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Is As-Needed Nasal Corticosteroid Use Needed for Allergic Rhinitis Management?

Allergic rhinitis affects millions of children and adults. Indeed, it is the fifth most common chronic disease in the United States.  Although people do not die from allergic rhinitis, it sure can make you feel miserable, disturb sleep, and impair daily activities. Guidelines recommend the use of intranasal corticosteroids on a daily basis since the onset of action takes a few days. In reality, however, patients adjust their treatment according to the severity of their symptoms. As-needed corticosteroid use is effective for the treatment and prevention of asthma symptoms. Can we apply this same concept to allergic rhinitis? Could the as-needed use of intranasal corticosteroids achieve the same outcomes as daily use?

Guest Authors: Lalitha Sukumar, PharmD; Alyssa Gallipani, PharmD, BCACP; and Rahul Jacob, PharmD

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Can a Polypill ‘TIP’ the Scale to a One-Size-Fits All Approach?

Creating an ideal therapeutic regimen is often like putting a puzzle together, with adherence being a critical piece of that puzzle. Studies, and clinical experience, show that patients are more likely to adhere to once-daily medication administration when compared to regimens that require more frequent dosing.  Given that pill burden and medication cost are an increasing problem, would our patients benefit from a simple, low-cost, one-size-fits-all approach to addressing cardiovascular risk?

Guests:  Ebony Isis Evans, PharmD, Katy Pincus, PharmD, BCPS, BCACP, and Sara Wettergreen, PharmD, BCACP

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There’s an App for That! Can Smartphone Apps Assist with Smoking Cessation?

Despite numerous anti-smoking campaigns, millions of adults continue to use traditional tobacco-cigarettes or e-cigarettes. Nearly 70% of smokers state they want to quit, however, less than 10% are successful.  Disappointingly, less than 60% of smokers report being offered any advice from healthcare professionals when trying to quit.  Smartphone applications are a new option for patients attempting to quit smoking in the digital age, but it is unclear if these apps improve quit rates.

Guest Authors:  Yue Pheng Vang, PharmD and Michelle Balli, PharmD, BCACP

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No Provider Status, No Problem: CCM as a Revenue Source in Community Pharmacy

Hypertension is poorly managed in the United States with only 25% of patients achieving optimal blood pressure (BP) control (BP less than 130/80 mmHg).  To achieve optimal control, patients require close follow-up and BP-lowering medication regimens need to be titrated and periodically adjusted. Community pharmacists are in a unique position to manage patients who have poorly controlled hypertension. However, significant barriers exist to implementing hypertension management services by community pharmacists including a lack of reimbursement. Is chronic care management (CCM) a viable payment model to support these services?

Guest Authors:  Kimberly Zitko, PharmD, BCACP, BCGP and Brittany Schmidt, PharmD, BCACP

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Addressing the Adherence Problem: Do Med Sync Programs Really Work?

The “silent killer” that impacts every ambulatory care practice is medication non-adherence.  Today, medication non-adherence is estimated to cause 125,000 preventable deaths every year and costs all of us $300 billion. It is no surprise that pharmacists have an important roll to play tackling this critical issue. Many pharmacies have now implemented medication synchronization or med sync programs to proactively address medication adherence.  While some have called med sync a “golden ticket,” research is clearly needed.

Guest Authors: Michael Kachmarsky, PharmD, BCACP and Daniel Longyhore, PharmD, MS, BCACP

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The Power of Pharmacist-to-Pharmacist Handoffs During Transitions of Care

Hospital readmissions are often medication-related and potentially preventable. Pharmacists can play a vital role in improving medication outcomes during transitions of care (TOC). Although numerous TOC practice models have been described, it remains unclear what practices will promote optimal continuity of care. A recently published study in the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association (JAPhA) examined the impact of pharmacist-to-pharmacist handoffs using electronic communications to reduce hospital readmissions in high-risk patients.

Guest Authors: Jessica Wooster, PharmD, BCACP and Laressa Bethishou, PharmD, BCPS

Music by Good Talk

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