Fixing Healthcare Can Be As Close As Your Neighborhood Pharmacy

April 15th, 2014 by admin

by John Nosta

The clinical emergency is medicine itself

Demand for primary care services is projected to increase through 2020, due to the increasing aging and population as well as the expanded insurance coverage implemented under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In other words, the demand for primary care physicians will grow more rapidly than the supply, resulting in a projected shortage of over 20,00 full-time physicians.

The value of your neighborhood pharmacy

Nearly 70% of Americans are on at least one prescription drug and over 50% of Americans are on at least two prescription drugs. Given the shaky assumption that these folks are actually taking their medicines, it’s fair to say that beyond the physician, the pharmacist plays a key role in the health dynamic. Currently pharmacists can provide many services to their patients–from information to specific medicines.  In fact, the pharmacy is often a first source of medical information for many.  Pharmacy services have evolved from strictly dispensing medications to offering services such as medication therapy management, medication education, improving medication adherence, administering immunizations, and health/wellness. In addition, pharmacists can now be found in specialty areas such as oncology, organ transplant and even psychiatry. RxWiki–an on-line patient information service–now extends the pharmacy experience into the digital landscape, offering patients on demand access to medication information, pharmacy transactions, and medication adherence. RxNetwork is another emerging company with a unique methodology to link the pharmacy and patient–providing real-time support from compliance to education.  RxNetwork’s patient relationship management solution bridges the pharmacy-patient communication gap and provides an efficient, non-disruptive solution for the pharmacies with a convenient, rewarding, motivating solution to their connected patients.

Click here to read the rest of this article by John Nosta in Forbes Magazine

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University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston scientists successfully grow human lungs in lab in 3 days

February 14th, 2014 by admin

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Growing organs may seem like science fiction, but it’s the goal of medical researchers because so many people need organ transplants and many die waiting for one.

“The most exciting part is to shorten the time people have to wait for an organ transplant,” said UTMB Dr. Joaquin Cortiella.

How did they do it? They started with a damaged lung.

“We removed all the cells all the material in it, and just left the skeleton of the lung, or the scaffold, behind — the pieces of the lungs that are no cells. That’s why it’s so white and pretty and there’s no blood in it, it’s very pretty looking. And then we added back cells from another lung that couldn’t be used for transplant but still had some viable cells in it,” said Dr. Joan Nichols, who leads the UTMB team.

But it took months until a UTMB medical student named Dr. Michael Riddle built a piece of equipment that sped up the process.

“He’s the one who went home and actually built using — I’m not kidding — a fish tank that he went and bought from a pet store, is what he built the first piece of equipment,” Dr. Nichols said.

“Took us about four months to take the cells from the lung to where all you have is a bio-scaffold, and we took that process down to about three days,” Dr. Riddle said.

UTMB scientists grew their first human lungs in the lab last year. Eyewitness News is the first to report it.

“It’s taken us a year to prove to ourselves that we actually did a good job with it. You don’t run out immediately and tell the world you have something wonderful until you’ve proved it to ourselves that we really did something amazing,” Dr. Nichols said.

Dr. Nichols says they hope to transplant the first set of lab-grown lungs in animals this year or next.

How soon could their lab-grown lungs be ready to save human lives? They aren’t sure, but estimate between 5 and 10 years, maybe longer.

Click here for a link to the original articlle and a news video

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Find Christi on Facebook at ABC13-Christi Myers or on Twitter at@ChristiMyers13

(Copyright ©2014 KTRK-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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Understanding the role of pharmacists

January 23rd, 2014 by admin

Pharmacist Amy Schiveley talks with a customer at Lakeview Pharmacy

If your recent flu vaccine was administered at a pharmacy, you have already sampled the expanded role that pharmacists play in our health care today.

A flu shot, though, is just one of many patient-care services pharmacies across the country offer beyond filling prescriptions. From blood pressure tracking to Medication Therapy Management counseling, today’s pharmacists can be a resource for a wide range of information and advice.

In a Medication Therapy Management session, pharmacists can sit down with a customer and go through all of their medications, find out what is working and what’s not, review the purpose of each medication, explain how they work and more, according to Amy Schiveley, managing pharmacist at Lakeview Pharmacy, 516 Monument Square.

Pharmacists already provide some consultation when a customer picks up a prescription, Schiveley said, but MTM sessions take a more in-depth look at the entire medicine profile — including over-the-counter products and supplements — and help the patient better understand what they are taking, why they are taking it and how to take it.

“We go through all of it with a fine-toothed comb,” Shiveley said.

Pharmacists can also help patients understand the risks versus benefits of each medication; explore ways to reduce costs; and work with physicians and insurance companies to figure out what medication options are best for each person, she said.

Click here to read the rest of this article

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Dosage forms: introduction to pharmaceuticals

December 21st, 2013 by admin

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This article is a sufficient beginning to know everything about pharmaceuticals. If you are just starting to know about this amazing field, this is a good guide for you.

Drug is the substance used to cure, treat, restore the health state, or optimize a malfunction. Fundamentally, this substance is brought from plants or animals. Rarely, the drug is administered in its primary or crude form. In other words, the drug can be natural, synthetic, or semi-synthetic. The drug’s crude form passes by different processes to give rise to what is called dosage forms.

During manufacturing, the crude drug is called a pharmaceutical preparation. Dosage form is the crude drug in its final form after adding particular characteristics to it. The drug manufacture includes addition of additives; pharmaceutical ingredients.

The additives are mainly non-medicinal substances used for many purposes. They are added to enhance the drug form, quality, and efficacy.

They are used:

As solubilizing agents

For dissolving the drug in a solvent as in the formation of solutions

For dilution

To decrease or optimize concentration

As suspending agents

To suspend solid particles in a solution and form a suspension

As emulsifying agents

To dissolve water in oil or oil in water and produce an emulsion

As thickeners

To harden/thicken creams and ointments

As stabilizers

To maintain the stability of a pharmaceutical preparation

As preservatives

To protect the pharmaceutical preparations from contamination by microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi

As coloring agents

To give the drug a perfect appearance and attractiveness.

As flavoring agents

To hide a bad taste like the bitter taste. Moreover, flavoring agents are used to add a reasonably good taste to the drug and increase its palatability.

Click here to read the entire article

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Congressman and Medical Doctor Phil Roe Presents An Outstanding Obamacare Alternative

November 13th, 2013 by admin

Family Research Council discussion of the Republican Study Committee’s alternative to the Affordable Care Act, known as “Obamacare.”

Dr. Phil Roe, the Congressman representing Tennessee’s First Congressional District, will present an overview and answer questions about the RSC’s patient-centered and free market alternative, the American Health Care Reform Act. More information about RSC’s bill can be found here. Because of the federal government’s expansive role in structuring health care’s cost and coverage, this important discussion is relevant to all Americans. Dr. Roe has a valuable perspective as a medical doctor who understands the challenges facing America’s health system today.

Congressman Phil Roe represents the First Congressional District of Tennessee. A native of Tennessee, Phil was born on July 21, 1945 in Clarksville. He earned a degree in Biology with a minor in Chemistry from Austin Peay State University in 1967 and went on and to earn his Medical Degree from the University of Tennessee in 1970. Upon graduation, he served two years in the United States Army Medical Corps. Congressman Roe serves on two Committees, Education and the Workforce, and Veterans’ Affairs, that allow him to address and influence the many issues that are important to the First District students, teachers, veterans and workers.

Click here to watch this presentation on YouTube >>> Congressman Phil Roe: An Obamacare Alternative

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Children and sports: Choices for all ages

August 21st, 2013 by admin

by Mayo Clinic Staff

Children’s sports promote fitness, but not all children thrive in formal leagues. Help your child find the right sport and venue — school, recreation center or backyard.

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Want to give your child a head start on lifelong fitness? Consider children’s sports and other kid-friendly physical activities.

With your encouragement and support, chances are a few sports will spark your child’s interest. Fan the flame by taking your child to local sporting events and sharing your own sports interests with your child.

Consider age-appropriate activities

Your child is likely to show natural preferences for certain sports or activities. Start there, being careful to keep your child’s age, maturity and abilities in mind.

Ages 2 to 5


Toddlers and preschoolers are beginning to master many basic movements, but they’re too young for most organized sports. Keep in mind that toddlers who participate in organized sports also typically don’t gain any long-term advantage in terms of future sports performance.

At this age, unstructured free play is usually best. Try:

  • Running
  • Tumbling
  • Throwing
  • Catching
  • Swimming
Ages 6 to 9
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Click here to read the rest of this article from the Mayo Clinic

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A photo essay: Is it Melanoma?

July 16th, 2013 by admin

A 47-year-old woman with a history of non-melanoma skin cancer presented for a total body skin check. During the examination, a 5 × 3-mm pigmented macule was noted on the anteromedial aspect of the right foreleg. Most important, the asymptomatic lesion had a small spot of eccentric darker pigmentation. The patient was unaware of the questionable growth. This type of eccentric pigmentation strongly suggests malignant melanoma. Since the lesion was so small, it was excised with 5-mm margins. Histology demonstrated malignant melanoma in situ.

Click on the picture above to see a ConsultantLive slide show with a total of 6 photos of potential melanomas.

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Psoriasis and Look-alikes—A Photo Essay

June 19th, 2013 by admin

Click on this picture for a slide show of photos and descriptions of psoriasis and look-alikes

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How to know whether your cough is serious

February 11th, 2013 by admin


I saw 17 patients in my primary care practice yesterday. Six of them were coughing.

One of the most basic parts of my job is sorting out who’s a little sick from who’s very sick, or in danger of getting very sick. How do I do that when so many people have the same symptom? And, as a patient, how do you know when your own cough is worth a trip to the doctor (especially when it’s cold, you feel rotten, and the waiting room is likely to be full of … coughing people)?

First, what is a cough? One way to think of it is as a version of speaking or singing: air is being expelled through the throat in such a way that a noise comes out. In coughing, however, the expulsion of air is caused by some irritant, is reflexive and involuntary (though you can fake a cough, usually unconvincingly) and occurs against closed vocal cords, producing a distinctive sound. Some coughing sounds–the “bark” of croup (listen here) and the “whoop” of whooping cough (listen here)–are especially distinctive.

Dozens of conditions can cause a cough. The most common ones I see in adults are:

viral upper respiratory infections
influenza (“the flu”)
bacterial pneumonia and bronchitis
asthma
allergies
congestive heart failure
gastroesophageal reflux (“GERD”)
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (“COPD”)
smoking
lung cancer
post nasal drip
medication side effects–especially from the blood pressure medications known as ACE inhibitors (lisinopril, accupril, monopril, etc.).

Some of the clues I use to sort through these are the quality of the cough (wet or dry, throaty or deep, etc.); timing (acute vs. chronic); accompanying symptoms (wheezing, fever, etc.); and characteristics of the patient (age, medical history, exposure to smoke, medications, or sick contacts, allergens, etc.)

Someone taking lisinopril who feels well other than a tickly feeling in their throat that’s been making them cough for weeks is easy to diagnose, as is someone who’s got a high fever, body aches, chills, and a kid at home with the flu, or someone who coughs every time they eat a heavy meal and then lies down in bed and gets heartburn (the acid irritates the throat).

Things get tricky when the variables scramble and combine: a smoker with GERD who takes lisinopril and has a sick kid at home, for example. When that happens–and it often does–you work your way through the list of possible diagnoses (“the differential”) and eliminate them one by one, starting with the most serious and the most likely the way a detective considers crime suspects. The physical exam, blood tests, a sputum sample, a chest X-ray, and a consultation with a specialist may all be helpful in sorting through the list. Sometimes, a “therapeutic trial” is the key to the diagnosis: if changing the blood pressure medication, treating the GERD, or having the patient avoid cats cures the cough, you have your answer.

This time of year, the vast majority of coughs I see are due to upper respiratory viral infections. Each of the six coughing patients I saw yesterday had one, I determined. I advised them to rest, drink soothing liquids, use over the counter cough medications as needed, cough into their elbows and stay out of work or school if they have fevers or until they felt better (yes, a subjective call).

There are symptoms that may signal a cough that may require more treatment and evaluation than this. These include:

fever >101
shortness of breath
wheezing
coughing up blood
chest pain
cough that lasts more than several days
exposure to flu, whooping cough, or other infectious diseases

Even these symptoms don’t necessarily mean the cough is serious. I’m seeing plenty of people this year with fevers and coughs lasting two and even three weeks or more who still turn out to have simple viral infections. But these are symptoms that are worth a call or even a trip to your doctor’s office.

Please don’t be offended when we hand you a mask at the door.

Suzanne Koven is an internal medicine physician who blogs at In Practice atBoston.com, where this article originally appeared. She is the author of Say Hello To A Better Body: Weight Loss and Fitness For Women Over 50.

Image credit: Shutterstock.com

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Mayo Clinic breast cancer mammogram video — What to expect

January 2nd, 2013 by admin

By Mayo Clinic staff

Click here to see the ‘What to expect’ video >>> Mayo Clinic Mammogram Video

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Copy of  the video text below:

A mammogram is a picture of your breast taken with a safe, low-dose X-ray machine. It’s the most effective exam for early detection of breast cancer.

There are two types of mammography exams: screening and diagnostic. A routine screening mammogram is performed when you have no symptoms. Ask your doctor when you should begin regular screening mammograms.

A diagnostic mammogram is performed if there is concern regarding your breasts or if a screening mammogram requires additional studies. You don’t need to prepare for a mammogram. You can eat normally, and if you take medications, continue to do so. However, you may be asked not to wear deodorant on the day of your mammogram because such products may show up on mammogram images. Also, if you are premenopausal, it’s best to schedule your screening exam during the week following your menstrual period, when your breasts may be less tender.

Once checked in, you’ll undress from the waist up and wear a special robe. A mammography technologist will perform your mammogram. She has specialized training in mammographic positioning and techniques.

If you are asked to complete a breast-health survey prior to your exam, your technologist can assist and review the survey with you.

Once in the exam room, you’ll be asked to stand in front of the mammography unit, a special type of X-ray machine. It can move up and down and side to side.

Your technologist will position your breast between two firm surfaces that compress your breast as flat as possible, to ensure good X-ray pictures. For example, here you can see how the machine flattens the technologist’s hand.

She may also switch paddles to get a different view.

Compression is necessary to spread the breast tissue and eliminate motion, which may blur the picture. This may be uncomfortable but shouldn’t hurt.

Compression usually lasts no more than 20 to 30 seconds. During this time, an X-ray beam comes from above and penetrates your breast tissue. The X-ray image is either created on a film cassette, located below your breast, or recorded digitally and stored in a computer. Denser tissue, such as cancer, appears bright and white, whereas less dense tissue, such as fat, appears dark or gray.

The images are then processed and made available for review and interpretation.

Here we see a baseline mammogram of a 40-year-old woman. Five years later, her formerly clear image now shows cancer.

Don’t be concerned if you are asked to remove your gown or reposition, even if it means standing on your toes. This ensures that your gown won’t interfere with the pictures and that you are standing correctly. If you are uncomfortable, please tell your technologist.

After the pictures are taken, you may be asked to wait while the X-ray images are processed.

During this time, technologists check your images to assure they are acceptable. If they aren’t clear, you may be asked to have more X-rays done. Don’t be alarmed if this happens, your technologist simply wants the best images.

A doctor trained to read X-ray images, a radiologist, will examine your mammograms. Under federal regulations, the radiologist must be experienced in reading mammograms.

If no further studies are required, you’ll be released and can resume your regular activities.

Based on what your radiologist sees on your mammogram, you may be asked to return for a diagnostic mammogram. It’s not unusual to be called back after a screening mammogram. This is because your radiologist may not have any previous comparison or may need to look more carefully at a specific area of the breast. The additional imaging is usually necessary to clarify a finding on your screening mammogram. Most findings are not cancer, but it’s important to have the additional imaging done. This may include specialized and tightly focused X-ray pictures, known as a magnification or compression view, or possibly a breast ultrasound.

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