A two-dose COVID-19 vaccine may be more effective, but presents serious challenges. Moderna and AstraZeneca-Oxford are planning to conduct final-stage testing of such vaccines. But a two-shot vaccine will be difficult to distribute widely, putting developing nations at a particular disadvantage. “A one-shot vaccine would be ideal, but the first vaccines are highly unlikely to meet this very high threshold,” Michael Kinch, PhD, a vaccine specialist at Washington University in St. Louis, tells Bloomberg. “As we hopefully move from whether there will be a vaccine to how to apply this, logistics are going to become the absolute most important topic.” (Bloomberg)
Few documented antibiotic allergies are correct, according to research published in the Annals of Family Medicine. Antibiotics are among the most commonly prescribed medications. However, most physicians and pharmacists rely on inaccurate records of the patient’s antibiotic allergies while determining the most appropriate prescription. This can lead to antibiotic resistance, higher health care costs and decreased patient safety. “Family physicians and pharmacists perceive that few documented antibiotic allergies are in fact correct. Electronic health record barriers and communication barriers, as well as a lack of knowledge and facilitating tools, are the main causes for numerous inappropriately documented antibiotic allergies and therefore targets for improving documentation in the future,” the researchers wrote. (Annals of Family Medicine; Pharmacy Times)
Evidence & Innovation
In adults with diabetes, flu vaccines appear to have unintended positive consequences. “In patients with diabetes, influenza vaccination was associated with a reduced risk of all-cause death, cardiovascular death, and death from AMI [acute myocardial infarction] or stroke,” according to researchers. “Our study significantly adds to the growing body of evidence indicating beneficial effects of influenza vaccination in patients with diabetes.” (Diabetes Care; Drugs.com)
Hospitals and health systems are using predictive analytics tools to project the location and severity of future COVID-19 outbreaks. The tools vary by organization, but all help health care providers make informed decisions about care and how to best utilize their resources, according to Becker’s Health IT, which looked at how they are being deployed at three large health systems: Cleveland Clinic, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. CHOP’s tool is based on historical weather data. It uses temperature and humidity data from 389 U.S. counties experiencing some level of COVID-19 activity to predict the severity of future surges. (Becker’s Hospital Review)
We’re learning more about the serious psychiatric and neurological complications tied to Covid-19. A cross-specialty surveillance study of acute neurological and psychiatric complications of COVID-19 found that complications include strokes, psychosis and a dementia-like syndrome, according to research published in Lancet Psychiatry. These diagnoses often occur in younger patients. (STAT; Lancet Psychiatry)
The COVID-19 pandemic has “exposed a lot of inefficiencies” in the health care system–with one of the largest being data sharing and access, CMS Administrator Seema Verma told attendees at Fortune’s Brainstorm Health event. Fierce Healthcare points out that the pandemic has posed a major hurdle to interoperability efforts. Providers are asking for more time to implement changes, and Verma and other federal officials argue that COVID-19 has made a clear case for why these updates are necessary. (Fierce Healthcare)
In Case You Missed It!
GTMRx workgroup update: Health IT to Support Optimized Medication Use
Stacy Ward-Charlerie, Pharm.D., MBA, CEO and president, Ward Rx Consulting, spoke to the Health IT to Support Optimized Medication Use Workgroup on July 22. Dr. Ward-Charlerie spoke about an overview of NCPDP SCRIPT Medication History standard and transaction along with its data flows through Surescripts.
GTMRx Blueprint for Change Available Now!
New report calls for medication management reform with guidance for how medications are managed.
On July 22, 2020, “The GTMRx Blueprint for Change,” a robust report based on eight months of multi-stakeholder input, was released. The report outlines steps for reform, including an evidence-based process of care – Comprehensive Medication Management (CMM) – that personalizes the approach and leads to better care, reduced costs and improved patient satisfaction and provider work life.
The GTMRx Blueprint for Change includes recommendations to engage everyone involved in patient care—from physicians to clinical pharmacists, health plan sponsors, providers, consumer groups and policymakers. The GTMRx Four Pillars of Medication Management Reform include revamping:
- How we practice
- How we pay
- How we use diagnostics
- How we integrate technology
You can download the report here.
GTMRx Issue Brief | Pharmacogenomics in real life: From COVID-19 to depression, PGx testing is proving itself in practice
Featuring the voices of Emily J. Cicali, Pharm.D., BCPS, Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Florida, College of Pharmacy and Colleen Keenan, Consultant, Advisory Board.
Advances in pharmacogenomics (PGx)—and our enhanced understanding of the individual variability of drug response—will transform our approach to the treatment of disease. PGx testing may be no silver bullet, but as a diagnostic tool used in conjunction with a process of care like CMM, it can significantly inform medication therapy management services and our approach to the treatment of disease.
The current trial-and-error method will one day give way to personalized, targeted medication use. One day. For now, the challenge is translating diagnostic discovery at the bench into management of care at the bedside.
Hosted by the GTMRx Institute’s executive director and co-founder, Katherine H. Capps, Voices of Change features leaders who have knowledge, experience and ideas to solve this urgent need to get the medications right. The most recent episode features Amanda Brummel, PharmD, BCACP, vice president, Clinical Ambulatory Pharmacy Services Fairview Pharmacy Services. Past guests include Orsula V. Knowlton, PharmD, MBA, president and chief marketing & new business development officer of Tabula Rasa HealthCare, Inc., Anand Parekh, MD, chief medical advisor, Bipartisan Policy Center and GTMRx President Paul Grundy, MD, chief transformation officer, Innovaccer. Listen here.
Donate to the GTMRx Foundation through AmazonSmile!
AmazonSmile is an easy way for 0.5% of your qualified purchases go to the GTMRx Foundation at no cost to you. And signing up is simple—go to smile.amazon.com and select “Get the Medications Right Foundation” as your charity of choice. If you prefer to directly donate instead, you can do so here.
Adding the foundation on AmazonSmile will help us continue to provide no cost educational webinars, issue briefs, weekly news briefs and promote the need for transformation of our current system of medication use through social media campaigns.