PHARMACY

Survey: Most nurse practitioners help decode medical info for their patients

BY Michael Johnsen

KENILWORTH, N.J. — Nurse practitioners play a crucial role in helping patients decode medical information, according to the findings of a recent Merck Manuals survey. The survey of 210 NPs, conducted at a recent medical conference, revealed that most (88%) believe they spend at least half of appointment times educating patients on diagnoses, treatments and prescriptions.

“Today, effective patient care requires NPs to help their patients cut through the clutter of medical misinformation,” stated Robert Porter, Merck Manuals editor-in-chief. “A little bit of research before an appointment can help educate patients, but only if they reference a credible source and plan to discuss their findings with their healthcare professional.”

A majority of NPs (78%) do prefer their patients do research ahead of appointments. However, many patients tend to turn that research into assumed diagnoses. As many as 95% of NPs say most of their patients attempt to diagnose themselves prior to appointments.

This is concerning given that when asked to characterize the health literacy of patients, nearly half (45%) said their patients’ lack of understanding is a barrier to maintaining their health. Almost half (48%) said their patients understand enough to follow basic treatment instructions, and just 7% said patients are knowledgeable, with specific ideas about their treatment.

According to the survey, NPs believe their patients prepare for appointments in several ways:
Doing online research (59%);Talking to a physician/nurse they know (31%); andPrinting materials to bring to the appointment (10%).

But about half (51%) say their patients don’t prepare for appointments at all.

“Sometimes patients see a commercial on TV and research it, and automatically diagnose themselves with a condition they don’t necessarily have. Then they want therapy or treatment that’s not appropriate,” reported one NP from Austin, Texas, surveyed at the conference. “So one of the biggest challenges is working through the misinformation, and educating them as to why they don’t have what they think they have.”

When asked about the top factors challenging the nurse practitioner/patient relationship, half of respondents ranked shortened appointment times as the most crucial, followed by low health literacy and increased dependency on paperwork/digital records.

 

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FDA green-lights CMP Pharma’s CaroSpir

BY David Salazar

SILVER SPRING, Md. — CMP Pharma on Monday announced that the Food and Drug Administration had approved its CaroSpir (spironolactone oral suspension, 25 mg/5ml). The company said it’s the only FDA-approved liquid dosage form of potassium-sparing diuretic spironolactone.

“CaroSpir provides a stable, ready to use and consistent liquid treatment option for adult patients, including those who have difficulty swallowing, or who cannot swallow tablets,” CMP Pharma CEO Gerald Sakowski said. “Up until now, these patients have been prescribed a pharmacy compounded liquid form of spironolactone.  The dosing inconsistencies of compounded liquids have long been a persistent challenge for physicians.”

The drug is indicated to treat NYHA class III-IV heart failure and reduced ejection fraction to increase survival, as well as to manage edema and reduce the need for hospitalization for heart failure. It also is indicated as an add-on therapy to treat hypertension, lower blood pressure in patients not adequately controlled on other agents and as part of cardiovasulvar risk management. It also can help manage edema in adult cirrhotic patients whose edema is not responsive to fluid and sodium restrictions.

The company expects the treatment to be available in the fourth quarter of 2017.

 

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Teva gets FDA clearance for QVAR RediHaler

BY David Salazar

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved Teva’s QVAR RediHaler (beclomethasone dipropionate HFA), the company announced Monday. The QVAR RediHaler is a breath-actuated inhaler for the maintenance of asthma as a prophylactic treatment in patients ages 4 years and older.

QVAR RediHaler is different from most metered-dose inhalers because it delivers medication through a breath-actuated metered-dose inhaler, which Teva said eliminates the need for hand-breath coordination during inhalation. The RediHaler contains the same active ingredient as QVAR Inhalation Aerosol. It also is designed to be used without shaking or priming, and should not be used with a spacer or volume holding chamber, Teva said.

“It’s important that we uncover new opportunities to take longstanding, clinically effective medications, such as QVAR, and incorporate them into device technologies that may help address key ongoing issues for patients, including inhaler technique,” Teva head of late stage development Dr. Tushar Shah said. “The FDA approval of QVAR RediHaler brings to market inhaler technology aimed at enabling patients to more accurately administer the medication and ensuring they are receiving a proper dose with each inhalation.”

Teva said it expects the QVAR RediHaler to be available in 40- and 80-mcg dosage strengths in the first quarter of 2018. It also plans to discontinue its QVAR metered-dose inhaler at the same time.

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