The Consultant Pharmacist


March 2018 | Volume 33 | Number 3

Setting the Stage for Better Outcomes

Pharmacists and other care providers can help fill some of the care gaps created by the shortage of geriatricians.

Addressing the Shortage of Geriatric Specialists

With a population that is increasingly "gray," our nation faces a shortage of primary care providers who specialize in geriatrics. The number of geriatricians per 10,000 adults older than 65 years of age has decreased steadily since 2000. Health care providers from all disciplines tend not to choose geriatrics as specialty areas—some are intimidated by the complexity of caring for elderly patients while others, including pharmacists, have little exposure to geriatrics and are simply unaware of the personal and professional rewards associated with practice in geriatrics. The physician shortage highlights pharmacists’ value as care extenders in primary care settings.

Effects of Denosumab After Treatment Discontinuation: A Review of the Literature

Denosumab is a monoclonal antibody used for the treatment of osteoporosis in men and postmenopausal women at high risk for fracture. It prevents osteoclast formation and leads to decreased bone resorption and increased bone mass. An evaluation of studies showed that the discontinuation of denosumab results in loss of bone mineral density and shows a decline to near baseline values within 12 months of discontinuing therapy. Once denosumab is stopped, patients need to be placed on another appropriate osteoporosis treatment to preserve their bone mineral density.

COPD and Heart Failure Self-Management Kits for Outpatient Transitions of Care

Pharmacists developed heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease self-management kits containing patient education materials and prescriptions to facilitate self-care. Pharmacists created training and instructions for accountable care organization (ACO)-allied health professionals in an effort to incorporate the self-management kits in clinical practice. Implementation of the self-management kits was accepted by interprofessional ACO leadership and is currently being integrated into allied health workflow.

Gaps in OTC Labeling: Potentially Inappropriate Medications for Older Adults

As the number of available over-the-counter (OTC) products increases, many older adults are taking health care into their own hands. It is particularly important that the labeling provided with these products is precise, leading to their effective use, especially by older adults. Suboptimally designed medication labels can increase the risk of consumption errors and adverse drug interactions among seniors. This study evaluated whether the warning labels on potentially inappropriate OTC medications are consistent with evidence-based criteria for potentially inappropriate prescribing in older adults.

Assessing Pneumococcal Vaccination Availability in Under-Vaccinated Rural Counties

Many rural populations have vaccination rates well below nationally recommended levels. Community pharmacies may offer a solution to this problem. Under a collaborative drug therapy agreement, pharmacists can prescribe and administer immunizations. The purpose of this study was to examine pneumococcal vaccine access in rural pharmacies in Eastern Washington state. Access to pneumococcal vaccines will be enhanced by pharmacist administration, resulting in improved availability, accessibility, accommodation, and affordability.

The Next Medicare Part D Season Begins

Medicare has proposed adding supplemental benefits in Medicare Advantage plans that would target seniors with chronic conditions.


The Consultant Pharmacist® is the official monthly peer-reviewed journal of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP). It is the only journal dedicated exclusively to the medication therapy needs of seniors. ASCP members receive The Consultant Pharmacist® as a member benefit. All articles (2004 to present) are free online for members.

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