How to Interpret Kaplan-Meier Curves

Statistics is a tough subject, and interpreting statistical tests used in clinical trials can be confusing for even the most seasoned healthcare professionals. Even so, statistics forms the backbone of evidence-based medicine. Because of this, having a good understanding of the most common statistical tests can help us provide the best care to our patients. We previously looked at p-values, and here we’ll look at another commonly used statistical tool: Kaplan-Meier curves.

Understanding the Community Pharmacy Structure in France

Community pharmacies are those that dispense medications to patients who aren’t hospitalized or in nursing facilities. This series explores how community pharmacy practice differs around the world. In doing so, it gives us the opportunity to view our own system in a new light and possibly find opportunities for improvement. We’ve covered the globe, exploring the practice of pharmacy in countries across continents, from Japan and Australia to Argentina and Finland. In this post, we’ll look at pharmacy practice in France, a country whose healthcare system was named the top in the world by the World Health Organization. Its healthcare system is often discussed in the U.S., especially in debates on healthcare reform.

International Best Practices: Medication Disposal in Finland

In our pharmacy around the world series, we have explored how community pharmacy differs across the globe, from Canada to Iran to Switzerland. In doing so, we have been able to uncover best practices that might give us an opportunity to improve our own healthcare system. In an extension of this series, we’re exploring healthcare initiatives from other countries. And in this post, we’ll look at how Finland has successfully managed medication waste and disposal. To help us better understand Finland’s practices for medication waste, we’ve interviewed Johanna Timonen, PhD, a university researcher and faculty member at the University of Eastern Finland School of Pharmacy.

Marketing Your Private Practice: Strategies to Get Started

It has become increasingly difficult for independent physician’s practices to survive and thrive in today’s complex, competitive environment. Because of requirements around electronic medical records (EMRs), performance-based pay, and large, independent delivery networks, private practices are on the decline nationwide. But, with the right approach, it is still very possible to build an independent practice and enjoy the rewards that come with it. One important factor is having the right marketing strategy.

Assessing the True Risk of QT Prolongation

The QT interval is the interval on an EKG that represents the time it takes for the heart’s ventricles to depolarize and repolarize. Long QT syndrome, caused by a prolonged QT interval, can be either congenital or acquired. Most acquired cases are caused by either electrolyte imbalances or medications. The most accurate way to diagnose long QT syndrome is by measuring the QT interval and correcting for heart rate, termed the QTc interval. Not much is known about the incidence of acquired long QT syndrome, but the prevalence of congenital cases has been estimated at 1 in 2,000 live births.

A Look at the History of Hazardous Drug Handling

Every year an estimated 8 million healthcare workers are potentially exposed to hazardous drugs, which can increase their risk for acute and chronic conditions like cancer, reproductive and developmental toxicity, hair loss, nausea, and vomiting. Thankfully, today there are robust guidelines and technologies — like closed-system transfer devices and personal protective equipment (PPE) — that can prevent exposure to hazardous drugs. But this represents a long history of efforts to protect healthcare workers and caregivers from hazardous drugs.

Innovative Uses of Collaborative Practice Agreements Between Pharmacists and Providers

Collaborative practice agreements, often signed between prescribing providers and pharmacists, allow pharmacists to offer added services to their patients under the supervision of a physician. In a previous post, we looked at state laws regarding collaborative practice agreements and how some states are using this tool to improve care in their communities. Here, we’ll look at how providers and pharmacists have come together to use collaborative practice agreements in a unique way. This has allowed them to reach more patients while also adding a revenue source to their practice.

Outcomes™ helps pharma keep patients on their glucose monitoring and antidiabetic therapy

Up to one in 10 Americans is currently living with diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and unfortunately that figure is projected to skyrocket to as many as one in five Americans by 2050. Although there have been significant strides made in glucose monitoring and drug therapy, diabetes still puts these patients at risk for a host of complications, including heart disease, kidney failure, blindness, amputations and nerve damage.

Why Substandard and Counterfeit Medications Are a Danger to Global Public Health

When you get a prescription filled at a U.S. pharmacy, you can feel confident there are strong systems in place that make sure the medicine listed on the bottle is contained within each dosage form. Manufacturers must adhere to Current Good Manufacturing Practices. Also, systems are in place to issue and quickly communicate recalls to pharmacies and laws to protect the supply chain. In other parts of the world, however, counterfeit and substandard medications remain a serious threat to the public’s health. Here, we'll explore the issue of substandard and counterfeit medications, what they are, and what is being done to address this global problem.

Fewer Students Are Enrolling in Pharmacy School. Here’s What the Downward Trend Means

In a previous article, we interviewed three pharmacists who had followed varied career paths to get insight into the current labor market and conditions in the industry. However, another key aspect to consider when looking at the future of pharmacy, and of the pharmacy job market, is the pipeline of new pharmacists. Here, we’ll look at the decrease in pharmacy school applications and enrollment, as well as how admission requirements have changed over time.

A Global Look at Drug Pricing Models: How to Expand Access and Control Costs

The U.S. has the highest prescription drug costs in the world. In 2020, Americans spent almost $350 billion, or more than $1,000 per person, on prescription drugs. Research conducted by GoodRx also indicates that 40% of Americans struggle to afford their prescriptions. However, other countries use a number of proven strategies to keep costs down and improve medication access, and these models could be implemented in the U.S.

Universal Flu Vaccine: What Healthcare Providers Should Know

The development of a universal flu vaccine has been a hot area of research since the 1930s and is currently a priority of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This kind of vaccine could potentially eliminate the need for an annual flu shot, which would particularly benefit parts of the world where access to immunization services is limited. It might also offer better protection from the flu by preventing patients from getting sick with strains not covered by the annual shot. Here, we’ll look at recent advances on the path to a universal flu vaccine, what still needs to be done, and who is working on developing this vaccine.

4 Types of Healthcare System Designs — and the Pros and Cons of Each

In our healthcare around the world series, we have covered numerous countries across the globe, from Iran to Argentina, Finland, and beyond. In doing so, we have seen many ways pharmacy services are delivered around the world and discovered innovative practices that reduce costs and improve care. Because of the unique strategies different countries have developed, it can appear that each one has a completely different way of delivering healthcare. However, healthcare systems follow only a few different models, which countries, including the U.S., adapt to meet their citizens’ needs.

Exploring the Community Pharmacy Structure in Nigeria

Community pharmacies are those that dispense medications to patients who aren’t hospitalized or in nursing facilities. This series explores how community pharmacy practice differs around the world. In doing so, it gives us the opportunity to view our own system in a new light and potentially find opportunities for improvement. We’ve covered the globe, exploring the practice of pharmacy in countries across continents, from Japan and Australia to Argentina and Finland. However, to date we’ve covered only two African countries: Malawi and Egypt. Here, we’ll expand on that by looking at community pharmacy practice in Nigeria.

How to Cut Down On E-waste in Healthcare

E-waste is a growing problem globally. According to a 2019 UN report, the world generates more than 50 million tons of e-waste annually, at a value of $62.5 billion. Out of that, only 20% was properly recycled, and the remainder was trashed or recycled improperly, harming both people and the environment. There isn’t a lot of information available on how much of the world’s e-waste is generated by healthcare facilities, but in 2021 the global medical equipment market was worth $149 billion, and all that equipment will eventually need to be replaced. It is critical, and central to the mission of healthcare organizations, to pave the way to a more sustainable future for electronics. There are several things healthcare organizations can do to reduce their production of e-waste and move toward more sustainable use of electronics.

Working as a Pharmacist on a Tropical Island: How to Get Licensed in 4 Caribbean Destinations

After graduation, wanderlust pharmacists might be considering taking their pharmacy education abroad. There are many ways to do that. Perhaps the most straightforward path, though, is practicing pharmacy in a traditional setting, like in the community or at a hospital. Still, the language barrier will make it difficult in most cases, unless it is another English-speaking country. In the first post in this series, we looked at how to take your pharmacist license overseas and work in Canada, New Zealand, the U.K., or Australia. Here, we’ll look at how to get licensed in four tropical island destinations: The Bahamas, Bermuda, Turks and Caicos, and the Cayman Islands.

How Providers Can Address Medical Mistrust in the U.S.

The COVID-19 pandemic brought to light a longstanding history of everyday Americans harboring mistrust for the medical community. Many were hesitant, for example, to adopt the recommendations of public health officials, with mask and vaccine recommendations being among the most contested. Previously, we looked at the origins of medical mistrust, including events that shaped the attitudes and beliefs of a wide range of communities and created problems that persist to this day. In this post, we’ll examine ways the healthcare community can begin to address and rebuild trust in individual professions and in medicine as a whole.

Pharmacist Spotlight: Kevin Kim, PharmD, on Management Consulting

Kevin Kim, PharmD, is a strategy insights and planning associate consultant. He feels that management consulting is an extremely rewarding yet little-known career path for healthcare professionals, including pharmacists. Here, we’ll look at how Dr. Kim discovered management consulting, the types of projects he works on, and his advice for other healthcare providers (HCPs) wanting to pursue this career path.

Is There a Retail Pharmacist Shortage? Three Pharmacists Weigh In

Walgreens recently announced it would offer up to $75,000 as a sign-on bonus for pharmacists. This came as a surprise to many practicing pharmacists who had been hearing about shrinking demand and increasing numbers of pharmacists. So is there a pharmacist shortage? Here, we’ll dive into the job openings and demand situation for retail pharmacists. To get a sense of what’s happening on the front lines, we interviewed Alex Barker, PharmD, founder of the Happy PharmD, and Ken O’Shea, PharmD, a pharmacist who has worked as a recruiter for a chain pharmacy. We also interviewed a district manager (DM) for a chain pharmacy who wished to remain anonymous.
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