Saturday morning coffee [August 18 2012]

So much happens each and every week that it’s hard to keep up sometimes. Here are some of the tabs that are open in my browser this morning along with some random thoughts….

The coffee mug to the right is my trophy for winning the 2010 ASHP Midyear Twitter contest. It was the second year in a row that I was voted winner of the Midyear tweeting contest. I have since retired. The mug was accompanied by a $50 Best Buy gift card. I can’t remember what I purchased with the gift card, but I’m sure it was something cool.

- The Bourne Legacy was the new #1 at the box office last weekend, knocking the Dark Knight Rises off its perch. My family and I saw it. It was good, but not great. I would see it again. The problem with a new Bourne movie is that Matt Damon is who I think of when someone says “Bourne” regardless of whether or not the movie is about his character. Don’t expect The Bourne Legacy to sit in the number one spot for long. I think The Expendables 2 will likely take over the top spot next week. I’ll certainly help it gain the title as it’s on my movie agenda for this weekend.

– Do you ever find yourself in one of those moods where you can’t seem to get motivated? Yeah, me too. In fact I’ve been in a funk for a couple of months now, finding it difficult to concentrate on anything really productive. It happens to me on occasion. Most of the time it goes away on its own, but on rare occasion I have to find something to jumpstart my brain. Anyway, I was rummaging around the internet looking for things to do and found this blog on Posterous (blogbrevity’s posterous). The post talks about a cool little online tool/app called bomomo. It has no practical use for me, but I spent a little time just goofing off and creating doodle after doodle. That’s one of my masterpieces below. I love the little stencil in the bottom right. Reminds me of a benzene ring.

Med News Today: “Community pharmacies with specially trained staff to provide HIV services can help HIV-infected individuals be more compliant with their essential antiviral drug regimens and hence improve patient outcomes. Users of HIV-specialized Walgreen pharmacies across the U.S. had significantly greater adherence to and persistence with their therapeutic drug regimens according to a study published in AIDS Patient Care and STDs, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the AIDS Patient Care and STDs website.*” – I’ve always been interested in HIV/AIDS. From the standpoint of humanity it’s a terrible disease, but from a pharmacology perspective it’s very interesting, which makes it perfect for pharmacist MTM.

Sanofi announced that they have received FDA clearance for their Auvi-Q epinephrine injector. “Auvi-Q is the first-and-only compact epinephrine auto-injector with audio and visual cues that guide patients and caregivers step-by-step through the injection process.” Yep, you read that correctly, the injector gives the user audio directions. It’s pretty cool. Watch the video below.

– I use a lot of “cloud based” storage and synching solutions, including, but not limited to Dropbox, SugarSync, Google Drive, Microsoft SkyDrive, Cubby, Box and so on. I think the technology is cool and I can’t help myself. Anyway, I’m always looking for new ways to use these products which lead me to this article at Lifehacker, “Top 10 Clever Uses for Dropbox”. Taught me a couple of new things.

– Speaking of “cloud based” storage and synching solutions. I found another one. It’s called AeroFS. I’m not sure what the difference is between AeroFS and all the others, but it looks as though they’re taking advantage of peer-to-peer synching between machines to leverage local hard drive storage space. I’ll have to do a deeper dive later.

– I came across a paper at called “Applying a User Centered Design Methodology in a Clinical Context”. The article talks about using an approach called User Centered Design (UCD) in the context of creating clinical decision support systems (CDSS). It’s an interesting article, especially the results: “…the classical bottleneck of knowledge acquisition in clinical domain still exists. While applying the suggested methodology decreases difficulties in mutual under-standing of clinicians and designers, it cannot eliminate the bottleneck problem totally, especially for the cases that reasoning should be done by applying knowledge intensive methods.”

– Every once in a while I go to SlideShare, put in some random search term and see where I end up. You can spend an entire day jumping from one presentation to another. The presentation below is from IQ Lab and is “A look ahead to the digital trends changing the frontlines of health, pharma and wellness marketing in 2012.” Don’t think there’s money to be had in healthcare? Think again. This entire presentation is about marketing to healthcare.

– Pharmacy Purchasing & Products (PP&P) has published their 7th Annual State of Pharmacy Automation. I won’t go into detail here, but may later on in a separate post if I can get my mojo back. Two things I will say are: 1) pharmacy is slowly coming into the 21st century as it applies to automation and technology and 2) pharmacy is still ten years behing the consumer technology market. PP&P is slowly becoming a go-to reference for all things related to pharmacy automation and technology. I analyze the crap out of their annual pharmacy automation survey.

Paragould Daily Press: “No one pays $250 for a loaf of bread. There are no 8,000 percent markups in a competitive market. Today, nearly 80 percent of the drugs in shortage are generic, injectable drugs. These drugs are generally inexpensive. Some cost five or six dollars. Some have been around for many, many years. And they save lives. There should be no shortage of a life-saving, six-dollar drug. However, companies are producing dozens of these generic cancer drugs at—or near—a loss. While the impact of drug shortages are felt far-and-wide, the cause is quite simple. Artificially low Medicare reimbursement rates are jeopardizing the profitability of these drugs. Put simply, in an effort to save money, the government created a drug shortage.” – Every pharmacist reading this understands exactly what they just read. There are other “things” that have led to the current drug shortage problems, and I’ve talked about them before, but ultimately the key point is that the drug shortage problem has been created. It is not “organic” in nature, nor is it something that simply sprung up over a matter of weeks. It took years to get to where we are today.

– Robotic arms and hands just keep getting better and better. “Sandia National Laboratories has developed a cost-effective robotic hand that can be used in disarming improvised explosive devices, or IEDs.  The Sandia Hand addresses challenges that have prevented widespread adoption of other robotic hands, such as cost, durability, dexterity, and modularity.”

RFID Journal: “The pharmacy department of the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC), a 750-bed hospital located in Baltimore, is employing an RFID-based solution to aid in the stocking of medication kits transported around the hospital for use with patients in the event of emergencies.” – Absolutely brilliant idea. RFID is a better solution for some things than barcoding. What’s so great about RFID? Well, it offers hands free information gathering for one. I understand the limitations of RFID as well as the next person and while I don’t think it’s the final solution, I believe that it’s a fantastic bridge technology to where we need to be next.

– There’s an interesting article at Greatist about “Which Shoes Are Best for Weight Lifting?” If you lift weights it’s worth reading. I’ve been lifting weights on and off  for the better part of 30 years and I’ve been down all these roads. I’ve tried “Chuck Talylors”. They were ok, but I never really liked the way they looked on my feet. I’ve also spent hundreds of dollars on specialty powerlifting shoes. That was during my powerlifting days. Today just the mention of powerlifting makes my aging joints ache. These days I’m a bit more conventional. On most days I wear simple cross-trainers when I hit the gym. On days when I do any kind of “big mover” – squat, deadlift, cleans – I simply pop the shoes off and lift in my sock feet. Works for me.

– The Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet is official. I love the S-Pen concept. I don’t care what anyone else thinks, tablets were meant to have solid support for a pen. Check the video below for a basic overview of the tablet; review really begins at about 3:00 after the unboxing. Not sure if I’ll get a 10.1 Note or not. After all the Microsoft Surface tablet is due out in just a couple of months. As I look to my right I see my Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone and my Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus sitting on the table next to me. Not sure I need another Samsung product at the moment anyway.

– Update on my Amazon Cloud Player experience: It just keeps getting better. I’ve been using it almost exclusively for about a week now and I find myself liking it more and more each day. One of the major benefits has been that there is no limit to how much music I can store in Amazon’s Cloud. So what has that done for me? Simple really. It’s given me the option to upload all my family’s music to the Amazon Cloud Player where we can access it from any device with a browser. And all I have to do is create better playlists to keep from hearing music that doesn’t meet my very narrow listening taste. On a side note, I’ve found some music in my family’s arsenal that I enjoy; bonus. Any negatives? Sure, nothings perfect. There are two little quirks that I can think of: 1) need an internet connection of some kind to take full advantage and 2) I still miss being able to use keystrokes to navigate, which I did frequently using Microsoft Media Player.

– Ok, this dude takes food reviews to a new level. Clearly he enjoys his food. “Five Guys Burgers and Fries Review”. I’ve always wanted to do something like this with my brother, Robert. He and I can eat, and we enjoy our food. I could see us eating our way across the country and doing video blogs about it. Our tastes are different enough that it would be interesting.

– The NIOSH hazardous-drugs list was updated a while back. The 2012 NIOSH List of Antineoplastic and Other Hazardous Drugs in Healthcare Settings 2012 can be found here. The reason I mention it is that the subject popped up in my RSS feed this week in the form of an article in AJHP. The article, 2012 NIOSH hazardous-drugs update contains surprises, caught my attention so I clicked on the link. Ah, requires subscription. Don’t you think this is one of those things you’d want everyone to read? I do. Information is the backbone of better healthcare. I believe we limit our potential when we create barriers to information. Just my opinion of course. Take it for what it’s worth.

– I mentioned above that I’ve been highly unmotivated of late, i.e. I’ve been in a funk. According to Lou Holtz “Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” Ah crap, I’m in trouble. My motivation is low and my attitude just sucks.

And with that I bid you adieu. Have a great weekend everyone.

2 thoughts on “Saturday morning coffee [August 18 2012]”

  1. Great post.

    1) I’ve actually wondered what it would take to be a drug company that only produces drugs that have fallen off the patent list and are in high demand. Not to be a GIGANTOR mega company, but something to serve people. Make enough to help people and keep the doors open.

    2) Traveling across the country hitting BBQ and Burger joints sounds very appealing to me. We need to solve one big problem so we can make it happen and you know what it is; money. ;-)

    We could make some great On The Road With Rob And Jerry podcasts. I wonder if someone would sponsor such a trip?

  2. You have an interesting thought regarding smaller drug companies. The rub is that people have tried. It’s simply too expensive to do it “the government way”. Meeting regulatory compliance, testing requirements, etc is pricey. Some of the shortages are partly the cause of inspectors shutting down facilities. Some of the issues are real, some are nit-picky.

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