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1.  Use of Evidence-Based Therapy at Discharge for Patients with Acute Myocardial Infarction: Retrospective Audit of Medical Records 
Background:
Various guidelines are available outlining optimal therapy for patients with acute myocardial infarction. Canadian institutions providing care for such patients have been encouraged to evaluate their care processes using specific indicators.
Objective:
To determine the proportion of patients with acute myocardial infarction discharged from a single health authority for whom acetylsalicylic acid (ASA), adrenergic β-receptor antagonists (β-blockers), angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, or 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitors (statins) had been prescribed.
Methods:
Patients treated over a 12-month period (April 1, 2004, to March 31, 2005) for whom the most responsible diagnosis was acute myocardial infarction were eligible for inclusion in this review. Retrieved data included diagnosis, demographic information, comorbidities, and medications at the time of admission and discharge. Rates of discharge prescribing for the 4 drug classes were calculated for all patients and for “ideal” patients (those without documented contraindications). Rates were compared with published benchmark values.
Results:
Medical records for a total of 346 eligible patients were reviewed. Mean age was 65.3 years (standard deviation 13.4 years), and 226 (65.3%) of the patients were male. The coded diagnosis was ST-elevation myocardial infarction for 91 patients (26.3%), non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction for 164 (47.4%), and myocardial infarction not specified for 91 (26.3%). For “ideal” patients, the prescribing rates were 99.0% (308 of 311 patients) for ASA, 96.3% (310 of 322 patients) for β-blockers, 90.4% (264 of 292 patients) for ACE inhibitors, and 88.8% (278 of 313 patients) for statins.
Conclusions:
Rates of prescribing of ASA, β-blockers, ACE inhibitors, and statins for “ideal” patients discharged after treatment for acute myocardial infarction exceeded the published Canadian benchmark rates (≥ 90% for ASA, ≥ 85% for β-blockers and ACE inhibitors, ≥ 70% for statins).
PMCID: PMC2901780  PMID: 22478980
myocardial infarction; drugs; quality of care; infarctus du myocarde; médicaments; qualité des soins
3.  Survey of Canadian Pharmacists’ Responses to Warnings of Potential Interactions Between Ceftriaxone and Calcium in IV Solutions 
Background:
In 2007, because of a potential interaction between ceftriaxone and calcium-containing IV solutions, Roche Laboratories (manufacturer of Rocephin [ceftriaxone] in the United States) issued letters to health care professionals advising them of changes to the product monograph. Subsequently, warning letters were also issued by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Health Canada. The Health Canada recommendations and their implications for clinical practice generated debate in the Canadian hospital pharmacy community.
Objective:
To evaluate the response to the warnings among hospital pharmacists and their respective institutions.
Methods:
An anonymous, voluntary 10-question survey was distributed to members of the Pharmacy Specialty Networks of the Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists. Requests to participate were solicited via 2 e-mail messages. Responses were analyzed descriptively.
Results:
A total of 152 pharmacists participated in the survey. Forty-three respondents (28.3%) reported being very concerned and 86 (56.6%) reported being somewhat concerned about the Health Canada Notice to Hospitals. About half (77/152 [50.7%]) of the respondents felt that the Health Canada notice did not need to be strictly heeded. Two-thirds (98/145 [67.6%]) reported that their institutions had addressed the risk of an interaction through a change in policy regarding the administration of ceftriaxone. Eighty-eight (61.5%) of 143 participants indicated that their institution’s official position on the notice was that it represented a “relative contraindication” (i.e., the benefit may outweigh the risk).
Conclusions:
Warning letters issued by the manufacturer, the FDA, and Health Canada generated concern within the Canadian hospital pharmacy community. However, a large proportion of hospital pharmacy practitioners did not agree with strict adherence to the Health Canada notice.
PMCID: PMC2827021  PMID: 22478936
ceftriaxone; calcium; administration; precipitation; ceftriaxone; calcium; administration; précipitation

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