To help keep you informed about the biggest trends and developments concerning medication management and adherence, here are 10 of the most significant news reports published in May 2020. Highlights include stories on blood pressure medications, inhaler adherence, drug-drug interactions, medication shortages, and medication errors.
1. Drivers of Community Pharmacy-Level Medication Adherence
Pharmacy Times reports on drivers of medication adherence in community pharmacy as discussed during the recent Pharmacy Quality Alliance 2020 Annual Meeting. Among the takeaways: "… the two services that correlated the strongest with positive results in medication adherence were offering home delivery and offering multi-dose compliance packaging."
2. Study Finds High Blood Pressure Medications Safe for Patients With COVID-19 Disease
The results of a study of nearly 13,000 patients published in the New England Journal of Medicine indicate that common high blood pressure medications do not increase the risk of contracting COVID-19 or developing severe disease.
3. Asthma, COPD Inhaler Medication Adherence Trends During COVID-19
Pulmonology Advisor reports on a study in Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice showing that asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients are increasing their adherence to inhaler medications during the COVID-19 pandemic.
4. Drug-Drug Interactions Could Imperil COVID-19 Treatment
Physicians have found that that some of the most commonly prescribed medications can have strong and sometimes dangerous interactions with experimental COVID-19 therapies, reports Medscape.
5. How to Prepare for the Next Phase of the Pandemic: Hospital Pharmacists Share Lessons From the Frontlines
Managed Healthcare Executive shares insight from pharmacy leaders who have experienced COVID-19 surges on what health systems should be doing now in preparation for a potential second wave of the virus.
6. Coronavirus Crisis Highlights Weak Links in Supply Chain for Widely-Used Medications
An NJ.com report discusses the challenges facing pharmacies and consumers due to increasing drug shortages.
7. Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients on Medicare Seeing Increased Costs for Specialty Medications
Cost is a significant challenge for patients trying to maintain adherence with a medication regimen. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association Open finds that Medicare patients using specialty biologic medications for rheumatoid arthritis have experienced higher out-of-pocket spending for those same drugs due to gradual price increases since 2011.
8. Preventing Medication Errors At Small and Rural Hospitals
A Pharmacy Technology Report article shares lessons learned from medication errors at smaller facilities.
9. Drug Shortage Management Strategies Are Needed During Covid-19 Pandemic
As healthcare organizations face decreased availability of essential medications, strategies for better inventory and shortage management are discussed in a Healthcare Finance article.
10. Heartburn Medication Update
An article in the Harvard Health Letter provides information on developments concerning two common heartburn treatments: H2 blockers and proton-pump inhibitors.