Rheumatoid Arthritis: What Should I Eat?

When it comes to rheumatoid arthritis, the foods one eats or avoids can actually affect the symptoms of this autoimmune disease. Dietary interventions can be a useful compliment to pharmacological treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. What it mostly comes down to are certain foods that either promote or discourage inflammation. Overall, a type of diet known…

Understanding NAFLD and NASH

Guest blog by: Monica Morgan, Pharm.D., CSP As a specialty pharmacy that works with many patients during treatment for liver diseases, it’s not surprising that questions about nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) come up in our line of work. Although hepatitis C is our primary liver focus, both hepatitis C and NAFLD rank as the…

Energy Drink Ingredient’s Surprising Role in Multiple Sclerosis

The amino acid taurine has caught the attention of multiple sclerosis researchers. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Taurine can be found in many places throughout the body, such as the cardiovascular system where it plays an essential role in heart function, but it also shows up in the central nervous system. Taurine…

HCV and Children

Hepatitis C screening programs and treatment outreach tend to focus on three key populations: Baby Boomers, IV drug users, and prison populations. This is understandable, since rates of infection are notable in these high-risk groups. However, children infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) deserve attention, too. Of the more than 4 million people with…

Breast Cancer Treatment Options Expanding

Targeted cancer therapies aim to best match the treatment to specific characteristics of cancer cells. Increasingly, breast cancer treatment is based on targeted therapy medications. With targeted therapy, the harm to healthy cells can be lessened and thus side effects can be less severe than from traditional chemotherapy. Earlier this month, the FDA approved a…

The Rheumatoid Arthritis Gender Gap

Rheumatoid arthritis skews very female in the 1.5 million Americans with this disease. There are three women with rheumatoid arthritis to every one man with this autoimmune condition. Furthermore, the disease tends to develop at younger ages in women than in men and also can cause more severe symptoms in women. While the exact reasons…

Cost Concerns

The financial hardships of a serious illness can be daunting. Even for those with health insurance, the medical bills and pharmacy costs can accumulate, along with a potential loss of income while treating and recovering from a disease. In a recent survey of nearly 500 people after successful colorectal cancer treatment, financial challenges were reported…

A Faster Route to Treatment

Psoriasis goes more than skin deep. Although primarily thought of as a skin disease, psoriasis develops into psoriatic arthritis in approximately 30% of psoriasis patients. Psoriatic arthritis, in turn, often complicates diagnosis and treatment. Meanwhile the disease process can be heading toward impaired function and a compromised quality of life. For many years, the prevailing…

A Look Back at 2017’s FDA Approvals

2018 is poised to be a promising year in terms of new medications the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will be considering for approval. This pipeline of potential new specialty pharmacy medications includes a new psoriasis medication, a few new multiple sclerosis medications, and several medications for oncology. In terms of new treatment options,…

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…

Taltz: New Tool for Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriasis affects 7.5 million Americans, with 18-42% of these people later developing psoriatic arthritis. This month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new treatment option for this difficult condition. Ixekizumab (Taltz) from Eli Lilly and Company is now approved as an injection for the treatment of adults with active psoriatic arthritis. Taltz…

Time is of the Essence

The chilling words of a cancer diagnosis can make time seem to stand still. However, experts know how important it is to keep the medical process moving quickly: progressing from diagnosis to a treatment plan, then all the way to treatment implementation. Prompt treatment lessens the chance that a cancer will spread and increases survival…

Overcoming Oral Oncolytic Challenges

Cancer treatment today is just as likely to involve self-administered pills at home, as it is to mean sitting in an infusion clinic for chemotherapy. Oral oncolytics bring benefits to both patients and their health care providers, but challenges also remain. Many of these challenges are best addressed with proactive communication among the treatment team,…

Keeping an Eye on the Hepatitis C Goal

It’s a message you’ve probably heard before, but that doesn’t make it less true or important: Hepatitis C is now a treatable disease, yet not enough is being done to achieve the goal of eliminating this public health threat. Direct-acting antivirals are available to cure as many as 95% of hepatitis C infections. The World…

Answering Methotrexate Questions

Are more questions about the medication methotrexate popping up lately? It’s not surprising since a recent study indicates a link between this medication and an increase risk of liver damage in patients with psoriasis. Methotrexate continues to be a frontline treatment for autoimmune diseases, including psoriasis. It suppresses inflammation by dampening the body’s immune response….

Access of Treatment

A significant topic of discussion at the recent International Conference on Viral Hepatitis 2017 centered on the access of care and treatment for hepatitis C. Historically, hepatitis C infections were treated by subspecialists, such as hepatologists (doctors specializing in liver diseases) and gastroenterologists. For several reasons, the care of hepatitis C has expanded beyond subspecialists…

Personalized Medicine

Personalized medicine, in which medical care and treatment is tailored to the individual patient, can lead to better diagnoses, earlier interventions, customized treatment, and drug therapies that are more efficient. In short, personalized medicine means making treatment as individualized as the disease. Recently, experts from the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine shared five key…

A Dangerous Bump

The autoimmune disease multiple sclerosis (MS) creates muscle control, vision, balance, and sensation problems for those who develop this disease. MS develops as the consequence of inflammation (called plaques) in various areas of the central nervous system, after which the protective coating of nerves, called the myelin sheath, is destroyed. Approximately 350,000 people in the…