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Concept: Pharmacy

178

Pharmacists play a role in providing medication reconciliation. However, data on effectiveness on patients' clinical outcomes appear inconclusive. Thus, the aim of this study was to systematically investigate the effect of pharmacist-led medication reconciliation programmes on clinical outcomes at hospital transitions.

Concepts: Medicine, Clinical trial, Medical statistics, Effect, Effectiveness, Meta-analysis, Pharmacy

169

OBJECTIVES: To investigate the association between occupational contamination and exposure levels to antineoplastic drugs and the application of control measures in a hospital work environment. Methods : Wipe samples of equipments were collected at a hospital in Osaka Prefecture, Japan, from 2007 to 2011. These samples were subjected to measurements of cyclophosphamide (CP), gemcitabine (GEM), platinum-containing drugs (Pt), and fluorouracil (5FU). Additionally, 24-h urine samples were collected from pharmacists who handled antineoplastic drugs, which were analyzed for CP and alpha-fluoro-beta-alanine (AFBA). The application of control measures was scored according to a checklist, which consisted of the following five items: safety equipment and maintenance, training and documentation, devices for safe handling, personal protective equipment, and emergency care. The aim was to obtain a score of 80%. Results : The median CP, GEM, and 5FU concentrations of all wipe samples were significantly lower during the period when the mean score was >80% (attainment period) versus when the mean score was ≤80% (nonattainment period; all P < 0.001, Mann-Whitney's U-test). Additionally, the median urinary CP and AFBA concentrations of pharmacists during the attainment period tended to be lower than that of those during the nonattainment period (P = 0.061 and 0.061, respectively, using Mann-Whitney's U-test). Conclusions : Contamination and levels of exposure to antineoplastic drugs decreased with a score higher than 80%. The scores of the items on the checklist appeared to adequately reflect the condition of the control measures, as increases in all five items were associated with reductions in the contamination by and levels of exposure to all drugs.

Concepts: Arithmetic mean, Scores, Personal protective equipment, Protection, Pharmacy, Occupational safety and health, Prefectures of Japan, Osaka Prefecture

163

Taking medications as prescribed is imperative for their effectiveness. In populations such as Medicare, where two thirds of Medicare beneficiaries have at least 2 or more chronic conditions requiring treatment with medications and account for more than 90% of Medicare health care spend, examining ways to improve medication adherence in patients with comorbidities is warranted.

Concepts: Health care, Pharmacology, Medicine, Health insurance, Pharmaceutical drug, Pharmacy, Health science, Diagnosis-related group

159

Automatic monitoring of Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs), defined as adverse patient outcomes caused by medications, is a challenging research problem that is currently receiving significant attention from the medical informatics community. In recent years, user-posted data on social media, primarily due to its sheer volume, has become a useful resource for ADR monitoring. Research using social media data has progressed using various data sources and techniques, making it difficult to compare distinct systems and their performances. In this paper, we perform a methodical review to characterize the different approaches to ADR detection/extraction from social media, and their applicability to pharmacovigilance. In addition, we present a potential systematic pathway to ADR monitoring from social media.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Medicine, Performance, Adverse drug reaction, Pharmacy, Pharmacovigilance, American Depositary Receipt, Medical informatics

158

Background Fungal infections are rare complications of injections for treatment of chronic pain. In September 2012, we initiated an investigation into fungal infections associated with injections of preservative-free methylprednisolone acetate that was purchased from a single compounding pharmacy. Methods Three lots of methylprednisolone acetate were recalled by the pharmacy; examination of unopened vials later revealed fungus. Notification of all persons potentially exposed to implicated methylprednisolone acetate was conducted by federal, state, and local public health officials and by staff at clinical facilities that administered the drug. We collected clinical data on standardized case-report forms, and we tested for the presence of fungi in isolates and specimens by examining cultures and performing polymerase-chain-reaction assays and histopathological and immunohistochemical testing. Results As of October 19, 2012, more than 99% of 13,534 potentially exposed persons had been contacted. As of December 10, there were 590 reported cases of infection in 19 states, with 37 deaths (6%). As of November 26, laboratory evidence of Exserohilum rostratum was present in specimens from 100 case patients (17%). Additional data were available for 386 case patients (65%); 300 of these patients (78%) had meningitis. Case patients had received a median of 1 injection (range, 1 to 6) of implicated methylprednisolone acetate. The median age of the patients was 64 years (range, 16 to 92), and the median incubation period was 20 days (range, 0 to 120); 33 patients (9%) had a stroke. Conclusions Analysis of preliminary data from a large multistate outbreak of fungal infections showed substantial morbidity and mortality. The infections were associated with injection of a contaminated glucocorticoid medication from a single compounding pharmacy. Rapid public health actions included prompt recall of the implicated product, notification of exposed persons, and early outreach to clinicians.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Epidemiology, Fungus, Glucocorticoid, Pharmaceutical drug, Pharmacy, Pharmacist, Compounding

144

The Italian herbal products market is the most prosperous in Europe. The proof is represented by the use of these products in several marketing categories, ranging from medicine to nutrition and cosmetics. Market and legislation in Italy are at the same time cause and consequence of this peculiar situation. In fact, the legislation on botanical food supplements in Italy is very permissive and at the same time the market shows an overall satisfaction of users and strong feedback in terms of consumption, which brings a widening use of medicinal plants, formerly the prerogative of pharmaceuticals, to other fields such as nutrition. This review summarizes the market and normative panorama of herbal products in Italy, highlighting the blurred boundaries of health indications, marketing authorizations and quality controls between herbal medicines and non pharmaceutical products, such as food supplements, cosmetics and other herbal-based “parapharmaceuticals”.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Medicine, Botany, Pharmaceutical drug, Herbalism, Herb, Pharmacy, Food and Drug Administration

123

Patients receiving psychiatric services at community mental health centers (CMHCs) are often prescribed medication that is critical to the treatment of behavioral health conditions, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, anxiety, and depression. Previous studies have shown correlation between rates of medication adherence and risk of hospitalization, but potential differences in medication adherence and other outcomes for patients of CMHCs by pharmacy type have not been widely studied.

Concepts: Psychology, Hospital, Mental disorder, Schizophrenia, Psychosis, Bipolar disorder, Pharmacy, Suicide

86

Managing expenditures on pharmaceuticals is important for health systems to sustain universal access to necessary medicines. We sought to estimate the size and sources of differences in expenditures on primary care medications among high-income countries with universal health care systems.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Health economics, Medicine, Universal health care, Drug, Pharmaceutical drug, Pharmacy, Food and Drug Administration

66

There is growing need to develop efficient methods for early-stage drug discovery, continuous manufacturing of drug delivery vehicles, and ultra-precise dosing of high potency drugs. Here we demonstrate the use of solvent-free organic vapor jet printing to deposit nanostructured films of small molecular pharmaceutical ingredients, including caffeine, paracetamol, ibuprofen, tamoxifen, BAY 11-7082 and fluorescein, with accuracy on the scale of micrograms per square centimeter, onto glass, Tegaderm, Listerine tabs, and stainless steel microneedles. The printed films exhibit similar crystallographic order and chemistry as the original powders; controlled, order-of-magnitude enhancements of dissolution rate are observed relative to powder-form particles. In vitro treatment of breast and ovarian cancer cell cultures in aqueous media by tamoxifen and BAY 11-7082 films shows similar behavior to drugs pre-dissolved in dimethyl sulfoxide. The demonstrated precise printing of medicines as films, without the use of solvents, can accelerate drug screening and enable continuous manufacturing, while enhancing dosage accuracy.Traditional approaches used in the pharmaceutical industry are not precise or versatile enough for customized medicine formulation and manufacture. Here the authors produce a method to form coatings, with accurate dosages, as well as a means of closely controlling dissolution kinetics.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Medicine, Cancer, Drug, Dose, Pharmaceutical drug, Accuracy and precision, Pharmacy

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Background Previous research has examined the number and extent of medicines taking in pregnant women but not their beliefs and risk perception surrounding their use. Objective To describe beliefs and risk perception associated with medicines use for the treatment of common acute conditions among UK women and explore whether this is related to actual medicines use. Settings Cross-sectional, web-based study in the UK. Methods Pregnant women and mothers within 1 year of giving birth were invited to participate in an online cross-sectional questionnaire-based study via a pregnancy website in the UK. Anonymous data were collected from women regarding their use of medicines (both over-the-counter and prescribed) and their beliefs regarding medicines use during pregnancy. Main outcome measures Pregnant women’s beliefs about medicines and their relation to pharmacological treatment of acute conditions in pregnancy. Results Pharmacological treatment of conditions in pregnancy ranged from 65.4 % for urinary tract infections (UTIs) to 1.1 % for sleeping problems. Almost three out of ten women avoided using some medications during pregnancy. For heartburn and UTIs, women who did not treat the condition viewed medicines in general as being overused, more harmful and less beneficial, than those who treated the condition. In general, UK pregnant women perceived medicines to be beneficial and slightly overused. Conclusions Women’s beliefs about medications impact on treatment of specific conditions in pregnancy such as heartburn and UTIs. Healthcare professionals should explore patient’s beliefs regarding medication at the first maternity care visit to promote appropriate medication use in pregnancy.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Medicine, Pregnancy, Childbirth, Urinary tract infection, Obstetrics, Pharmaceutical drug, Pharmacy