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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 2015 Issue [Download PDF format]
In this issue:
How Shall We Live?
"Support Independents"
Indexes for Volume 6, 2011 through Volume 9, 2014
Index for Volume 10, 2015

How Shall We Live?

Some may be familiar with the music "Finlandia" (composed by Jean Sibelius), but not familiar with the words written by Gloria Gaither. I consider the result to be inspirational! - Daniel A. Hussar

I Then Shall Live

I then shall live as one who's been forgiven;
I'll walk with joy to know my debts are paid.
I know my name is clear before my Father;
I am His child and I am not afraid.
So greatly pardoned, I'll forgive my brother;
The law of love I gladly will obey.

I then shall live as one who's learned compassion;
I've been so loved that I'll risk loving, too.
I know how fear builds walls instead of bridges;
I'll dare to see another's point of view.
And when relationships demand commitment,
Then I'll be there to care and follow through.

Your Kingdom come around and through and in me,
Your power and glory, let them shine through me.
Your Hallowed Name, O may I bear with honor,
And may Your living Kingdom come in me.
The Bread of Life, O may I share with honor.
And may You feed a hungry world through me.

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With this issue we mark the completion of the tenth year of publication of The Pharmacist Activist. The index for this volume 10 and the indexes for the previous four volumes are at the bottom of this web page. The indexes for the first 5 volumes (2006-2010) are in the December, 2010 issue. All issues are available on this website.

I wish to express my appreciation to Jeff Zajac and Patrick Polli for their expertise in preparing and distributing the issues. My deep appreciation is also extended to my friend and former student, Linda Corvari. Linda is the Founder and President of p-value communications (www.pvaluecomm.com) and has provided financial support for publication of The Pharmacist Activist. This support reflects her commitment to advance the profession of pharmacy through stimulation of discussion/debate on important issues and challenges, and the provision of objective evaluations of new drugs. This support makes it possible to continue to make The Pharmacist Activist available free-of-charge via email to any interested pharmacist or student pharmacist.

The numerous thoughtful and informative communications from readers provides the motivation to continue with this initiative to address the issues that I consider to be of the greatest importance for the profession of pharmacy I also very much appreciate the many messages I received that provided encouragement in coping with my illness.

Best wishes for a blessed, healthy, and enjoyable new year!

Daniel A. Hussar

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"Support Independents"

Regular readers of The Pharmacist Activist know that I am a strong advocate for independent community pharmacies/pharmacists (please see my editorial, "Pharmacy's National Treasure – Community Pharmacists! But They are Threatened!" (April, 2014 issue of The Pharmacist Activist). Therefore, it was a pleasure to read positive comments about independents in an article, "Save Money on Your Meds," that appears in the January 2016 issue of Consumer Reports (pages 13-17), a high-circulation and authoritative consumer publication. The commentary at the end of the article identifies the following "Smart Strategies for Savings."
  1. Skip chain drugstores.
  2. Support independents.
  3. Don't always use your insurance.
  4. Always ask, "Is this your lowest price?"
  5. Seek a 90-day prescription.
  6. Look online.
The following comments are included in the "Support independents" section:

"Though you might think that mom and pop stores usually charge higher prices, we found that wasn't always the case. In fact, we found some real bargains at local independent pharmacies, as well as some higher prices. We also found wide fluctuations at supermarkets, another place you might not expect to save. Another advantage of independent drugstores: We often had luck asking for a lower price, where pharmacists might have more flexibility to match or beat competitors' prices."

Although this article focuses on the prices of prescriptions, independent pharmacists can use the positive comments in discussions with their patients while also identifying the scope and value of the professional and personalized services they provide. I urge you to read the entire article.

Daniel A. Hussar

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Indexes for Volume 6, 2011 through Volume 9, 2014

Volume 6, 2011

January 2011 (No. 1)
• A New Year, an Old Theme - Pharmacy Must Have a More Effective National Organizational Structure!
• New Drug Review: Fingolimod hydrochloride (Gilenya)

February 2011 (No. 2)
• Priorities for our Profession
• New Drug Review: Pegloticase (Krystexxa)

March 2011 (No. 3)
• Both Patients and Health Care Have a Great Need for a Personal Touch!
• New Drug Review: Collagenase clostridium histolyticum (Xiaflex)

April 2011 (No. 4)
• The Large Chains are Making a Mockery of our Profession - And our Profession is a Co-conspirator Through our Silence!
• New Drug Review: Azilsartan medoxomil (Edarbi)

May 2011 (No. 5)
• Mail-Order Pharmacy Programs - Limitations, Inequities, and Deception
• New Drug Review: Ceftaroline fosamil (Teflaro)

June 2011 (No. 6)
• Pharmacy's Vision for 2015 OR a Large Surplus of Pharmacists?
• New Drug Review: Linagliptin (Tradjenta)

July 2011 (No. 7)
• Express Scripts and Medco - A Fallen Giant or a Bigger Monster?
• New Drug Review: Vilazodone hydrochloride (Viibryd)

August 2011 (No. 8)
• Drug Shortages - Pharmaceutical Companies Have Caused This Problem and it is Their Responsibility to Resolve It!
• New Drug Review: Lurasidone hydrochloride (Latuda)

September 2011 (No. 9)
• The Tylenol Follies
• New Drug Review: Rivaroxaban (Xarelto)

October 2011 (No. 10)
• Deception and Hypocrisy from Mail-Order Pharmacies
• New Drug Review: Ticagrelor (Brilinta)

November 2011 (No. 11)
• Merchants of Death - Chain Pharmacy CEOs Must Stop the Sale of Cigarettes!
• New Drug Review: Telaprevir (Incivek)

December 2011 (No. 12)
• "I Never Told Her"
• New Therapeutic Agents Marketed in the United States in 2011 (Table)
• Index for 2011

Volume 7, 2012

January 2012 (No. 1)
• Pharmacy Must Establish its Own Prescription Benefit Program
• New Drug Review: Belimumab (Benlysta)

February 2012 (No. 2)
• CVS - Criminal Charges are Needed!
• New Drug Review: Roflumilast (Daliresp)

March 2012 (No. 3)
• Many Prescription Medications Should be Available Without a Prescription from a Pharmacist
• New Drug Review: Fidaxomicin (Dificid)

April 2012 (No. 4)
• We Must Prevent "Reform" from Taking the "Care" out of Health Care!
• New Drug Review: Indacaterol maleate (Arcapta)

May 2012 (No. 5)
• The "Tyranny of the Urgent" Must Not Compromise our Commitment to our Priorities
• New Drug Review: Ingenol mebutate (Picato)

June 2012 (No. 6)
• Is Patient Safety at Risk at CVS? There is a Whistleblower!
• New Drug Review: Aflibercept (Eylea)

July 2012 (No. 7)
• The Restrictive and Risky Mail-order Distribution Program for Qsymia Must be Rescinded
• New Drug Review: Ezogabine (Potiga)

August 2012 (No. 8)
• Accreditation of Community Pharmacies Can Have Important Benefits - But the Program Must Have Credibility and Value for the Participants
• New Drug Review: Spinosad (Natroba)

September 2012 (No. 9)
• Our Professional Autonomy and the Health of our Patients are at Risk! We Need More Independence in our Practice Responsibilities and More Independent Pharmacies
• New Drug Review: Peginesatide acetate (Omontys)

October 2012 (No. 10)
• The Meningitis Tragedy - More Regulation is Not the Answer
• New Drug Review: Elvitegravir/Cobicistat (Stribild)

November 2012 (No. 11)
• Pharmacy-Assisted Suicide - at CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens, Walmart, etc.
• New Drug Review: Tofacitinib citrate (Xeljanz)

December 2012 (No. 12)
• A Christmas Letter
• New Drug Review: Mirabegron (Myrbetriq)
• Index for 2012

Volume 8, 2013

January 2013 (No. 1)
• The APhA and ASHP Should Merge!
• New Drug Review: Aclidinium bromide (Tudorza Pressair)
• New Therapeutic Agents Marketed in the United States in 2012 (Table)

February 2013 (No. 2)
• Express Scripts Almost Discovers Conscience - But Fails to Do So!
• New Drug Review: Teriflunomide (Aubagio)

March 2013 (No. 3)
• "I Quit CVS Today"
• New Drug Review: Linaclotide (Linzess)

April 2013 (No. 4)
• Pharmacy as a Career Choice? YES!
• New Drug Review: Apixaban (Eliquis)

May 2013 (No. 5)
• Pfizer's Viagra Promotion Puts Patients at Risk and is an Insult to Local Pharmacists
• New Drug Review: Canagliflozin (Invokana)

June 2013 (No. 6)
• Walgreens Challenges CVS in the Race to the Bottom - But No Individuals are Accountable!
• New Drug Review: Alogliptin benzoate (Nesina)

July 2013 (No. 7)
• Pharmacists Be On Guard! For the Protection of Your Patients and Yourselves
• New Drug Review: Lorcaserin (Belviq)

August 2013 (No. 8)
• Mail-order Pharmacy Threatens the Role of Pharmacists as Health Professionals
• New Drug Review: Dimethyl fumarate (Tecfidera)

September 2013 (No. 9)
• Boards of Pharmacy Should Discontinue Issuing Licenses to Pharmacies that Sell Tobacco Products and to Pharmacies that are in Facilities that Sell Tobacco Products
• New Drug Review: Vilanterol trifenatate/fluticasone furoate (Breo Ellipta)

October 2013 (No. 10)
• Obtaining Health Insurance that Isn't Understood Using a System that Isn't Working - And the Situation Will Get Worse if there is not Compromise!
• New Drug Review: Ospemifene (Osphena)

November 2013 (No. 11)
• Inspiration!
• New Drug Review: Crofelemer (Fulyzaq)

December 2013 (No. 12)
• New Drug Review: Dabrafenib mesylate (Tafinlar)
• New Drug Review: Trametinib dimethyl sulfoxide (Mekinist)
• Index for 2013

Volume 9, 2014

January 2014 (No. 1)
• We Will Try Resolutions Again but Pharmacy May Need a Revolution!
• New Drug Review: Vortioxetine hydrobromide (Brintellix)

February 2014 (No. 2)
• Commendation for CVS!
• Commendation for the Pharmacies that Never Sold or have Discontinued the Sale of Tobacco Products!
• The Tipping Point Should Become a Domino Effect!
• Chantix Should be Available Without a Prescription from a Pharmacist!
• New Drug Review: Sofosbuvir (Sovaldi)

March 2014 (No. 3)
• Over-the-Counter Drug Monograph System – Past, Present, and Future
• New Drug Review: Dolutegravir sodium (Tivicay)

April 2014 (No. 4)
• Pharmacy's National Treasure – Community Pharmacists! But They are Threatened!
• New Drug Review: Dapagliflozin propanediol (Farxiga)

May 2014 (No. 5)
• Bigger Won't Be Better if Pfizer Acquires AstraZeneca! And Tens of Thousands Will Lose Their Jobs!
• New Drug Review: Avanafil (Stendra)

June 2014 (No. 6)
• More than 10 Colleges of Pharmacy Will Close in the Next 20 Years! UNLESS.....
• New Therapeutic Agents Marketed in the United States in 2013 (Table)

July 2014 (No. 7)
• Patients Held Hostage! Exorbitant Drug Prices Will Result in Rationing of Treatment and Price Controls!
• New Drug Review: Umeclidinium bromide/vilanterol trifenatate (Anoro Ellipta)

August 2014 (No. 8)
• Hydrocodone, Zohydro ER, Pain Relief, Addiction, and Death – What are Our Priorities?
• New Drug Review: Albiglutide (Tanzeum)

September 2014 (No. 9)
• Voters in North Dakota Should Oppose the Challenge to the Pharmacy Ownership Law!
• Chantix Should be Available Without a Prescription from a Pharmacist!
• New Drug Review: Empagliflozin (Jardiance)

October 2014 (No. 10)
• Health, Wellness, and Cigarettes
• New Drug Review: Apremilast (Otezla)

November 2014 (No. 11)
• Serious Medication Errors Must be Reported – for Educational and Preventative Purposes!
• New Drug Review: Bazedoxifene acetate/conjugated estrogens (Duavee)

December 2014 (No. 12)
• With Optimism!
• Appreciation
• New Drug Review: Dulaglutide (Trulicity)
• Index for 2014

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Index for Volume 10, 2015

Volume 10, 2015

January 2015 (No. 1)
• Express Scripts Made the Wrong Formulary Decision that is a Disservice to its Customers
• New Drug Review: Ledipasvir/sofosbuvir (Harvoni – Gilead Sciences)
• New Drug Review: Ombitasvir, paritaprevir, ritonavir, dasabuvir sodium monohydrate (Viekira Pak – AbbVie)

February 2015 (No. 2)
• Drug Shortages and High-Priced Generics – Pharmacy Should Establish Our Own Generics Pharmaceutical Company!
• New Drug Review: Olodaterol hydrochloride (Striverdi Respimat – Boehringer Ingelheim)

March 2015 (No. 3)
• PHARMACY'S VISION FOR 2015 [2004-2014 Rest in Peace]
• New Drug Review: Vorapaxar sulfate (Zontivity – Merck)

July 2015 (No. 4)
• Time Out!*
• New Drug Review: Edoxaban tosylate monohydrate (Savaysa – Daiichi-Sankyo)

August 2015 (No. 5)
• CVS Recommendations about the Cholesterol Guidelines are Not Credible When Its Pharmacists Do Not Have Enough Staff and Time to Practice Optimally
• New Therapeutic Agents Marketed in the United States in 2014

September 2015 (No. 6)
• Daraprim – The Ultimate Drug Pricing Outrage?
• New Drug Review: Suvorexant (Belsomra – Merck)

October 2015 (No. 7)
• The FTC should just say NO! to CVS acquiring Target pharmacies and to Walgreens acquiring Rite Aid!
• New Drug Review: Sacubitril/valsartan (Entresto – Novartis)

November 2015 (No. 8)
• Medications that Must Be Available without a Prescription from a Pharmacist
• New Drug Review: Brexpiprazole (Rexulti – Otsuka)

December 2015 (No. 9)
• How Shall We Live?
• "Support Independents"
• Appreciation
• Indexes for Volume 6, 2011 through Volume 9, 2014
• Index for Volume 10, 2015

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