Issue 10: The Collaborative Practice®

Celebrating AmCare clinical pharmacy innovations and pharmacists across the country

Polypharmacy? It can happen when clinicians don’t collaborate on patient care plans. Nonadherence? Often, it’s a matter of patients not being able to afford their meds – even though a coupon or pricing program your pharmacists know about could help.

The facts are clear: care teams only reach the right patients at the right time – and successfully intervene to treat those patients – when they communicate effectively.

The secret to effective communications and care plans? It’s in the data.

In this month’s Collaborative Practice, we focus on how physician-led patient care depends on streamlining accurate data exchange – and the critical role of refining pharmacy interoperability.

All the best –
The Team @ RxLive

How data can improve health equity and patient-centered care

This month we spoke with pharmacy compliance expert and National Council for Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP) Trustee Kim Boyd about how improving pharmacy interoperability and data standards increases health equity.

One key takeaway: large-scale data aggregation powers “the expeditious identification of trends in patient care” to support population health, increase health literacy, and eliminate gaps between metropolitan centers and rural care deserts. 

As Kim says, it’s critical work for pharmacists to be involved in. We couldn’t agree more. And if you’d like to join the conversation, please feel free to get in touch.

RxLive’s webinar series

Captivated as we are by Kim Boyd’s interview? Want to learn more? Register here to join us this Thursday, August 10 as Kim leads the third webinar in RxLive’s Value Expansion series.

And if you missed the first two – or for refresher – explore the Value Expansion archives.

The case for pharmacist intervention

In each edition of The In each edition of The Collaborative Practice, we highlight one anonymized patient case from a pharmacist in our network. The goal? Illustrate the value of pharmacist interventions and the benefits they deliver throughout the healthcare ecosystem. Here’s our case for this month…

Patient Case: Overactive bladder in elderly female

Our pharmacist recently met with a 70-year-old female recovering from a fall that resulted in a hip fracture. She had fallen at home when she was trying to get up from the chair to use the bathroom in a hurry and had leaked urine and slipped on the wet floor. Urgency has been getting worse, even with her oxybutynin, and she usually wears a pad to prevent an accident. She will sometimes avoid drinking fluids during the day to reduce her urgency to urinate. Her medication list includes: olmesartan/hctz 20/12.5mg QD, metoprolol 50mg BID, estradiol 0.5mg QD, oxybutynin 5mg TID, levothyroxine 50mcg QD, warfarin 2.5mg BID, bisacodyl 5mg PRN, artificial tears PRN, and acetaminophen PM PRN. All lab values were within normal limits.

When reviewing the patient’s medication list, our pharmacist observed two medications that could be exacerbating the patient’s overactive bladder (OAB) symptoms: metoprolol and hydrochlorothiazide. Hydrochlorothiazide can exacerbate OAB symptoms simply by its diuretic effect and beta blockers in general can inhibit the normal storage phase of the bladder. Due to the patient’s comorbid condition of congestive heart failure, it was not feasible to discontinue the hctz or the metoprolol. The pharmacist recommended a change from oxybutynin to mirabegron 25mg QD due to patient age and lack of efficacy with oxybutynin alone

Stories we’re following

From over-the-counter oral contraceptives to waning support for pharmacy benefit managers, here are five topics we’re following this month:

Drugmakers are “throwing the kitchen sink” to halt medicare price negotiations

The Inflation Reduction Act includes provisions for negotiating the price of some prescription medications. Drug makers are fighting the guidance, which projects to lower government expenses as well as out-of-pocket costs for many seniors.

Expanding tech-check-tech will move pharmacy into the future

Tech-check-tech (TCT) allows pharmacy technicians to verify the quality of each other’s dispensing processes. An added benefit: TCT makes it easier for pharmacists to work directly with patients.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Opill (norgestrel) tablet, the first daily oral contraceptive approved for purchase without a prescription at drug stores, convenience stores, grocery stores, and online. 

FTC withdraws advocacy for pharmacy benefit managers

The Federal Trade Commission has rescinded its advocacy for pharmacy benefit managers, effectively ending the agency’s previously stated endorsement of PBMs. Studies in potential support of further revised guidance continue.

The new legislation is meant to help ensure the delivery of essential pharmacist-led services that older individuals have come to rely on.

The perks of seeing a meteor shower

The weather has been particularly hairy this year, as record-breaking heat sweeps across the world. But did you know the dog days of summer are named after stars?

Luckily, if you can stand the heat – or live where temps dip a bit at night – one of the best stargazing opportunities of the year is just above the horizon.

The Perseid meteor shower lights up the sky yearly between mid-July and late August. This year, the shower will peak around August 13.

Even better: with the moon only 10% illuminated during the Perseids’ highest activity, the shower promises to be particularly vivid next week.

Kristen Engelen, PharmD
Kristen Engelen, PharmD, is the chief pharmacy officer of RxLive and a certified consultant pharmacist; she has over a decade of experience in retail pharmacy settings. Kristen became an RxLive co-founder because of her passion for geriatric pharmacy, with a focus on the intersection of pharmacy and aging.