Ohio Society of Health-System Pharmacists

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  • 15 Oct 2019 11:53 AM | OSHP Admin (Administrator)

    Author: Morgan Krause, PharmD, BSPS

    Preparing for residency can be an overwhelming process! An important component of residency preparation is attendance at showcases. Whether you are attending the residency showcase at Ohio Society of Health-System Pharmacists (OSHP) or the residency showcase at American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP)’s Midyear Meeting, it is important to do your research about the programs you are interested in and arrive prepared. After reflecting on my residency preparation, I have some of my tips regarding preparation, attendance and interactions at the residency showcase.

    Be honest with yourself.

    Take the time to self-reflect prior to attending the showcase. Why do you want to participate in post-graduate training? What are your goals related to residency training? What skills and experiences would you like to enhance throughout your training? What areas of pharmacy are you NOT interested in? What type of pharmacist do you want to be when you grow up?

    If you ponder residency-related goals early, your journey will be much smoother. By establishing your values and goals upfront, you will feel more confident as you navigate the available programs. Understanding your goals, values, and important aspects that you are looking for in a program is an important before even stepping into a residency showcase.

    Be honest with the programs.

    Residents and the residency program directors are at the showcase to answer your questions and to get to know you better. If you are not interested in their program, politely move along. No feelings will be hurt, and no bridges will be burned. Also, do not pretend to be interested in a program. Pretending to be interested in pediatric intensive care does not bode well to the program you just expressed your ambulatory care interest to; your interests may not be in clear alignment with what the program has to offer.

    On the contrary, it is okay to have some uncertainty related to what you want to do with your career. Do not be afraid to explore programs outside of your comfort zone. This may include programs in an unfamiliar location, or with unique learning experiences. You may discover more about your own interests and find a mentor in the least expected way.

    Treat the showcase as an interview

    Dress for success! If you own a suit or a nice blazer, wear it. Suitable colors include black, navy blue, or grey. If you decide to wear a dress or skirt, wear the appropriate length. In general, keep the dress or skirt at least one inch above the knee. If you are uncertain if your clothing is appropriate, do not wear it. It is important to showcase your professionalism while you interact with the residents and directors. Do not allow your clothing to serve as a distraction!

    “What questions do you have?” is a common saying you will experience throughout the residency process. The showcase is no exception. Identify what questions you want to ask each program prior to the showcase.You will appear more professional if you are able to have a conversation with the resident or residency director. If you are fidgeting through your papers or struggling to think of a question, you may appear unprepared or uninterested in the program.

    Come prepared!

    ASHP has an online residency directory – take advantage of it! Additionally, the ASHP directory will have a link to the program’s website if one is available. Read through the descriptions of the programs that will be in attendance at the showcase. Find the programs that have your specialty of interest. What else would you like to know about a certain learning experience within the program? How could you incorporate that learning experience into a research project? Write those questions down and bring them with you.

    In addition to the ASHP online residency directory, explore the website of residency programs as well. If the information is visibly available on both of these resources, avoid formulating questions around this material. Take the time to reflect on your own interests and values and formulate unique questions to ask of the programs.

    Also, bring your business cards and CVs. Stay hydrated. The day will fly by, and all of the programs will begin to blend together. Bring a notebook to quickly jot down notes after talking with residency programs. Go somewhere private after each interaction to collect your thoughts. Remember to grab the business card of each resident or residency director you talked with! Write down what you discussed on the back of the card. You have a lot of thank-you e-mails or hand-written letters to construct after the showcase, and you want to guarantee you have the correct person. In your follow up, be sure to reference something specific you discussed with your new connection. This demonstrates that the conversation was meaningful. Remember, this is the beginning of a career-long professional relationship with the person.

    The residency showcase is a long day, but it is very rewarding. While you are able to interact with the residency programs, you are also able to interact with your friends and classmates that you may not have seen since rotations started. Stay positive, enjoy the support of your peers, and absorb the positive energy around you! You are one step closer to your dreams. Do not forget how far you have come, and how far you will go.

    Good luck!

    Morgan Krause, PharmD, BSPS

  • 8 Oct 2019 12:50 PM | OSHP Admin (Administrator)

    Author: Katie McKinney, OSHP President

    In each of our departments and facets of practice, we recognize the key roles Pharmacy Technicians play on our teams. During Pharmacy Month, I’d like to extend a heartfelt Thank You to those who chose Pharmacy Technician as their career and recognize a few of those that have shaped my own professional journey.

    Thank you to Jim Myers Jr., who introduced me to hospital pharmacy practice as my first trainer. The lessons he imparted for patient safety while sterile compounding resound today. Thank you for teaching best practice when I was first learning preparation and process.

    Thank you to Tracy Adkins. Tracy and I worked together during my residency training, where she supported our repackaging service. She taught me foundational aspects and critical thinking associated with inventory management and pharmacy automation. Tracy and I have continued to work together as both our scopes have expanded; it was kismet when our paths crossed again and is such a pleasure to maintain our relationship.

    Thank you to the technician leadership within my current practice. With a department mix of approximately 50% technicians and 50% pharmacists, the expansion of practice of technicians within our department and representation on our leadership team has been an area of focus. Thank you to Sue Janson for being one of several technician members of our pharmacy leadership team. Sue’s perspective regarding the evolution of pharmacy practice over her career and experience throughout our department offers meaningful perspective to our team.

    Thank you to Crista Parsons, who lead the first Technician Division of OSHP, and Timmi Anne Boesken, the current Technician Division Director. Your leadership and contributions to this organization are invaluable. Thank you for the education and advocacy for the profession for technicians within our state through OSHP. Of note, OSHP is the ONLY professional pharmacy organization in Ohio actively engaging technician members! Please contact Timmi Anne if you or your colleagues have interest in participation and contribution to OSHP’s Technician Division.

    As we continue to navigate the regulatory changes regarding technician registration with the Ohio Board of Pharmacy and in supporting our technician team members in meeting the training requirements, please remember the resources OSHP offers. OSHP has partnered with the publisher of Pharmacy Technician’s Letter (Therapeutic Research Center). Don’t forget to mention the Ohio Society of Health-System Pharmacists if you leverage the services offered by Pharmacy Technician’s Letter in aligning training modules for your employer-based training program.

    Additionally, OSHP support pharmacy technician development through recognition. OSHP annually recognizes one individual as Pharmacy Technician of the Year and our Annual Meeting (May 7 and 8, 2020). Nominations for all of OSHP’s awards will open in November. Support technician contributions, as well as those of many others by nominating your colleagues for an OSHP Award.

    The Legal Affairs Division, lead by Garrett Eggers, has initiated conversations regarding tech-check-tech. Registration requirements from the Board of Pharmacy have clearly delineated opportunities for technicians based on registration/certification. Research in states with technician product verification show a lower rate of product selection errors. Please contact Garrett and the Legal Affairs Division if you have thoughts and contributions for the work of this team within our state.

    Every pharmacist would be a different practitioner, a practitioner who would be limited in foundational knowledge or recognition of opportunities for improvement in the medication use system, if it weren’t for the insight and collaboration with previous and current technician colleagues. Please extend your Thank Yous to those you have and have had the privilege in collaborating in our professions.

    Happy Pharmacy Month!

    Happy Pharmacy Technician Day, Tuesday, October 15th!

    -Katie McKinney, OSHP President

  • 26 Sep 2019 4:24 PM | OSHP Admin (Administrator)

    Author: Aaron Barber, PharmD Candidate, Northeast Ohio Medical University

    Esketamine(SPRAVATO) is approved for treatment-resistant major depressive disorder (MDD) in combination with an oral antidepressant in adults. Treatment-resistant depression entails two failed antidepressant trials of adequate doses and durations. Esketamine is a schedule III controlled substance and requires a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS) program (SPRAVATO REMS). This represents the first breakthrough for MDD since the introduction of fluoxetine in 1987, and it offers an alternative for the many patients whose depressive symptoms are uncontrolled with current regimens.

    Esketamine is the S-enantiomer of racemic ketamine, and it is a non-selective, non-competitive N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist. The mechanism by which it exhibits antidepressant effects are unknown. Bioavailability of intranasal administration is 48%, and the time to peak plasma concentration is20-40 minutes. Esketamine is metabolized to noresketamine, its major active metabolite, primarily by cytochrome P450 (CYP) 2B6 and CYP3A4 and to a lesser extent by CYP2C9 and CYP2C19. Noresketamine is then metabolized by different CYP dependent pathways. Following nasal administration, less than 1% of the dose is excreted unchanged in the urine.

    Esketamine is contraindicated in patients who may experience deleterious effects secondary to increased blood pressure or intracranial pressure. Contraindications include aneurysmal vascular disease, arteriovenous malformation, or intracerebral hemorrhage. Avoid esketamine in patients with hypersensitivity reactions to either esketamine or ketamine. Warnings include sedation, dissociation, abuse, and suicidal thoughts and behaviors. In clinical trials, up to 61% of patients experienced sedation, whereas up to 75% experienced dissociative or perceptual changes (e.g.,distortion of time, space, and illusions, derealization, depersonalization).

    Administration of esketamine is associated with an increase in blood pressure.Patients experience an average increase of 7-9 mmHg systolic and 4-6 mmHg diastolic at 40 minutes post administration. This increase dropped at the 1.5 hour mark to 2-5 mmHg systolic and 1-3 mmHg diastolic.Concurrent use of esketamineand monoamine oxidase inhibitorsor psychostimulants may increase blood pressure and requires close monitoring.

    Several phase III clinical trials evaluated esketamine. Short-term, fixed and flexible-dosed trials were conducted in adults with treatment-resistant depression. Patients received either esketamineor intranasal placebo; all patients received antidepressant therapy. Esketamine significantly improved scores from baseline on the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS). Despite positive results in adult trials, a 4-week trial in patients 65 years and older found no significant difference between esketamine and intranasal placebo on the MADRS. Longer-term trials investigated relapse prevention and safety. Time to relapse was significantly longer for esketamine than placebo. Cognitive impairment and interstitial cystitis have been reported with ketamine misuse and abuse. Neither adverse effect was observed over the course of 12months with esketamine; however, higher rates of dysuria, micturition urgency, and nocturia occurred.

    Esketamine is available in 28 mg unit dose devices (2 sprays [1 spray in each nostril] = 28 mg). Dosing ranges from 56-84 mg; therefore, multiple devices are needed for each dose. The dosing schedule begins with 56 mg for the first dose and either 56 mg or 84 mg for all subsequent doses.

    Prior to the first intranasal spray only,instruct the patient to blow their nose. Do not prime the device before use. Instruct the patient to tilt their head back at a 45° angle and insert the device in the first nostril until the nose rest touches the skin between nostrils. Close the opposite nostril and press the plunger while inhaling through the nose. After the spray, sniff gently. Repeat these steps with second nostril, and ensure that the patient does not blow their nose. Wait 5 minutes before administering each subsequent device needed to achieve the desired dose. After administration of the full dose, the patient must be observed by a health care provider for at least 2 hours to monitor for adverse effects such as sedation, dissociation, and hypertension. Additionally, patients should be advised to avoid drinking any liquids for 30 minutes prior to administration and to avoid any food intake for 2 hours before administration due to the risk of nausea and vomiting.

    Up to one-third of adults with MDD experience persistent symptoms of sadness, sleep disturbances, low energy, or thoughts of suicide or death. Esketamine represents the first new antidepressant mechanism of action in over 30 years. It is difficult to predict if widespread adoption of this therapy will occur secondary to its REMS requirements, strict post-administration monitoring parameters, and need for frequent office visits. This could, however, open the door to exciting opportunities, such as pharmacist-run esketamine clinics. No matter what the future holds, it is comforting to know that there is now a new tool for patients to battle depression.


    Ionescu DF, Rosenbaum JF, Alpert JE. Pharmacological approaches to the challenge of treatment-resistant depression. Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2015;17(2):111–26.

    Molero P, Ramos-Quiroga JA, Martin-Santos R, Calvo-Sánchez E, Gutiérrez-Rojas L, Meana JJ. Antidepressant efficacy and tolerability of ketamine and esketamine: a critical review. CNS Drugs. 2018;32(5):411-20.

    Spravato [package insert]. Titusville, NJ: Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; March 2019.

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"The mission of OSHP is to optimize patient health by advocating for the advancement of pharmacy practice to promote comprehensive, quality care across the health-care continuum