PHARMACY

Adapt Pharma highlights naloxone nasal spray efficacy at AAPM

BY David Salazar
ORLANDO, Fla. — A little more than a year after its approval, Adapt Pharma made the case for the effectiveness of its Narcan (naoloxone) Nasal Spray 4 mg at the annual American Academy of Pain Medicine, here, on Thursday with real-world use data. The survey collected case data and outcomes of opioid overdose reversal attempts by first responders and community health organizations using the nasal spray. 
 
Of the 261 attempted reversals reported and analyzed, 245 recorded a known clinical outcome, with 242 reported as successful following administration of the nasal spray. More than 95% of the cases were presumed to involve a heroin overdose, and 5% involved fentanyl. In 74.5% of the cases analyzed, response time after naloxone administration was less than five minutes, which Adapt says is consistent with responses seen in patients receiving an intramuscular naloxone administration.
 
“We are pleased to have real-world experiences and outcomes with Narcan Nasal Spray presented at AAPM”, Adapt Pharma CEO Seamus Mulligan said. “Narcan Nasal Spray was designed to be administered in an emergency by people without specialized medical training.”
 
Albertsons recently announced that it had trained pharmacists across its banners in 13 states to dispense Adapt Pharma’s nasal spray without a prescription. The nasal spray was approved by the Food and Drug Administration under priority review and launched in February 2016. 
 
“With our teams in place as a resource for this medication, we are keeping with our commitment to serve and improve the health and wellness of all our customers while also making our communities stronger," Mark Panzer, Albertsons SVP pharmacy, health and wellness, said when Albertsons announced its naloxone nasal spray availability. 
 
With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimating that 78 Americans die daily from drug overdoses, naloxone availability has been a big effort among drug store chains, with CVS pharmacists dispensing naloxone injections for patients without prescriptions in 41 states, Rite Aid making it available in 23 states and Walgreens patients able to get naloxone prescription-free in more than 34 states and Washington, D.C. 
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APhA calls for health care reform to better incorporate pharmacists

BY David Salazar
APhA calls for health care reform to include pharmacist clinica 
 
 
WASHINGTON — As the American Health Care Act — the GOP plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act — makes its way through Congress, the American Pharmacists Association is weighing in on what it says would be an ideal addition to any health care reform efforts: patient access to pharmacist-provided services and affordable, safe medications. 
 
“Consistent with our recommendations related to the Affordable Care Act … and other health care reforms, APhA continues to call for policies that support patient access to and coverage of —pharmacists’ patient care services, the pharmacy of their choice, and safe and affordable medications,” APhA EVP and CEO Thomas Menighan said. “An important component to providing access is ensuring adequate reimbursement to pharmacists for their patient care services and to pharmacies for medications and other products. Securing enactment of these policies increases access, improves quality and decreases costs.”
 
Menighan said APhA is calling for a healthcare system that best uses the skills of its practitioners, including pharmacists, to bring patients the best care and bring value to the system. One way to do so is to better incorporate pharmacists and the clinical services they can offer into the healthcare team. One key way to realize where pharmacists can be incorporated into patient care, he said, is to take a less segmented view of what coverage patients need
 
“We encourage Congress, when setting policies, to look beyond isolated components of health care to determine value. Because health insurance coverage is frequently analyzed by the benefit type, such as in-patient, out-patient, and drug coverage, a patient’s overall services, costs and outcomes may never be reviewed comprehensively,” Menighan said. “Congress and other policymakers cannot continue to view drug and medical coverage, and their related costs and outcomes, separately if we are to achieve true value in health care.”
 
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Studies: Esbriet can improve life expectancies for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis patients

BY Brian Berk

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Pirfenidone (Esbriet) can improve life expectancy compared with best supportive care and lower the risk of lung function decline for patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, an irreversible and unpredictable disease of unknown etiology that makes breathing difficult and causes permanent scarring damage to the lungs, according to two studies published in the March issue of the Journal of Managed Care & Specialty Pharmacy.

IPF is has no known cause and is fatal, often resulting in death in two to five years after diagnosis. It affects approximately 100,000 Americans and typically occurs in people older than 50. Historically, more men than women have been diagnosed with IPF. Common symptoms include a persistent dry cough; shortness of breath, sometimes even during normal daily activities; and “Velcrolike” crackles at the bases of the lungs, which a doctor can hear with a stethoscope. IPF is often initially misdiagnosed with other more common diseases such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It can take months or even years to accurately diagnose IPF because the symptoms of IPF are very non-specific.

The first study, “Predicting Life Expectancy for Pirfenidone in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis,” revealed the Food and Drug Administration-approved drug, manufactured by Genenetech, can increase life expectancy in patients by 2.47 years compared to best supportive care. This study was funded by InterMune International AG, a wholly owned Roche subsidiary since 2014.

The second study, “Systematic Review and Network Meta-analysis of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Treatments,” concluded pirfenidone may reduce the odds of experiencing a decline in percent predicted FVC of ≥10% compared with placebo in the first year of treatment. The results of the analysis also suggest that pirfenidone improves survival. FVC refers to Forced Vital Capacity, which is a measure of breath a person can exhale.

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