Alternative Therapies and the Role of Pharmacy
Genomic Medicine on the Rise
Healthcare trends and treatments live in a constant state of flux. History underscores that we are ever progressing in the ways we treat disease. It is easy to see the correlation between technological advances and medical interventions. They tend to go hand in hand. And as for pharmacy, the days of “one-pill-fits-all” or pharmacy as “only a dispensing agent” is out the door in history’s archives. Pharmacy is flying into the future with its own wings of smart technology and superiorly advanced pharmacology to work along side medicine. Today, the healthcare ecosystem is at the brink of being able to treat patients as never seen before. The traditional track of a physician’s subjective findings of a patient, ranging from blood panels to clinical exams to MRIs and PETs to a vast number of other diagnostic tools, now brings us to have a detailed look inside the DNA, which is known as genomic medicine. And where medicine goes, so goes pharmacy. With the advent of Genomic Medicine come alternative therapies that affect the pharmacist’s role and the workflow of pharmacy.
A little background
What is Genomic Medicine, briefly? Each person’s genome is made up of a unique sequence of DNA that contains the instructions for their growth and development. Differences in our DNA determine our unique characteristics and can also tell us what disease states may arise. Having a patient’s genetic map and genome sequencing where the order of their DNA is deciphered, which is made up of over 3
Medical Marijuana & the Opioid Crisis
America in Pain — Part 2
We are at a crisis point. The pressure is mounting. A line of demarcation has been drawn with the ink of history. America is at a turning point.
Why are people in so much pain? Why do we need so many new drugs to relieve our bodies? What has changed and now plagues us? Why do some use diversion tactics to get even more pills and stronger dosages?
Mankind’s proliferation of diseases and addictions has created an ever-expanding healthcare ecosystem. Pain is everywhere. Companies are racing in labs to find new answers and new cures. And some of the answers developed thus far can trigger addictions in some patients unbeknownst prior to prescribing and dispensing.
Footsteps of Our Ancestors
Long before the days of the FDA, retail and specialty pharmacies, and government regulations, the healing and curative nature of plants existed. Documentation of the use of Medicinal Marijuana dates back to roughly 2,900 BC in China. The Cannabis plant has healing properties our ancestors experienced whether it was with a medicine man, a shaman, or the community healer. Why was Cannabis “the drug of choice” often times among our ancestors? What gives Cannabis its distinctive healing properties? Is history repeating itself, allowing Medicinal Marijuana to return to us with enhanced understanding and intelligence to restore health? It is now legal in 29 states plus the District of Columbia.
Do you know that Marijuana is comprised of over 113 different chemical
Data and the Future of the Healthcare Ecosystem
by Elie Khalife, president, KeyCentrix
Data has always been a part of the healthcare ecosystem. Although it’s been collected inconsistently in the past, technology has helped advance the gathering, storing and needs for this data today. For decades healthcare professionals had worked independently to collect and aggregate data, but the calling for advancements in the healthcare industry required better interaction for all of healthcare’s actors including, but not limited to, drug manufacturers, prescribers, pharmacies and patients. Continuous improvements in technology facilitated and promoted this collaboration while providing even better outcomes for the industry and patients alike. These advancements and outcomes in healthcare now grow exponentially, and patient data is the new driving force.
The Need for Data
In 1972, with the distribution of methadone, the first drug was required to have data tracking and controlled distribution from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Now fast forward to 2005, an interesting year for drugs and pharmacies in general, the FDA started to demand more data points from drug manufacturers regarding new drug therapies in clinical trials and maintaining patents for existing blockbuster drugs. In turn, drug manufacturers required more process controls and limited the distribution to a select number of pharmacy locations that were capable of handling the collection of the expected data needed. This started a new trend of limited distribution drugs (LLD’s)