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Each issue will include an editorial on a topic that is important for the profession of pharmacy, as well as a review of a new drug that includes a comparison of the new drug with previously marketed drugs that are most similar in activity, and a New Drug Comparison Rating (NDCR) for the new drug. Read on for this month's issue.


December 2007 Issue
FeatureEditor's NoteNew Drugs of 2007
Index for Volume 1, 2006Index for Volume 2, 2007

Click Here to download PDF format

We are Blessed! To Whom Much is Given...
[To Top]

Notwithstanding the difficult challenges that pharmacy and some individual pharmacists continue to face with respect to our professional responsibilities, we have been blessed! There are times when I need to remind myself of that as it is so easy to become fully immersed with the problems encountered by our profession. It is important that I count my blessings throughout the year and not just during the Thanksgiving and Christmas season.

As pharmacists, most of us are productively employed, receive good salaries, and live comfortably. Most of us have more than we need. And it is all too easy to forget or ignore the admonition, "to whom much is given, much is required." How have I/we responded? How have I/we shared our abundance?

Many pharmacists can respond that we give much to others by the very nature of our responsibilities in serving patients, providing important advice, and contributing to the maintenance and improvement of their health. As important as these services are, we are getting paid to provide them. To what extent are we engaged in activities to help others on our own time?

"Giving" is often defined in monetary terms (and I will come back to that). However, some of the most important things we can do for others do not cost us anything. All of us know individuals who would greatly appreciate a phone call, an email, or a letter with a message of encouragement. As I write this, my thoughts turn immediately to one of my former students, a young woman who is battling cancer that is considered terminal. I need to call her to let her know that she is in my thoughts and prayers. Less than two weeks ago one of our students died suddenly at the age of 19. I had not yet come to know him, but I know his father who was one of my former students. I need to call him without further delay to express my sympathy. Other situations also come to mind and I am certain that you can also quickly identify individuals who would value your encouragement.

We are also in a position to help individuals we do not even know. I have had the privilege of serving on the Board of Directors of World Vision (www.worldvision.org). This experience has greatly expanded my awareness and sensitivity to the needs (starting with clean water) of a large fraction of the world's population. World Vision's primary commitment is to help children, and my wife and I have found that our sponsorship of several children (at a nominal cost) has been a very fulfilling experience. There are also many other ministries and humanitarian organizations that put our monetary gifts and our time to good use for the benefit of those with great needs.

What have we given back to the profession of pharmacy from which we derive our livelihood? At the very least, we have a responsibility to be members of the professional associations that we need as advocates for our professional role and services in optimizing drug therapy and protecting and improving the health of the patients we serve.

We can not eliminate the personal and professional problems that so many are experiencing. But there is great opportunity to help others (and ourselves) who would greatly benefit from the encouragement, hope, and good will we are in a position to provide. A Christmas letter we just received concludes with a verse with a wonderful message from Longfellow's "I heard the bells on Christmas day..."

Yet pealed the bells, more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth he sleep:
the wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
with peace on earth, good will to men."

We wish you a joyous Christmas season and a happy and healthy new year!

Daniel A. Hussar

Editor's Note [To Top]

With this issue we mark the completion of the second year of publication of The Pharmacist Activist. The response from readers has been very gratifying and your comments confirm what we have considered to be the importance of the topics we have selected for coverage. We would like to believe that there is a growing number of pharmacist activists. However, we need many more and this will be a continuing message in the editorials. Please encourage your pharmacist colleagues and pharmacy students to sign up (www.pharmacistactivist.com) to receive this publication free of charge.

I have been asked on a number of occasions how we make The Pharmacist Activist available free of charge. Although I do not receive compensation, and NEWS-Line Publishing produces this newsletter at its cost, there are considerable expenses in developing and producing it. I wish to express my deep appreciation to the benefactor who is committed to the provision of editorial commentary that will stimulate discussion/debate and objective information on new drugs, and who has provided the financial support necessary to cover the publishing costs. I also wish to express my personal appreciation to Chris Polli, Patrick Polli, Jeff Zajac, John Buck, and Joe Monte for their expertise and enthusiasm in publishing The Pharmacist Activist.

I am also asked about the availability of information regarding all of the new drugs. I have just completed a book (for which there is a charge) that provides the most important information about each of the 142 new therapeutic agents marketed during the 2002-2007 period. For more information, click here.

Daniel A. Hussar


New Drugs of 2007 [To Top]

Click here to view New Drugs of 2007



Index for Volume 1, 2006 [To Top]

January (No. 1) The Sleeping Giant
Editorís Note
New Drug Review: Pregabalin (Lyrica)
February (No. 2) The Medicare Prescription Benefit??
Letter to Senator Rick Santorum
New Drug Review: Eszopiclone (Lunesta)
March (No. 3) A Tribute and a Warning
Letter to President Bush
New Drug Review: Ibandronate (Boniva)
April (No. 4) Independent Pharmacists-The Front Line of our Profession
Distinguished Leadership
New Drug Review: Lubiprostone (Amitiza)
May (No. 5) The Justice Department Should Not Settle with Medco!
Inspiration
New Drug Review: Varenicline tartrate (Chantix)
June (No. 6) Shame on CVS!
Target Provides some Good Examples
New Drug Review: Insulin detemir (Levemir)
July (No. 7) Pfizer Should Pay Pharmacists to Counsel Patients about Exubera
Sesquicentennial
New Drug Review: Insulin glulisine (Apidra)
August (No. 8) When Price Controls are Established for Drugs, Big Pharma will have Only Itself to Blame
A Positive Step
New Drug Review: Rasagiline mesylate (Azilect)
September (No. 9) September 11
New Drug Review: Darunavir (Prezista)
October (No. 10) Wal-Martís Generics Scam Ignores the Professional Role of Its Pharmacists
It is Almost Election Day! Do You Know What Your Candidates Stand For?
New Drug Review: Ranolazine (Ranexa)
November (No. 11) No More Excuses! Letís Get Cigarettes Out of Pharmacies!
Paying $155 Million Means Never Having to Say You are Sorry (or Admit to any Wrongdoing)
New Drug Review: Sitagliptin phosphate (Januvia)
December (No. 12) A Christmas Letter
A Gift of Life
New Drug Review: Telbivudine (Tyzeka)


Index for Volume 2, 2007 [To Top]

January (No. 1) A New Year, an Old Theme
New Drug Review: Paliperidone (Invega)
Editor's Note
February (No. 2) Ten Thousand and One Pfizer Employees Lose Jobs - But the "One" is Very Different
Editor's Note
The Gettysburg Address
New Drug Review: Posaconazole (Noxafil)
New Drug Review: Ranibizumab (Lucentis)
March (No. 3) Pharmacy Must Demand Fair and Immediate Payment for Medications and Services!
New Drug Review: Aliskiren hemifumarate (Tekturna)
The Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors (ACEIs)
The Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers (ARBs)
April (No. 4) The 20/20 Report on Pharmacy Errors - An Indictment of Some Chain Pharmacies
The Right Way to Practice Pharmacy
New Drug Review: Lisdexamfetamine dimesylate (Vyvanse)
May (No. 5) Pharmacy Errors: Part 2 "More Prescriptions Faster" Policies of Some Chain Pharmacies Increase the Risk of Errors
New Drug Review: Retapamulin (Altabax)
June (No. 6) If CMS and AMP do not Turn Pharmacists into Activists, What Will?
New Drug Review: Rotigotine (Neupro)
July (No. 7) The Assault on Compounding Must be Rejected!
New Drug Review: Bismuth subcitrate potassium (Pylera [with metronidazole and tetracycline])
August (No. 8) Let Your Conscience be Your Guide! (but some pharmacists are being denied this right)
New Drug Review: Levocetirizine dihydrochloride (Xyzal)
September (No. 9) Save the Independent Pharmacists!
New Drug Review: Maraviroc (Selzentry)
October (No. 10) Behind-the-Counter (BTC) - Long Overdue but, Let's Seize the Day!
New Drug Review: Raltegravir (Isentress)
November (No. 11) More Profits or More Blindness? Genentech Should Rescind its Action Against Compounding Pharmacies!
New Drug Review: Lapatinib (Tykerb)
December (No. 12) We are Blessed! To Whom Much is Given.....
Editor's Note
New Drugs of 2007
Cumulative Index for Volume 1, 2006 and Volume 2, 2007


Editor's Note: All issues of The Pharmacist Activist are available without charge on this website.