The latest medical research on Pharmacy

The research magnet gathers the latest research from around the web, based on your specialty area. Below you will find a sample of some of the most recent articles from reputable medical journals about pharmacy gathered by our medical AI research bot.

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Characterization of Risk Factors for Calciphylaxis in Hemodialysis Patients in the Fraser Health Renal Program - A Matched Case-Control Retrospective Review.

Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology

Calciphylaxis is a lethal and rare disease characterized by ischemic and necrotic skin lesions caused by vascular calcification of adipose tissue. There have been many risk factors analyzed in the literature; however, the pathogenesis of calciphylaxis is still not well understood and treatment options are limited due to the lack of interventional studies. Our objectives were to describe risk factors, prevalence, incidence, and outcomes for calciphylaxis in hemodialysis patients within the Fraser Health Renal Program.

This was a retrospective matched case-control study of hemodialysis patients within the Fraser Health Renal Program. Hemodialysis patients with calciphylaxis were matched to hemodialysis patients without calciphylaxis in a 1:2 ratio for age and sex from September 2, 2017 to July 3, 2020.

There was a total of 40 calciphylaxis cases matched to 80 controls. In the univariate analysis, peritoneal dialysis, higher body mass index, lower serum iron, lower transferrin saturation, sevelamer, cinacalcet, warfarin, iron (PO), and insulin were associated with increased risk of calciphylaxis. In the multivariate analysis, only peritoneal dialysis, serum iron, sevelamer, and warfarin were identified as significant and strong risk factors associated with calciphylaxis. A low prevalence of 1.9% and high mortality rate of 57.5% at 12 months was found for calciphylaxis cases.

Significant risk factors associated with calciphylaxis were peritoneal dialysis, serum iron, sevelamer, and warfarin. Future studies should further investigate the impact of minimizing exposure to these risk factors to reduce calciphylaxis development.

I-COPTIC: Implementation of community pharmacy-based testing for hepatitis C: Delphi consensus protocol.

International Journal of Epidemiology

The World Health Organisation aims to eliminate Hepatitis C (HCV) by 2030. To achieve this, targeted testing needs to be widely available. Studies have demonstrated that community pharmacies can deliver effective targeted testing for HCV and the National Health Service in England has commissioned a national service. However, a recent survey of HCV operational delivery networks has shown limited uptake of this service. The objective of this protocol is to guide the formation of a consensus statement to facilitate the widespread implementation of community pharmacy-based targeted testing for HCV.

We will use a modified Delphi method. A purposive selection of panel participants will be identified and recruited from a national survey and via chain-referral sampling. The main inclusion criteria for selection is direct involvement in the implementation of an HCV testing service in pharmacies. We aim for a heterogenous group, encompassing all aspects of the testing service. We will conduct a three round Delphi. The first round will consist of open questions which will be qualitatively analysed using thematic analysis with a framework method based on the WHO Health Systems Framework. This analysis will generate statements, that will be sent to the participants in the second round. A third round will be used where consensus is not reached.

The findings from this Delphi consensus study will facilitate the widespread implementation of targeted testing for HCV in community pharmacies.

A scoping study of the medication therapy related pharmacist services in the Western Pacific Region.

International Journal of Epidemiology

To identify the preferred terminologies, nature of services, perceived benefits and barriers to medication therapy-related pharmacist services in the Western Pacific region to facilitate the development of a framework for medication therapy management.

A survey was completed by hospital and community pharmacists purposively selected by the national pharmacist associations.

Pharmaceutical care was the preferred term with services predominantly related to medication safety and public health. The perceived barriers included lack of appropriate facility, time and funding.

A broader pharmaceutical care framework is a preferred approach to delivery of Good Pharmacy Practice in the region.

Evaluating Pharmacist-Driven Interventions in a Primary Care Setting to Improve Proportion of Days Covered and Medication Adherence.

Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology

Medication nonadherence is the leading cause of poor health outcomes and increased risk of hospitalizations. Previous studies have shown that pharmacist interventions can help improve medication adherence and CMS quality measures.

The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of clinical pharmacists' interventions on medication adherence and PDC scores for ACEi/ARBs, statins, and noninsulin antidiabetic medications in the primary care setting.

This observational study was conducted at four primary care clinics to evaluate PDC scores pre- and post-pharmacist interventions from April 2020 to December 2020. Eligible patients were Humana Part D beneficiaries with a baseline PDC score <85%. The primary outcome of this study was to evaluate the average change in final PDC scores, and 1-month change in PDC scores following a pharmacist intervention. Secondary outcomes were number and types of adherence barriers identified, interventions provided by the pharmacist, and barriers and interventions category (pharmacy, patient or physician-related).

A total of 89 barriers were identified and 208 interventions were completed. A statistically significant difference in the average change of final PDC score from baseline was seen among those on ACEi/ARBs (72.5 to 78.0, p = 0.004) and statins (73.3 to 76.6, p < 0.001). Similarly, a statistically significant change was observed from baseline to 1-month PDC among those on ACEi/ARBS (72.5 to 75.4, p = 0.001) and statins (73.3 to 74.9, p < 0.001). Conclusion: Pharmacists located in a primary care setting improved medication adherence and PDC score for patients on ACEIs/ARBs and statins.

Evaluating the Effects of Ertapenem and Meropenem on Tacrolimus.

Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology

Further elucidate the potential drug interaction between tacrolimus and carbapenems in order to appropriately maintain the balance between infection treatment and therapeutic immunosuppression.

This study was a retrospective evaluation of solid organ transplant recipients on a stable dose of tacrolimus who received either ertapenem or meropenem. Patients were excluded if they had acute kidney injury, acute liver failure, concomitant initiation of medications that interact with tacrolimus, or were pregnant. The primary endpoint was the change in the median daily tacrolimus dose after meropenem or ertapenem administration. The secondary endpoint was the change in serum tacrolimus levels after meropenem or ertapenem administration.

A total of 28 patients on tacrolimus were included in the study, 12 received ertapenem and 16 received meropenem. The median daily tacrolimus dose was 4.5 mg [IQR 3.0 mg - 8.8 mg] prior to and 3.4 mg [IQR 2.3 mg - 8.8 mg] after ertapenem administration. The median daily tacrolimus dose was 3.0 mg [IQR 1.6 mg - 5.5 mg] before and 3.0 mg [IQR 1.6 mg - 5.5 mg] after meropenem administration. No statistically significant difference in regard to the change in the median daily tacrolimus dose after ertapenem (P =.173) or meropenem administration (P =.755) was observed. There was no statistically significant difference found after ertapenem (P =.583) or meropenem (P =.317) administration when comparing pre- and post-administration median serum tacrolimus levels.

The administration of ertapenem or meropenem did not affect serum tacrolimus levels or daily tacrolimus dose suggesting against empiric dose adjustments with co-administration.

Augmented Renal Clearance in the Hematology and Oncology Populations: A Scoping Review for Pharmacists.

Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology

Until recently, interest in renal function has focused on impairment to limit drug toxicity and increase medication safety. Augmented renal clearance (ARC) has been increasingly studied in multiple patient populations, including oncology, and could lead to decreased drug efficacy from faster elimination resulting in subtherapeutic concentrations. This scoping review sought to summarize ARC literature in cancer and identify areas of research to better inform pharmacy practitioners.

Electronic databases were searched for English articles related to augmented/enhanced renal function/clearance following a framework for scoping reviews.

Fourteen articles were analyzed, divided according to article objective: descriptive studies or ARC's impact on pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics. ARC was most defined as creatinine clearance >130 mL/min/1.73 m2, reported in 10%-100% of patients. Febrile neutropenia in adult and pediatric patients, and age <50-65 years, hematologic malignancy, and lower serum creatinine in adult patients were notable risk factors for ARC. The impact of ARC has only been evaluated with antimicrobial agents consistently resulting in lower than anticipated trough levels. Identified gaps include: elucidation of ARC's mechanism and associated biomarkers, an inclusive ARC definition for relative renal enhancement, and study of additional drug classes to ascertain the breadth of ARC impact on drug therapy.

ARC is proving to be a frequent phenomenon in patients with cancer which pharmacists could play a vital role. Further research is needed to better understand the impact of ARC in patient care and a potential need to stage ARC based on degree of renal enhancement to establish specific drug dosing recommendations.

Impact of an Enhanced Recovery after Surgery Protocol on Postoperative Outcomes in Cardiac Surgery.

Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology

Enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) protocols are perioperative care pathways designed to achieve early recovery after procedures. ERAS protocols have shown shortened recovery time, and lower opioid utilization and postoperative complication rates. Evidence to support the use of ERAS protocols is robust, however, minimal data exists in cardiac surgery patients.

This observational cohort compared adults receiving post-operative care after coronary artery bypass or valve procedures who received an ERAS protocol containing acetaminophen, gabapentin, and methocarbamol to historical controls. The primary outcome of this study was postoperative opioid use during the first 72-hours following cardiac surgery. Secondary outcomes included length of stay, average pain scores 72-hours postoperatively, and incidence of opioid-related complications.

Total cumulative 72-hour post-operative opioid consumption showed a trend toward reduction in opioid use in patients who received the ERAS protocol vs the historic control group [75.8 mg vs 105.4 mg oral morphine equivalents (P = .09)]. Median postoperative lengths of stay and pain scores were similar between groups. Opioid related complications including constipation and respiratory depression occurred more frequently in the control group compared to the ERAS group [47.7% vs 60.5% (P < .05) and 57.1% vs 62.7% (P < .05) respectively].

Use of an ERAS protocol shows a promising trend toward less postoperative opioid use in cardiac surgery patients. Lower rates of opioid-related adverse events, including constipation and respiratory depression, were observed in the ERAS protocol group. This study indicates that ERAS protocols have a potential role for cardiac surgery patients postoperatively.

Efficacy and treatment-related adverse events of multi-targeted tyrosine kinase inhibitors in advanced non-small-cell lung cancer: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.

International Journal of Epidemiology

Multitargeted tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) are used to treat advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Their efficacy and safety have been studied in randomized controlled trials.

This meta-analysis aimed to summarize the most up-to-date evidence regarding the efficacy and adverse events of TKIs in NSCLC treatment.

Randomized controlled trials were searched from PubMed, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials. The intervention arm was the TKI-containing group, and the control arm was the TKI-free group. Objective response rate (ORR), disease control rate (DCR), progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival, and adverse events were extracted and synthesized. The last search was performed in April 2022. Two researchers independently screened articles, extracted data, and evaluated the quality of the included studies. The Cochrane risk-of-bias tool was used to assess the quality of each study. Random or fixed-effect models were used in statistical methods. I2 statistics were used to assess heterogeneity.

Thirty-one studies (12,517 patients) were included. Compared to the control group, the TKI group had significantly higher ORR (relative risk RR 1.52, 95% confidence interval, CI [1.29, 1.80], P < 0.05), DCR (RR 1.34, 95%CI [1.19, 1.51], P < 0.05), and prolonged PFS (hazard ratio HR 0.67, 95%CI [0.59, 0.77], P < 0.05). The TKI group showed a higher rate of adverse events (RR 1.70, 95%CI [1.34, 2.16], P < 0.05) and grade 3-5 adverse events (RR 1.59, 95% CI [1.35, 1.88], P < 0.05).

TKIs could increase ORR and DCR and prolong PFS for advanced NSCLC. Adverse events should be closely monitored.

Designated prescribing practitioners: a theory-based cross-sectional study of stakeholders' views on implementation of a novel pharmacy regulator mandated preceptorship model.

International Journal of Epidemiology

Scottish Government is increasing independent prescribers (IP) in community pharmacy (CP). A new preceptorship model using IPs as Designated Prescribing Practitioners (DPPs) has been introduced.

To investigate stakeholder views of implementation of a novel regulator mandated IP course preceptorship model.

A theory-based online pre-piloted survey of stakeholders including e.g. directors of pharmacy, prescribing, education leads, policy & strategy leads and CPs. Questionnaire development used Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR) and a DPP Competency Framework. Data were analysed descriptively and presented with mapping to CFIR constructs.

Of ninety-nine responses 82.5% (80/97) responded 'yes' to '..abilities in reporting concerns..' and 53.1% (51/96) indicating 'no' to '..anticipated issues with clinical and diagnostic skills'. CFIR related facilitators included agreement that; there was tension for change with 84 (85%) indicating '….urgent need to implement role …', that incentives are likely to help (6566%) and small pilots would help (8588%). Barriers were evident related to 'unsure' responses about sufficiency of; DPP capacity (39/97, 40.2%), time (48/96, 50%) and support and resources (4445%) to undertake the role. Concerns were expressed with 81 (83%) in agreement or unsure that leadership commitment may be lacking and 48 (48.9%) were 'unsure' about availability of good training for the DPP role.

There was DPP role positivity but expressed barriers and facilitators at policy, organisational and individual practitioner levels needing further consideration. Further research is warranted on uptake and embedding of the role.

Optimizing Medication Distribution in Automated Dispensing Cabinets: Dashboard Implementation and Evaluation.

Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology

To determine the impact of a business intelligence dashboard tool to optimize automated dispensing cabinets (ADCs).

A pre-post implementation design was used to evaluate key performance indicators (KPI) before and after the implementation of a dashboard tool to optimize ADCs. Eleven ADCs were optimized in 2 phases according to dashboard recommendations: (1) removal of unused medications over 90 days, (2) adjusting periodic automatic replenishment (PAR) levels, and (3) addition of commonly dispensed medications. The KPI measures that were assessed included inventory cost, no. of stocked medications, stockout percentage, vend to refill ratio, and missing dose messages from nursing. An interrupted-time-series regression was used to quantify the impact of ADCs on the means of measured KPIs.

Differences in mean distribution of all KPIs, except missing dose, between the pre- and post-ADC periods during the Phase 1 period were statistically significant: inventory cost (54.2 vs 56), stockout percentage (1.55 vs 1.12), vend to refill ratio (6.83 vs 6.14), and missing dose messages (221 vs 229). Only the mean ADC utilization (57.3 vs 64) and missing dose (228 vs 179) were statistically different between the pre- and post-ADC periods in Phase 2. The interrupted-time-series analysis showed that Phase 1 optimization significantly reduced the cost of inventory (β = -$1.238.00, P < .01), no. Stocked medications (β = -8.2, P < .01), percent stockout (β = -.49%, P < .01), vend-to-refill ratio (β = -1.29%, P<.01) and ADC utilization (β = -.2, P < .01).

Automated dispensing cabinets optimization, through the use of a dashboard tool, had a positive impact on almost all measured KPIs.

A retrospective cohort study of the effect of rapid versus delayed-result procalcitonin testing on antibiotic use at a community hospital.

International Journal of Epidemiology

Procalcitonin is a serum biomarker used to distinguish bacterial infection from viral or noninfectious syndromes. Primary literature shows mixed data on use of procalcitonin for de-escalation of antimicrobials. Delays in test results of send-out procalcitonin assays may result in prolonged antimicrobial durations. It is unknown whether availability of rapid-result assays may shorten time to antibiotic de-escalation.

This retrospective, cohort study compared antibiotic durations of treatment between groups with rapid-result versus delayed send-out, procalcitonin test modality. This study was exempt from Ethics Committee Approval, as determined by the Institutional Review Board at the study site.

Adult hospitalized patients were included if they had at least one procalcitonin test performed during the study period. The primary outcome compared mean duration of antimicrobial therapy between groups receiving a rapid-result procalcitonin test and a send-out test. Secondary outcomes included incidence of Clostridiodes difficile infection, mention of procalcitonin testing in the electronic medical record in reference to antimicrobial therapy decision making, and presence of comorbidities which affect procalcitonin levels independent of infection.

A total of 350 lab results were analyzed. The duration of antimicrobial treatment between groups was not statistically different with the median duration of treatment in the send-out group being 2.95 days compared to 3.35 in the rapid result group, p = 0.856. Patient comorbidities with potential to lead to a noninfectious elevation or falsely high level of procalcitonin were common.

Use of a rapid-result procalcitonin assay does not reduce hospital antimicrobial therapy duration as compared with send-out testing.

Expired medications and disposal practices in Arab households.

International Journal of Epidemiology

Over the past few decades, the accumulation of expired and unused medications in households has become a concern. Most people are unaware of how to properly dispose of unused and/or expired medicines. Our objective was to inspect the extent of expired medications within Arab households in United Arab Emirates (UAE), to determine which therapeutic groups yield greater amounts of unused medications, and evaluate drugs' disposal practices.

This descriptive study was written in accordance with the STROBE (Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology) checklist for cross-sectional studies. It was conducted among Arab households in UAE (n = 503) using an online questionnaire between November 2020 and January 2021. Questions were related to participants' socio-demographics, the prevalence of expired medications in households and their disposal.

Around 58% of the respondents had expired medications in their houses and 74% had drugs that were never used. The most common medicines left unused were analgesics (34%) followed by cosmetics (27%) and antibiotics (26%). More than 42% of expired medications were in solid dosage forms, 28% were semisolid and 24% were liquid dosage forms. The predominant disposal method among the surveyed participants was throwing medications into the garbage (86%).

Large quantities of expired medications in Arab households exist with a high prevalence of analgesics, antibiotics and cosmetics. Arab households are unaware of the proper drug disposal procedures. Therefore, community pharmacists are recommended to offer training on proper medication disposal practices and to encourage the public to return medications to pharmacies.