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Making the GRADE: It’s time to AGREE on better CPGs

Making the GRADE: It’s time to AGREE on better CPGs

June 21, 2019

Staying abreast of the constant changes to clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) and determining their quality is difficult.  The general consensus in the medical community is that CPGs reduce inappropriate care and improve treatment quality and patient safety. However, concerns have been raised about the reliability, quality, and validity of CPGs. A recently published systematic review critically appraised the quality of published CPGs for the treatment of chronic diseases in primary care.

Guest Authors:  Frank Yu, Pharm.D. and Takova Wallace-Gay, Pharm.D., BCACP

Music by Good Talk

If Your Heart’s Not into It, Do You Really Need to Take Your Meds?

If Your Heart’s Not into It, Do You Really Need to Take Your Meds?

June 10, 2019

Dilated cardiomyopathy is the leading cause of sudden cardiac death and heart failure (HF) and the chief indication for cardiac transplantation. However, approximately 40% of patients see a significant improvement in left ventricular ejection fraction and reduction in the left ventricle size over time with pharmacologic treatment. As deprescribing becomes an increasingly important part of our clinical practice, we need more data about how deprescribing impacts outcomes, particularly in chronic diseases such as heart failure.  The recently published TRED-HF is attempted to address this important question: Is the burden of lifelong therapy with medications necessary or worth it in patients with "recovered" dilated cardiomyopathy?

Guest Author:  Jennifer Pruskowski, PharmD, BCPS, BCGP, CPE

Music by Good Talk

Should We Hold Our Breath for Vitamin D in COPD?

Should We Hold Our Breath for Vitamin D in COPD?

May 23, 2019

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbations contribute to mortality, disease progression, worsening quality of life, and increased health care costs. Respiratory tract infections are a common cause of COPD exacerbations.  While prophylactic antibiotics may play a role, vitamin D supplementation is an attractive option by stimulating innate and adaptive immune responses. Although severe vitamin D deficiency (25(OH)D <10 ng/mL) has been associated with more frequent exacerbations and hospitalizations in patients with COPD, it is unclear if supplementation actually reduces exacerbation frequency. A recent meta-analysis provides some data regarding the potential benefits of vitamin D supplement to prevent COPD exacerbations.

Guest Authors:  Jennifer Clements, PharmD, BCPS, BCACP and Lisa Gibbs, PharmD

Music by Good Talk

Breaking Up is Hard to Do: Are E-Cigarettes the Solution Tobacco Cessation?

Breaking Up is Hard to Do: Are E-Cigarettes the Solution Tobacco Cessation?

May 10, 2019

While there are several proven smoking cessation medications available over-the-counter and by prescription, e-cigarettes are being increasingly used for smoking cessation despite the lack of data or official FDA approval for this indication. To appropriately advise our patients, it is important to understand the safety and efficacy of e-cigarette use as a potential smoking cessation aid.

Guest Authors: Diane Kim, PharmD and Amanda Schartel, PharmD, BCACP

Music by Good Talk

Need a VITALity Boost? Rethink Vitamin D and Fish Oil Supplements

Need a VITALity Boost? Rethink Vitamin D and Fish Oil Supplements

April 26, 2019

Vitamin D and fish oil (aka omega-3 fatty acids) were the most widely used vitamin and nutritional supplement in 2011-2012.  Both have been commonly touted for their potential benefits in reducing cancer and cardiovascular disease. While vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acid supplements are wildly popular, the evidence supporting their health benefits is inconclusive and inconsistent. The VITAL study sought to determine whether vitamin D and/or marine omega-3 fatty acids can prevent cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cancer when used by the general population.

Guest Authors:  Anthony M Todd, PharmD; Sean E Smithgall, PharmD, BCACP; and Nicole A Slater, PharmD, BCACP

Music by Good Talk

D-PRESCRIBE Study: As Age Goes Up, The Medication Must Go Down!

D-PRESCRIBE Study: As Age Goes Up, The Medication Must Go Down!

April 13, 2019

The D-PRESCRIBE study provides compelling evidence that a focused, systematic medication review conducted by community-based pharmacists coupled with patient education and written recommendations to prescribers results in a significant reduction in the use of potentially inappropriate medications.  In this episode, Christine Dimaculangan reviews the methods and results of the D-PRESCRIBE study and our expert panelists discuss its implications and implementation.

Guests: Christine Dimaculangan, PharmD.; Nicole Brandt, PharmD, MBA, BCPP, BCGP; and Emily Prohaska, PharmD, BCACP, BCGP

Music by Good Talk

Keeping Intensive Blood Pressure Goals in MIND: Does it Impact Cognitive Decline?

Keeping Intensive Blood Pressure Goals in MIND: Does it Impact Cognitive Decline?

April 12, 2019

Intensive blood pressure (BP) control reduces the risk of cardiovascular events and mortality, but the verdict isn't in yet on the benefits of intensive control to prevent the development of dementia. Previous studies have shown an inconsistent relationship between blood pressure control and cognitive decline. SPRINT-MIND, using data from SPRINT, was designed to evaluate the effects of intensive BP control on cognitive outcomes including probable dementia and mild cognitive impairment.

Guest Authors:  Michelle Balli, PharmD, BCACP and Amy Robertson, PharmD, BCACP

Music by Good Talk

Is a Team-Based Approach in Primary Care Worth It?

Is a Team-Based Approach in Primary Care Worth It?

March 9, 2019

A team-based approach to patient care is well established in acute care settings, but not as widely adopted in primary care settings.  Working within a team could have a positive impact on the efficiency of visits, quality of care, workload, job satisfaction, and patient satisfaction. Previous studies in acute-care hospital settings reveal positive outcomes, but there have been mixed results in primary care settings. Are the extra time, effort, and money necessary to change to a collaborative team-based approach worth it? Will it positively impact health care utilization, quality, and cost?

Guest Authors:  Lily Van, PharmD and Courtney Davis, PharmD, BCACP

Music by Good Talk

Cardiovascular Risk with Elevated Triglycerides - Does Icosapent Ethyl REDUCE-IT?

Cardiovascular Risk with Elevated Triglycerides - Does Icosapent Ethyl REDUCE-IT?

February 22, 2019

Although hypertriglyceridemia has consistently been associated with increased CV events, medications that lower triglycerides have failed to reel in a significant reduction in major CV events when combined with statin therapy. Could purified fish oil derivatives be the answer? Or just another red herring? The Reduction of CV Events with Icosapent-Ethyl Intervention Trial (REDUCE-IT) sought to clarify the utility of icosapent ethyl, a highly purified EPA derivative.

Guest Authors: Melissa Norton, PharmD and Elizabeth A. Cook, PharmD, AE-C, BCACP, CDE

Music by Good Talk

Another Case of Newer Isn’t Always Better! Gabapentin vs. Pregabalin for Chronic Sciatica

Another Case of Newer Isn’t Always Better! Gabapentin vs. Pregabalin for Chronic Sciatica

February 8, 2019

Sciatica is a form of neuropathic pain which can be particularly frustrating for patients and difficult to manage. With a lack of evidence to guide treatment and opioid use becoming increasingly under the microscope, data supporting the use of alternative pain regimens are needed. Gabapentin and pregablin are GABA analogs often used to treat sciatic pain, but is one superior to the other? Pregabalin is newer and available as a branded product only, but is it more effective than generically available gabapentin?  A recently published study attempts to answer this question.

Guest Authors:  Austin Morgan, PharmD and Frank Fanizza, PharmD

Music by Good Talk