Pharmacy News

Entries for August 2019

Southeastern Michigan Society of Health-System Pharmacists Update

By Libby Briscoe, Pharm.D., SMSHP president-elect, clinical pharmacist specialist, antimicrobial stewardship, Beaumont Health, Taylor, Mich.

Southeastern Michigan Society of Health-System Pharmacists (SMSHP) has had an exceptionally exciting 2019 so far and has much more to look forward to. We have had excellent continuing education (CE) presentations every month beginning with Katie Axford, Pharm.D., BCPS speaking in January on designing a professional development plan. February brought Amy VandenBerg, Pharm.D., BCPP to speak on newly approved antidepressants and antipsychotics. March had Rachel Wein, Pharm.D., BCPS providing an update on toxicology and April had Lama Hsaiky, Pharm.D., BCPS giving an update on HIV treatment. May was our annual presentation from the ASHP president-elect, which was really special because it was from Kathleen Pawlicki, M.S., R.Ph., FASHP who is a previous president of both MSHP and SMSHP. Our annual Technician Seminar took place in June and had a great turnout. This seminar provided technicians with three live CE hours in required categories. 

SMSHP will take a break in July, but will come back in August. for the annual golf outing with an update of new drug approvals from Margo Farber, Pharm.D. In September MSHP will have a speaker on the hot topic of medical marijuana. The Oct. 9 Residency Showcase will not offer live CE this year, but there will be a CE topic of anticoagulation during the November meeting.
For more information on SMSHP or upcoming events, please visit
Posted in: Member News
Xofluza™: Baloxavir Maboxil

By Bryant Froberg, Pharm.D., candidate 2019, Ferris State University College of Pharmacy, L'Anse, Mich.

Influenza infections have a large impact on the United States population and healthcare system. The preliminary burden estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports nearly 600,000 hospitalizations and 50,000 deaths can be attributed to influenza this flu season. A large number of these patients will be treated with supportive care and antiviral medications. Neuraminidase inhibitors have been the antiviral class of choice since their approval. This is largely due to the presence of widespread adamantane-resistant influenza and the lack of development of antivirals with novel mechanisms against the virus, until now.1 

Xofluza™ (baloxavir maboxil), approved in Oct. 2018, is the first new antiviral flu treatment approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in almost 20 years. It is an oral medication that has the benefit of only having to be taken as a single dose. Standard dosing is based upon weight with patients between 40 and 80 kg receiving a one-time dose of 40mg. The dose is doubled to 80mg in patients that weigh over 80 kg. There are no recommended dose adjustments for kidney or hepatic dysfunction, but clinical trials excluded patients with a creatinine clearance less than 50 mL/min or Child-Pugh Class C impairment. Administration should be avoided with dairy products, calcium-fortified beverages, polyvalent cation-containing laxatives, antacids, or oral supplements due to decreases in serum concentrations of Xofluza™.2,3 

Xofluza™ is an oral prodrug that works by inhibiting the endonuclease activity of polymerase acidic protein. Polymerase acidic protein is an influenza virus-specific enzyme that cleaves the host mRNA caps in order to initiate viral transcription. Without initiation of transcription, the influenza virus replication is inhibited. This inhibition reduces the influenza viral load in the host and decreases the release of cytokines, leading to decreased tissue damage and relief of symptoms.2,3  

The safety and efficacy of Xofluza™ was evaluated in one phase II and one phase III trial over two flu seasons. The phase II trial randomized patients to receive placebo or Xofluza™ at a range of doses (10, 20, 40mg).  All three doses of Xofluza™ had a significant decrease in the median time to alleviation of symptoms when compared to placebo. The phase III trial randomized patients to receive a single oral dose of baloxavir, oseltamivir for five days, or matching placebos. The results of this trial showed a significant decrease in the median time to alleviation of symptoms when compared to placebo and similar time to alleviation as oseltamivir. Adverse events were similar to placebo with diarrhea, headache and nausea being the most common.4

As with any other antimicrobial agent, resistance development is a concern. Results from clinical trials showed that 2-10 percent of patients tested positive for post-treatment viruses with polymerase acidic protein amino acid substitutions that may confer resistance to Xofluza™. Cross-resistance between Xofluza™ and neuraminidase inhibitors is not expected but this has not been studied yet.

The Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA) guidelines for influenza that were updated in Dec. 2018 did not include recommendations regarding Xofluza™. Overall, Xofluza™ looks like a well-tolerated treatment for influenza with the advantage of being a single-dose oral option and may have some use against neuraminidase-resistant influenza.

1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [Internet]. Atlanta (GA): CDC; Influenza; [updated 2019 Apr. 20; cited 2019 Apr 20];. Available from:
2. Baloxavir Marboxil. Lexi-Drugs. Lexicomp. Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. Riverwoods, Ill. Available at: Accessed Apr. 3, 2019. 
3. Xofluza™ (baloxavir marboxil) [prescribing information]. South San Francisco, Calif.: Genentech USA, Inc.: Oct. 2018. 
4. Hayden FG, Sugaya N, Hirotsu N, Lee N, de Jong MD, Hurt AC, et al. Baloxavir Marboxil for Uncomplicated Influenza in Adults and Adolescents. N Engl J Med. 2018 Sept. 5;379(10):913–23. 

Posted in: Professional Practice
Facilitating Professional Growth of MSHP Preceptors and Residents

By Rachel Ives, Pharm.D., pharmacy resident, Harper University Hospital, Detroit, Mich.

The pharmacy profession is undergoing dramatic changes with regards to expectations for training future pharmacists. With a greater emphasis placed on postgraduate residency training as a prerequisite for health-system pharmacy positions, opportunities to expand and promote preceptor and resident learning and development are imperative. Some of the MSHP Residency Committee charges for 2019 are aimed at facilitating the professional growth of MSHP preceptors and residents. 

The first charge tasked to the Residency Committee this year was to create a MSHP preceptor development program. Precepting is a difficult skill set in which clinical pharmacists and administrators must help trainees develop and refine their clinical, leadership and patient-care skills in a rigorous training environment. It can be challenging for new preceptors to find helpful resources, and even seasoned preceptors may have challenges adapting to a rapidly changing training environment. To assist Michigan residency program preceptors with these challenges, the Residency Committee developed two web-based preceptor development seminars that will be available in 2020. A needs assessment was created and distributed to Michigan preceptors in order to determine which precepting skills had the largest gaps between perceived and desired knowledge. Two of the largest gaps identified were precepting across generations and teaching grit, resilience and stress management, which will be the focus of the web-based seminars produced by MSHP. Another area of interest for MSHP preceptors was helping residents through the research and manuscript writing process, which will be the topic of one of the MSHP Annual Meeting sessions.

Residents and preceptors are integral to advancing pharmacy practice through their involvement in quality improvement and research projects. To support this effort, the MSHP Board of Directors charged the Residency Committee to develop ways to share resident research projects that have shown improved patient outcomes. This would allow members to learn about incorporation of pharmacy residents in the development and implementation of new services at other institutions. For this charge, the Residency Committee is working on a proposal for a virtual poster presentation competition in 2020 or 2021. The winning poster would be displayed at the MSHP Annual Meeting, and the top five posters would be available on the MPA website and published in the MSHP Monitor. This platform would allow for recognition of resident and preceptor initiatives to improve patient care.

In order to promote the quality of residency training in Michigan, the Residency Committee developed a metrics dashboard in 2018 that aggregates data about residency programs across the state. The data is available on the MPA website. This year the committee was charged with updating the dashboard content by adding more measures that demonstrate the quality of residency training in Michigan. Future committee goals include circulating the dashboard to colleges of pharmacy in the Midwest to promote residency training in Michigan.

MSHP is committed to providing resources for residents and preceptors and promoting residency training in Michigan, as reflected in the progress made this year by the MSHP Residency Committee. Access to new resources and quality measures will facilitate preceptor, resident and program growth in a rapidly changing pharmacy environment.

Posted in: Professional Practice
Technician Spotlight

2019 MSPT Technician of the Year Anglea Faszczewski, CPhT

The spotlight feature recognizes pharmacy professionals for their contribution to their department or the organization. To nominate yourself or someone else, please click here. You must be logged in to access the form.

Name: Angela Faszczewski, CPhT
TitleLead Technician, Patient Care Services Coordinator
EmployerEhardt's Pharmacy and Medical Supply
Member since: Jan. 28, 2000

Describe Your Role/Day In the Life:
Pimarily, I am responsible for the training of pharmacy technicians new to the corporation and ongoing advanced training mentor to all pharmacy staff. I am responsible for implementing, marketing and maintaining the auto-refill program, adherence packaging program and long-term care/adult foster/assisted living programs. Additionally, I also oversee the planning and implementation of annual Pharmacy Week promotions and activities.

Why You’re an MSHP/MPA/MSPT Member:

I am a member because I am committed to the recognition and advancement of pharmacy technicians as an integral member of the healthcare team. This can only be accomplished by building technician/pharmacist partnerships, continuing education (CE), seeking out opportunities for expansion of duties and responsibilities and the promotion of excellence within the profession. 
Recent Accomplishments:
I am honored to have been recognized as the 2019 MSPT Technician of the Year and to have made my first appearance as a speaker during the MSCP/MSPT co-sponsored CE event, "May the Fourth Be With You."
How MSHP/MPA/MSPT Has Helped You Achieve Any Accomplishments:
My involvement has reinforced my feelings of value to the pharmacy profession and has given me innumerable opportunities to interact with and learn from pharmacy professionals from all practice settings and all stages of experience! Access to this wealth of knowledge has proven invaluable to me time and time again, both professionally and personally. During a recent family medical crisis, the very first person I reached out to for advice and support was a pharmacist I met while working on a MSCP committee. By being active and engaged in MPA activities, I have also been privileged to have been appointed to the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board Certification Council and the Vice-Chair of the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam Development Committee (2016-present).
Posted in: Member News
MSHP Annual Meeting to Focus on Pharmacy Related Outcomes

By Nisha Patel, Pharm.D., BCPS, clinical pharmacist, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, Mich.

The MSHP Annual Meeting will be held Friday, Oct. 25, 2019, at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center in East Lansing, Mich. Registration is now available online for the upcoming event! Held each fall, the Annual Meeting offers up to six hours of live continuing education (CE) credit. Programming is geared toward health-system pharmacists, residents, pharmacy technicians and student pharmacists; tracks focus on clinical, leadership management and residency topics, as well as other general areas of pharmacy practice. In addition to CE programs, there will be a Town Hall meeting, clinical skills competition for students and an exhibit hall to provide attendees with a chance to exchange ideas and learn about new products and services.

This year’s meeting starts with a continental breakfast, where attendees can network with exhibitors and fellow health-system pharmacists from across the state. This will be followed by the Keynote Session on Progressive Clinical Pharmacy Services and patient care outcomes by Gary R. Matzke, professor emeritus, Department of Pharmacotherapy and Outcome Sciences, Virginia Commonwealth University, School of Pharmacy. The Town Hall Meeting follows the first session, where Board officers are sworn in as members of the MSHP Board, Committee members are recognized for their efforts throughout the year and annual Society awards are presented. The morning concludes with two tracks to choose from: the leadership track and clinical track. The leadership session will focus on credentialing and privileging. The clinical session will focus on mental health: Benzodiazepine Prescribing and ICU Delirium presented by Rebecca L. Jones, clinical pharmacy specialist, mental health, Battle Creek VA Medical Center and Jessica L. Jones, critical care clinical pharmacy specialist, Beaumont Health System Dearborn.
Lunch will be provided after, where attendees can continue to network with exhibitors and fellow health-system pharmacy professionals. Winners of the clinical skills competition will be announced and the exhibitor challenge prize drawing will occur during lunch. There will also be a residency lunch, by invitation only, providing another networking opportunity for residents, preceptors and residency directors.
The afternoon will start with two sessions: the clinical track session and preceptor development session. The clinical session will focus on collaborative transition of care models with the Henry Ford Health System Bedside Transitions of Care Model presented by Nancy C. MacDonald, transition of care coordinator, Henry Ford Health System and with HATRIX presented by Sean M. McConachie, clinical assistant professor, Wayne State University Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Science and Joshua Raub, clinical pharmacy specialist, Detroit Receiving Hospital. The preceptor development session will focus on Research Skills – Study Design and Statistics presented by Raymond Yost, manager, pharmacy services, Detroit Receiving Hospital. The afternoon will also include the Reverse Exhibitor Program, where registered exhibitor representatives will have the opportunity to have a one-on-one discussion with key pharmacy decision makers about product and company information, by invitation only. Finally, the annual meeting will end with a general session on use of medication calculators within the electronic health record presented by Patrick Arnold, clinical informatics pharmacist, Michigan Medicine, Cindy Pollock, informatics pharmacist, Spectrum Health and Martha Slot, clinical pharmacy specialist – informatics, Spectrum Health.
If you have not had the chance to register yet, please be sure to visit the MPA website. We hope to see you there! 
Posted in: Continuing Education
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