its COVID-19 products.

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What the FDA's New Dosage Guidance Means for the Future of Clinical Research

Speaker: Dr. Ben Locwin - Biopharmaceutical Executive & Healthcare Futurist

What will the future hold for clinical research? A recent draft from the FDA provides valuable insight. In "Optimizing the Dosage of Human Prescription Drugs and Biological Products for the Treatment of Oncologic Diseases," the FDA notes that "targeted therapies demonstrate different dose-response relationships compared to cytotoxic chemotherapy, such that doses below the Maximum Tolerated Dose (MTD) may have similar efficacy to the MTD but with fewer toxicities.

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What to eat when you have a sore throat

The Checkup by Singlecare

Dealing with a sore throat can be a real pain—literally. When your throat is raw and inflamed, you may be enticed by cold foods like ice cream or smoothies. And while certain things may feel good on the throat, not all foods will help you heal. No matter what’s causing your sore throat, nourishing your body with healthy food sources is essential to getting better.

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Bipartisan reps introduce bill canceling 2024's 3.4% Medicare pay cut to physicians

Fierce Healthcare

A bipartisan group of representatives has introduced a bill into the House that would undo a 2024 physician pay cut finalized last month by the Biden administration. | Provider groups have argued that the scheduled 3.4% cut would come as medical practice costs are set to rise 4.6%, potentially threatening Medicare patients' access to care. The bipartisan bill was quickly applauded by the AMA.

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To fight rare diseases, win the data battle first

pharmaphorum

To effectively combat rare diseases, it is essential to prioritise the collection and analysis of data. This article explores how pharmaceutical companies are leveraging AI and focusing on orphan drugs to tackle rare diseases.

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New Biomarker Shows Potential in Therapeutic Development for Alzheimer Disease

Pharmacy Times

Investigators analyzed the effects of harmful accumulation of HDAC6 in the brains of mouse models with Alzheimer disease to determine any changes in disease progression.

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5 Reasons to Upgrade Your Pharmacy Management Software

Are you still using workarounds to manage your daily operations? To achieve peak performance, it's time to explore other options for specialty and infusion pharmacy software. Streamline pharmacy operations and improve clinical performance with automated processing, real-time data exchange, and electronic decision support. Download this helpful infographic to: Drive efficiency and patient adherence from referral receipt to delivery and ongoing care – all with our Pharmacy Cloud.

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Quitting alcohol — or even drinking less — reduces risk of oral cavity and esophageal cancer, per new analysis

STAT

Reducing or eliminating alcohol consumption reduces the risk of developing oral cavity and esophagus cancers, according to a special report from the International Agency for Research on Cancer. But more data are needed to conclude whether the same is true for several other cancer types, including colorectal, breast, and liver cancer. Even so, it is likely that reducing or ceasing to drink alcohol will lessen the risk of these cancers, said Farhad Islami, a cancer epidemiologist at the American C

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Europe names hundreds of critical medicines in quest to counter drug shortages

Fierce Pharma

Over the past several years, drug shortages have vexed doctors and patients on both sides of the Atlantic, prompting lawmakers and government agencies to take action in both Europe and the U.S. | Tuesday, the European Medicines Agency laid out a list of more than 300 critical generic drugs that could fall prey to future shortages. Inclusion in the list doesn’t mean a particular drug is likely to experience a shortage anytime soon, the EMA said.

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‘It’s not worth risking your life’: fears over painkiller Nolotil grow for Brits in Spain

The Guardian - Pharmaceutical Industry

Links between the deaths of UK patients and the popular drug have spurred on action among expats in Jávea and beyond As Britain faced widespread frosts last week, there were blue skies, a warm breeze and temperatures above 20C on white sand beaches dotted with palm trees in Jávea on the Costa Blanca. About 5,000 Britons live in this small town, once walled and fortified to protect it from marauding pirates.

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BCBS of Massachusetts faces backlash from docs over anesthesia coverage policy change

Fierce Healthcare

A new policy from Blue Cross Blue Shield Massachusetts, starting Jan. | Some patients needing a colonoscopy in Massachusetts won't be covered for monitored anesthesia care, or MAC, starting Jan. 1. Blue Cross Blue Shield Massachusetts is standing by the policy, which will save the insurer money but require the patient to remain awake for the operation.

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MSD, Moderna cancer vaccine aces melanoma study

pharmaphorum

MSD and Moderna’s individualised cancer vaccine mRNA-4157 has shown impressive efficacy in a phase 2b trial in skin cancer melanoma, leaving the partners speculating about a possible regulatory filing.

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Study: Stem Cell Therapy Shows Improvement in QoL for Those With Heart Failure

Pharmacy Times

Investigators also found that the results demonstrated lower death and hospitalization rates for those with advanced heart failure treated with cell therapy.

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STAT+: Complications spiked 25% in hospitals bought by private equity

STAT

There’s ample evidence that private equity buyouts in health care drive up costs. A new study shows quality declines, too. Hospitals acquired by private equity saw a 25% uptick in adverse events compared with controls, according to a new study released today in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The findings add to an accumulating body of literature underscoring the harm that occurs when financial investors take over health care providers — not only hospitals, but nur

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2024 forecast: M&A saw an uptick in 2023. Analysts expect the trend to continue

Fierce Pharma

Even with the Federal Trade Commission keeping a watchful eye on the biopharma industry and the economic landscape giving some players pause, mergers and acquisitions are back on the rise. | Even with the Federal Trade Commission keeping a watchful eye on the biopharma industry and the economic landscape giving some players pause, mergers and acquisitions are back on the rise.

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Seattle Children’s Hospital launches BrainChild Bio for CNS therapies

Pharmaceutical Technology

Seattle Children's launched BrainChild Bio to focus on expediting the development of CAR T-cell therapies in central nervous system tumours.

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Few health plans have dedicated Alzheimer’s and dementia care management strategy: survey

Fierce Healthcare

Health plans and value-based care organizations are ill-prepared to help patients with Alzheimer’s Disease or related dementia. | Only a small fraction of health plans and value-based care organizations have a fully developed care management model for its enrollees with dementia or Alzheimer's, a new survey shows.

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The Transformative Potential of AI and Machine Learning in Biomedical Research and Healthcare

PharmExec

Oxford Academic report explores the positive improvements these technological capabilities could bring to the industry.

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FDA Approves Eplontersen for the Treatment of Adult Patients With ATTRv-PN

Pharmacy Times

The drug is the first medicine to be approved for the treatment of adults with polyneuropathy of hereditary transthyretin-mediated amyloidosis that can be self-administered.

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Health data breaches hit an all-time high in 2023

STAT

Odds are, you’ve gotten at least one of the unnerving letters in your mailbox this year: “We’re writing to inform you of a cybersecurity incident,” it might start. It’s the standard notice many health care organizations are required to provide when your protected health information gets exposed — and in 2023, data leaks, hacks, and mishandling led more of them to be delivered than ever before.

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FDA approves bluebird's sickle cell disease gene therapy. Can Lyfgenia overcome CRISPR’s halo?

Fierce Pharma

Alongside a historic approval for the first therapy utilizing the Nobel Prize-winning CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing technology, the FDA has cleared a rival gene replacement therapy, also for sickle cell | Alongside a historic approval for the first therapy utilizing the Nobel Prize-winning CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing technology, the FDA has cleared a rival gene replacement therapy, also for sickle cell disease (SCD).

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Trends shaping the pharmaceutical industry in 2024

PharmaVoice

Advancements in cloud and AI technology will transform clinical trial efficiency and engagement.

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Fees charged by hospitals for colonoscopy procedures 50% higher than surgical centers, study finds

Fierce Healthcare

A new price comparison study finds over 50% higher facility fees for commercially insured colonoscopies performed in hospitals rather than ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs), suggesting that “money | The analysis of commercial payers' price transparency data shows that “money has apparently been left on the table” for employers and consumers, the study's senior author says.

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Predictive genetic testing offers the greatest promise and ethical challenge of our time

pharmaphorum

Predictive genetic testing offers the greatest promise and ethical challenge of our time Mike.

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Migraine Medication Could Be More Effective Than Ibuprofen for Treatment of Attacks

Pharmacy Times

Three classes of drugs could be 2 to 5 times more effective than ibuprofen for the treatment of migraine attacks, according to results of a study.

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Opinion: Gaza, Ukraine, and other conflicts could be accelerating antibiotic resistance

STAT

In recent months, evidence suggests, the war in  Ukraine  and the ongoing conflict in  Gaza have led to spikes of multidrug-resistant bacterial infections. This is to be expected; conflicts often create conditions that are perfect for drug resistance to emerge and spread, with the first evidence of this dating back as far as the 1940s.

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Amgen's request for full approval of Lumakras in lung cancer denied by FDA

Fierce Pharma

Amgen’s request to gain full approval of Lumakras in non-small cell lung cancer has been rejected by the FDA. | Amgen’s request to gain full approval of Lumakras in non-small cell lung cancer has been rejected by the FDA. The California biopharma will now have to conduct an additional confirmatory trial to gain the coveted FDA nod.

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