Difficulty collecting information on pharmacy technology

I’ve been collecting information on pharmacy IV room systems for the better part of the past eight months. I’m talking about system designed to help pharmacists not only manage their IV room workflow, but also help with safety, efficiency, documentation, and so on.

These systems are becoming more and more popular these days as the powers to be, i.e. the FDA and pharmacy boards are about to get heavy handed with pharmacy IV rooms.
Continue reading Difficulty collecting information on pharmacy technology

PillPack: a new way of thinking about an old problem

I read a Wall Street Journal article this morning about an online pharmacy called PillPack that’s doing something a little different. “PillPack mails its customers their medications every two weeks, but rather than putting them into several big bottles, the company pre-sorts them into sealed, single-dose packs, based on when a patient needs to take their medications throughout the day. The pills arrive in a long chain of dose packs, linked together on a recyclable dispenser roll.

It’s not a new concept at all. In fact, the idea has been tossed around in certain pharmacy circles for years. Many companies are capable of providing such a service, but most lack the vision to bring the concept to life. Perhaps PillPack can provide enough value to its customers to make it viable. I really hope it works out for the company. At least they’re thinking outside the box, er, inside the box.

PillPack should really think about partnering with local hospitals and deliver discharge meds to the patient bedside in this handy format. Counsel the patient, make sure they have their meds, automatically enroll them in the mail order service, and so on. Just sayin’.

5 Shady Ways Big Pharma May Be Influencing Your Doctor

AlterNet: “When it comes to acknowledging the influence of gifts and money on behavior, doctors, like everyone else, suffer from self-delusion. Most say they believe it affects the other guy, not them, and many become offended at the idea that they are “for sale.”

Trips to resorts and strip clubs will likely continue to diminish under the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, but there are many other ways, often sneaky, that Pharma can entice doctors to prescribe its expensive, patent drugs.”

Physicians, just like everyone else, are subject to bias. I rarely come across a physician that’s been practicing for more than 10 years that relies on up to date scientific data and/or guidelines to drive their prescribing habits. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had a physician say “because the drug rep told me” in response to my question regarding their use of a specific drug over another. That answer doesn’t instill confidence. 

Here are the 5 methods of influencing prescribing habits as listed in the article:

  1. Spying on Prescribing – “By selling the names, office addresses and practice types of almost every doctor in the US to marketing firms the AMA netted almost $50 million a year
  2. Continuing Medical Education Courses“…these classes are often “taught” for free by Pharma-funded specialists, sparing doctors from having to pay for them but providing the objectivity of a time-share presentation.
  3. Ghostwriting – “Being published in medical journals is essential to academic doctors but researching, writing and reworking papers is a formidable job. Luckily for doctors, Pharma is willing to help—as long as they write what Pharma wants.”
  4. Speakers Bureaus – “Few things combine the ego stroking and fast cash of being paid to speak—and Pharma has no trouble finding takers at $750, $1000 and more per pop.”
  5. Clinical Trials – “Pharma-funded clinical trials can be paydirt to doctors, yielding as much as $10,000 per patient in some cases.”

Why the Dell Venue 8 Pro is doomed to fail

I was in the Bay Area yesterday meeting with some people doing some cool stuff with Google Glass in healthcare. While I was there I read something that came through my Twitter feed about the original 128 GB Microsoft Surface Pro tablet being on sale at Best Buy for $499. That’s a great price, especially for what you get. I was interest enough that I did a quick search online at the Microsoft Store to see if they were offering the same deal; they usually do. Turns out they were, and I knew that there was a Microsoft Retail Store just 30 minutes from where I was. Following my meetings I hoped in the car and headed for the Microsoft Store to see if they had any 128 GB Surface Pro’s in stock. Turned out they didn’t, but they did have the Dell Venue 8 Pro on sale for $229 for the 32 GB model. That’s a phenomenal price for the Venue 8 Pro.

Dell Venue 8 Pro
Continue reading Why the Dell Venue 8 Pro is doomed to fail