Meet the Newest MS

Researchers recently identified a new sub-type of multiple sclerosis: myelocortical MS. This additional sub-type of multiple sclerosis adds clarity to the growing understanding of MS. It was nearly 20 years ago that an international gathering of multiple sclerosis experts established the then-current classifications of MS. At that time, MS classifications included four types: Relapsing-remitting MS…

Manly MS Resistance?

Multiple sclerosis is often thought of as more of a female disease. This is because women are twice or even three times as likely to develop multiple sclerosis compared to men. This gender difference has led researchers to explore the influence of sex hormones in this disease. Testosterone – which men typically have in higher…

Patient Education: Hepatitis C Testing Process

Patients receiving hepatitis C screenings often have questions about the testing process. This blog can be shared with your patients to help them understand each step of what can be a stressful time. Q: Do I really need to be tested for the hepatitis C virus? A: Testing for the hepatitis C virus (HCV) is…

Multiple Myeloma Patient Education Series (Part 5 of 5)

This summer I am sharing guest blogs from a variety of experts. This week’s blog is the fifth and final installment in a multi-part series about multiple myeloma from my colleague Dr. Margaret Henderson who has a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Colorado. –Dr. Stephen Vogt Welcome to the final part of…

Multiple Myeloma Patient Education Series (Part 4 of 5)

This summer I am sharing guest blogs from a variety of experts. This week’s blog is the fourth in a multi-part series about multiple myeloma from my colleague Dr. Margaret Henderson who has a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Colorado. –Dr. Stephen Vogt Welcome to the fourth installment in a 5-part patient…

Hepatitis C ‘Finish Line’ Moves

The incredible scientific advances leading to the development of numerous choices in highly effective hepatitis C medications should mean a plummeting of the number of Americans with this life threatening disease. It’s now known how this disease is spread, what it does to the liver, and – most importantly – how to cure it for…

Hepatitis C Patient Education Series: What Should I Tell My Family?

A hepatitis C diagnosis often comes as a surprise to patients, considering that up to three out of four people with this virus don’t know they have it. It’s not that patients are ignoring their disease status, rather the issue is that 70-80% of people with hepatitis C do not have any symptoms until the…

One State at a Time

What would it take to completely eliminate hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in one state of the United States by the year 2030? Researchers from Brown University set out to answer this question by taking a deep look at hepatitis C in the state of Rhode Island. Currently, Rhode Island restricts treatment to patients with…

Zero Alcohol Policy

When it comes to the hepatitis C virus (HCV) and alcohol, the answer is zero. As in: don’t drink at all, not even a little bit. It’s been long known that large amounts of alcohol could be harmful to the liver, which is why those with liver diseases are cautioned to avoid it. There is…

HCV: Getting the Cure to Those Who Need It

A special issue of The American Journal of Managed Care brought the topic of funding hepatitis C treatment into the spotlight: covering everything from who has access to the new treatments and what are the out-of-pocket costs, to the anticipated consequences (both economic and clinical) of not getting hepatitis C treatment to the people who…

Finances: Another Cancer Side Effect

It’s no secret that a cancer diagnosis can wreak havoc on a family’s financial resources. In fact, someone with cancer is far more likely – 2.5 times more likely to be exact – than another person from the general population to file for bankruptcy. But just how serious are the financial challenges in the midst…

Turning the Tide

The year 2014 reached a gloomy record, when statistics revealed this to be the year with the highest number of hepatitis C-related deaths ever. (This is the most recent year with statistics available.) This followed on the heels of several years with an upward trend in hepatitis C deaths. Baby Boomers, who had been exposed…

Options for Aching Joints: RA Meds Go Head to Head

Nearly 1.3 million Americans endure the effects of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), leaving them with painful, swollen joints. This disease develops when the immune system mistakenly targets the linings of joints. The current front-line treatment to counteract this autoimmune attack is the medication methotrexate which suppresses inflammation by dampening the body’s immune response. Methotrexate, in a…

Even Successful Treatment Can Come With Unintended Effects

Kimberly M. Hicks, Pharm.D., M.H.A., Clinical Pharmacy Specialist at BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy   The relationship between breast cancer and a woman’s wallet is a good news/bad news situation. The good news is that women who survive breast cancer treatment are, well, alive. The bad news is that a significant number of these women deal with…

Patient Adherence Goes Up as Out-of-Pocket Costs Go Down

The sky-rocketing cost of healthcare certainly isn’t breaking news. There is, however, an unfortunate trend related to these rising fees. As costs increasingly shift from payers onto the patients themselves – through greater out-of-pocket costs – finances for some patients hit a threshold which impacts adherence. In other words, some patients are simply getting priced…

Patient Assistance Lends a Hand

Specialty pharmacy continues to see annual increases in terms of U.S. spending on prescriptions for the treatment of complex or chronic diseases. URAC estimates that specialty drugs account for more than $50 billion of U.S. drug expenditures and comprises nearly 20 percent of the total pharmaceutical revenue. Specialty pharmacy is expected to make up approximately…

Eat Nuts for a Longer Life

Time to put nuts on the menu: a new study reveals that regularly including nuts in one’s diet slashes the risk of dying from any cause (that is, total mortality), as well as from the specific causes of cancer, heart disease, and respiratory disease. In March 2012 I shared with readers in my blog Going…

Blood Pressure-Alzheimer’s Connection

Every 68 seconds an American develops Alzheimer’s disease, so chances are that you already know someone battling this terrible disease. In all, there are an estimated 5.2 million Americans currently living with Alzheimer’s disease. Today there are new tantalizing clues that controlling blood pressure could play a role in keeping Alzheimer’s at bay. A cure…