Evaluation of Clinical Pharmacist Recommendations in the Geriatric Ward of a Belgian University Hospital.

Evaluation of clinical pharmacist recommendations in the geriatric ward of a Belgian university hospital.

Clin Interv Aging. 2013; 8: 703-709
Somers A, Robays H, De Paepe P, Van Maele G, Perehudoff K, Petrovic M

To evaluate the type, acceptance rate, and clinical relevance of clinical pharmacist recommendations at the geriatric ward of the Ghent university hospital.The clinical pharmacist evaluated drug use during a weekly 2-hour visit for a period of 4 months and, if needed, made recommendations to the prescribing physician. The recommendations were classified according to type, acceptance by the physician, prescribed medication, and underlying drug-related problem. Appropriateness of prescribing was assessed using the Medication Appropriateness Index (MAI) before and after the recommendations were made. Two clinical pharmacologists and two clinical pharmacists independently and retrospectively evaluated the clinical relevance of the recommendations and rated their own acceptance of them.The clinical pharmacist recommended 304 drug therapy changes for 100 patients taking a total of 1137 drugs. The most common underlying drug-related problems concerned incorrect dose, drug-drug interaction, and adverse drug reaction, which appeared most frequently for cardiovascular drugs, drugs for the central nervous system, and drugs for the gastrointestinal tract. The most common type of recommendation concerned adapting the dose, and stopping or changing a drug. In total, 59.7% of the recommendations were accepted by the treating physician. The acceptance rate by the evaluators ranged between 92.4% and 97.0%. The mean clinical relevance of the recommendations was assessed as possibly important (53.4%), possibly low relevance (38.1%), and possibly very important (4.2%). A low interrater agreement concerning clinical relevance between the evaluators was found: kappa values ranged between 0.15 and 0.25. Summated MAI scores significantly improved after the pharmacist recommendations, with mean values decreasing from 9.3 to 6.2 (P < 0.001).In this study, the clinical pharmacist identified a high number of potential drug-related problems in older patients; however, the acceptance of the pharmacotherapy recommendations by the treating physician was lower than by a panel of evaluators. This panel, however, rated most recommendations as possibly important and as possibly having low relevance, with low interrater reliability. As the appropriateness of prescribing seemed to improve with decreased MAI scores, clinical pharmacy services may contribute to the optimization of drug therapy in older inpatients. HubMed – drug


Medication possession ratio: implications of using fixed and variable observation periods in assessing adherence with disease-modifying drugs in patients with multiple sclerosis.

Patient Prefer Adherence. 2013; 7: 509-516
Kozma CM, Dickson M, Phillips AL, Meletiche DM

The purpose of this study was to compare two methods of adherence calculation using administrative data for patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) who are prescribed disease-modifying drugs.Pharmacy-billed disease-modifying drug prescription claims were selected from the 2007-2008 LifeLink™ Health Plan Claims Database. The index date was the first disease-modifying drug prescription claim. Two cohorts were created: all patients with a disease-modifying drug claim in 2007 and a subset with continuous eligibility for 12 months post-index. Adherence was calculated across all disease-modifying drugs for 12 months post-index. Medication possession ratios (MPRs) with variable (start to end of therapy) and fixed (365 days) duration denominators were calculated. Variable MPR was calculated by summing days supply from the first to the last prescription (inclusive) divided by time between the last prescription date plus days supply and the first prescription date. Variable MPR was evaluated for all patients and the continuously eligible cohort. Fixed MPR used the same numerator but divided by 365 days of follow-up and evaluated only for the continuously eligible cohort.There were 3405 patients with MS and a disease-modifying drug claim in 2007 and 2145 in the continuously eligible cohort. Means for variable MPR ranged from 87.5% ± 16.6% for the continuously eligible cohort to 90.5% ± 16.0% for the 2007 cohort. The comparable value for fixed MPR was 78.0% ± 28.2% for the continuously eligible cohort. Fixed MPR gave a consistently lower rate of adherence than variable MPR at an 80% adherence threshold.Different adherence measures can yield different outcomes, especially when using different eligibility criteria. These results demonstrate the importance of full disclosure of methods used for calculations and specification of the study population. HubMed – drug


Osteoporosis – a current view of pharmacological prevention and treatment.

Drug Des Devel Ther. 2013; 7: 435-448
Das S, Crockett JC

Postmenopausal osteoporosis is the most common bone disease, associated with low bone mineral density (BMD) and pathological fractures which lead to significant morbidity. It is defined clinically by a BMD of 2.5 standard deviations or more below the young female adult mean (T-score =-2.5). Osteoporosis was a huge global problem both socially and economically – in the UK alone, in 2011 £6 million per day was spent on treatment and social care of the 230,000 osteoporotic fracture patients – and therefore viable preventative and therapeutic approaches are key to managing this problem within the aging population of today. One of the main issues surrounding the potential of osteoporosis management is diagnosing patients at risk before they develop a fracture. We discuss the current and future possibilities for identifying susceptible patients, from fracture risk assessment to shape modeling and in relation to the high heritability of osteoporosis now that a plethora of genes have been associated with low BMD and osteoporotic fracture. This review highlights the current therapeutics in clinical use (including bisphosphonates, anti-RANKL [receptor activator of NF-?B ligand], intermittent low dose parathyroid hormone, and strontium ranelate) and some of those in development (anti-sclerostin antibodies and cathepsin K inhibitors). By highlighting the intimate relationship between the activities of bone forming (osteoblasts) and bone-resorbing (osteoclasts) cells, we include an overview and comparison of the molecular mechanisms exploited in each therapy. HubMed – drug


Preparation and evaluation of a multimodal minoxidil microemulsion versus minoxidil alone in the treatment of androgenic alopecia of mixed etiology: a pilot study.

Drug Des Devel Ther. 2013; 7: 413-423
Sakr FM, Gado AM, Mohammed HR, Adam AN

The variable success of topical minoxidil in the treatment of androgenic alopecia has led to the hypothesis that other pathways could mediate this form of hair loss, including infection and/or microinflammation of the hair follicles. In this study, we prepared a multimodal microemulsion comprising minoxidil (a dihydrotestosterone antagonist), diclofenac (a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agent), and tea tree oil (an anti-infective agent). We investigated the stability and physicochemical properties of this formulation, and its therapeutic efficacy compared with a formulation containing minoxidil alone in the treatment of androgenic alopecia.We developed a multimodal oil/water (o/w) microemulsion, a formulation containing minoxidil alone, and another containing vehicle. A three-phase diagram was constructed to obtain the optimal concentrations of the selected oil, surfactant, and cosurfactant. Thirty-two men aged 18-30 years were randomized to apply 1 mL of microemulsion containing the multimodal formulation (formulation A, n = 11), minoxidil alone (formulation B, n = 11) or placebo (formulation C, n = 10) twice daily to the affected area for 32 weeks. Efficacy was evaluated by mean hair count, thickness, and weight on the targeted area of the scalp. Global photographs were taken, changes in the area of scalp coverage were assessed by patients and external investigators, and the benefits and safety of the study medications were evaluated. The physical stability of formula A was examined after a shelf storage period of 24 months.Formulation A achieved a significantly superior response than formulations B and C in terms of mean hair count (P < 0.001), mean hair weight (P < 0.001), and mean hair thickness (P < 0.05). A patient self-assessment questionnaire demonstrated that the multimodal minoxidil formulation significantly (P < 0.001) slowed hair loss, increased hair growth, and improved appearance, and showed no appreciable side effects, such as itching and/or inflammation of the scalp compared with the minoxidil alone and placebo formulations. These improvements were in agreement with the photographic assessments made by the investigators. Formula A was shown to be an o/w formulation with consistent pH, viscosity, specific gravity, and homogeneity, and was physically stable after 24 months of normal storage.A multimodal microemulsion comprising minoxidil, diclofenac, and tea tree oil was significantly superior to minoxidil alone and placebo in terms of stability, safety, and efficacy, and achieved an earlier response in the treatment of androgenic alopecia compared with minoxidil alone in this 32-week pilot study. HubMed – drug