October 2008, Vol 1, No 8
Cutting Through the Politics: Presidential Candidates? Healthcare Platforms and Impact on Health Benefits
We are in the final stretch of the presidential elections, and both the Democratic and Republican conventions are now behind us. After the August break, Congress was back in Washington for only 3 weeks starting September 8, making it unlikely for any new healthcare legislation to be passed until after we have a new administration.
Health Reform and the Next President
Medication Therapy Management Goes Hi-Tech: Implementing Automated Software Improves Pharmacy Efficiency
In 2006, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) ruling went into effect, mandating that all Medicare Part D prescription benefit sponsors must offer their members a medication therapy management (MTM) program.1 Among other requirements, CMS mandates Part D sponsors to have an MTM program to reduce the risk of adverse events and ensure optimum therapeutic outcomes for targeted beneficiaries through improved medication use.1 CMS gives basic guidelines of requirements for eligibility into the program.
Automated MTM Programs
At the 2008 Annual Policy Conference of the Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA), held in September in Washington, DC, advisors to the presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain told GPhA members that both candidates agree on the urgent need to increase access to generic medications—including generic biologics (referred to as biosimilars or follow-on biologics1)—as a way to control the ever-escalating US healthcare costs.
Cost-Effectiveness of Second-Generation Antihistamines and Montelukast in Relieving Allergic Rhinitis Nasal Symptoms
Michael J. Goodman, PhD, Mehul Jhaveri, PharmD, Kim Saverno, PhD, Kellie Meyer, PharmD, Brian Nightengale, PhD
Allergic rhinitis (AR) is one of the most common chronic conditions in the United States, affecting approximately 40 million people.1 Although AR is rarely considered a severe medical condition, its bothersome symptoms, such as sneezing, rhinorrhea, and congestion, can negatively affect important domains of quality of life, including sleep, social interaction, and work.2-7 In a recent large national survey of adults with AR, 78% of those surveyed indicated that nasal congestion was a moderately or extremely bothersome symptom of AR.5 Other nasal symptoms oft
Relieving Nasal Symptoms: Uncommon Excellence in a Common Clinical Condition
In early September, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent out a press release posting the first quarterly report titled "Potential Signals of Serious Risks/New Safety Information Identified by the Adverse Event Reporting System (AERS)," listing the potential safety issues of drugs currently on the market. This action is in conformance with direction provided by Congress in accordance with Title IX, Section 921, of the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 20071 (see Sidebar).
Diabetes mellitus is a chronic and devastating disease, affecting 8% of the US population.1 Despite recent advances in diagnostic and therapeutic options, the incidence of diabetes continued to rise in 2007. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 24 million Americans are currently diagnosed with diabetes, an increase of 3 million over the past 2 years, and another 57 million are classified as having prediabetes.1 About one third of the people with diabetes remain undiagnosed.
Evidence-Based Diabetes Management
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