Hines, IL, United States
Hines, IL, United States

Time filter

Source Type

Aspinall S.L.,VA Pharmacy Benefits Management Services | Aspinall S.L.,University of Pittsburgh | Good C.B.,VA Pharmacy Benefits Management Services | Good C.B.,University of Pittsburgh | And 38 more authors.
BMC Cancer | Year: 2015

Background: Given the paucity of information on dose intensity, the objective of this study is to describe the use of adjuvant chemotherapy for stage III colon cancer, focusing on relative dose intensity (RDI), overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS). Methods: Retrospective cohort of 367 patients diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2003-2008 and treated at 19 VA medical centers. Kaplan-Meier curves summarize 5-year OS and 3-year DFS by chemotherapy regimen and RDI, and multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression was used to model these associations. Results: 5-fluorouracil/leucovorin (FU/LV) was the most commonly initiated regimen in 2003 (94.4%) and 2004 (62.7%); in 2005-2008, a majority of patients (60%-74%) was started on an oxaliplatin-based regimen. Median RDI was 82.3%. Receipt of >70% RDI was associated with better 5-year OS (p<0.001) and 3-year DFS (P=0.009) than was receipt of ≤70% RDI, with 5-year OS rates of 66.3% and 50.5%, respectively and 3-year DFS rates of 66.1% and 52.7%, respectively. In the multivariable analysis of 5-year OS, oxaliplatin+5-FU/LV (versus 5-FU/LV) (HR=0.55; 95% CI=0.34-0.91), >70% RDI at the first year (HR=0.58; 95% CI=0.37-0.89) and married status (HR=0.66; 95% CI=0.45-0.97) were associated with significantly decreased risk of death, while age ≥75 (versus 55-64) (HR=2.06; 95% CI=1.25-3.40), Charlson Comorbidity Index (HR=1.17; 95% CI=1.06-1.30), T4 tumor status (versus T1/T2) (HR=5.88; 95% CI=2.69-12.9), N2 node status (HR=1.68; 95% CI=1.12-2.50) and bowel obstruction (HR=2.32, 95% CI=1.36-3.95) were associated with significantly increased risk. Similar associations were observed for DFS. Conclusion: Patients with stage III colon cancer who received >70% RDI had improved 5-year OS. The association between RDI and survival needs to be examined in studies of adjuvant chemotherapy for colon cancer outside of the VA. © 2015 applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.


PubMed | VA Maine Health Care System, Asheville Medical Center, Portland Medical Center, VA Pharmacy Benefits Management Services and 18 more.
Type: | Journal: BMC cancer | Year: 2015

Given the paucity of information on dose intensity, the objective of this study is to describe the use of adjuvant chemotherapy for stage III colon cancer, focusing on relative dose intensity (RDI), overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS).Retrospective cohort of 367 patients diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2003-2008 and treated at 19 VA medical centers. Kaplan-Meier curves summarize 5-year OS and 3-year DFS by chemotherapy regimen and RDI, and multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression was used to model these associations.5-fluorouracil/leucovorin (FU/LV) was the most commonly initiated regimen in 2003 (94.4%) and 2004 (62.7%); in 2005-2008, a majority of patients (60%-74%) was started on an oxaliplatin-based regimen. Median RDI was 82.3%. Receipt of >70% RDI was associated with better 5-year OS (p<0.001) and 3-year DFS (P=0.009) than was receipt of 70% RDI, with 5-year OS rates of 66.3% and 50.5%, respectively and 3-year DFS rates of 66.1% and 52.7%, respectively. In the multivariable analysis of 5-year OS, oxaliplatin+5-FU/LV (versus 5-FU/LV) (HR=0.55; 95% CI=0.34-0.91), >70% RDI at the first year (HR=0.58; 95% CI=0.37-0.89) and married status (HR=0.66; 95% CI=0.45-0.97) were associated with significantly decreased risk of death, while age 75 (versus 55-64) (HR=2.06; 95% CI=1.25-3.40), Charlson Comorbidity Index (HR=1.17; 95% CI=1.06-1.30), T4 tumor status (versus T1/T2) (HR=5.88; 95% CI=2.69-12.9), N2 node status (HR=1.68; 95% CI=1.12-2.50) and bowel obstruction (HR=2.32, 95% CI=1.36-3.95) were associated with significantly increased risk. Similar associations were observed for DFS.Patients with stage III colon cancer who received >70% RDI had improved 5-year OS. The association between RDI and survival needs to be examined in studies of adjuvant chemotherapy for colon cancer outside of the VA.


Hanlon J.T.,University of Pittsburgh | Hanlon J.T.,Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center | Hanlon J.T.,Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion | Wang X.,Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion | And 12 more authors.
Journal of the American Medical Directors Association | Year: 2011

Background: Inappropriate prescribing of primarily renally cleared medications in older patients with kidney disease can lead to adverse outcomes. Objectives: To estimate the prevalence of potentially inappropriate prescribing of 21 primarily renally cleared medications based on 2 separate estimates of renal function and to identify factors associated with this form of suboptimal prescribing in older VA nursing home (NH) patients. Design: Longitudinal study. Participants: Participants were 1304 patients, aged 65 years or older, admitted between January 1, 2004, and June 30, 2005, for 90 days or more to 1 of 133 VA NHs. Main Measures: Potentially inappropriate prescribing of primarily renally cleared medications determined by estimating creatinine clearance using the Cockcroft Gault (CG) and Modification of Diet in Renal Disease (MDRD) equations and applying explicit guidelines for contraindicated medications and dosing. Key Results: The median estimated creatinine clearance via CG was 67 mL/min, whereas it was 80 mL/min/1.73m2 with the MDRD. Overall, 11.89% patients via CG and only 5.98% via MDRD had evidence of potentially inappropriate prescribing of at least 1 renally cleared medication. The most commonly involved medications were ranitidine, glyburide, gabapentin, and nitrofurantoin. Factors associated with potentially inappropriate prescribing as per the CG were age older than 85 (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 4.24, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.42-7.43), obesity (AOR 0.26, 95% CI 0.14-0.50) and having multiple comorbidities (AOR 1.09 for each unit increase in the Charlson comorbidity index, 95% CI 1.01-1.19). Conclusions: Potentially inappropriate prescribing of renally cleared medications is common in older VA NH patients. Intervention studies to improve the prescribing of primarily renally cleared medications in nursing homes are needed. © 2011 American Medical Directors Association.


Jones M.,University of Utah | Huttner B.,University of Utah | Madaras-Kelly K.,Idaho State University | Nechodom K.,University of Utah | And 5 more authors.
Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology | Year: 2012

objective. To estimate avoidable intravenous (IV) fluoroquinolone use in Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals. design. A retrospective analysis of bar code medication administration (BCMA) data. setting. Acute care wards of 128 VA hospitals throughout the United States. methods. Data were analyzed for all medications administered on acute care wards between January 1, 2006, and December 31, 2010. Patient-days receiving therapy were expressed as fluoroquinolone-days (FD) and divided into intravenous (IV; all doses administered intravenously) and oral (PO; at least one dose administered per os) FD. We assumed IV fluoroquinolone use to be potentially avoidable on a given IV FD when there was at least 1 other medication administered via the enteral route. results. Over the entire study period, 884,740 IV and 830,572 PO FD were administered. Overall, avoidable IV fluoroquinolone use accounted for 46.8% of all FD and 90.9% of IV FD. Excluding the first 2 days of all IV fluoroquinolone courses and limiting the analysis to the non-ICU setting yielded more conservative estimates of avoidable IV use: 20.9% of all FD and 45.9% of IV FD. Avoidable IV use was more common for levofloxacin and more frequent in the ICU setting. There was a moderate correlation between avoidable IV FD and total systemic antibiotic use (r=.32). conclusions. Unnecessary IV fluoroquinolone use seems to be common in the VA system, but important variations exist between facilities. Antibiotic stewardship programs could focus on this patient safety issue as a "low-hanging fruit" to increase awareness of appropriate antibiotic use. © 2012 by The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America. All rights reserved.


Aspinall S.L.,VA Pharmacy Benefits Management Services | Aspinall S.L.,University of Pittsburgh | Sales M.M.,VA Pharmacy Benefits Management Services | Good C.B.,University of Pittsburgh | And 9 more authors.
Journal of Managed Care and Specialty Pharmacy | Year: 2016

Over the past decade, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Pharmacy Benefits Management Services (PBM) has enhanced its formulary management activities and added programs to ensure that the national drug plan continues to meet the pharmacy needs of veterans and to promote safe and appropriate drug therapy in the face of rising medication expenditures. This article describes the broad range of services provided by the VA PBM that work in partnership to deliver a high-quality and sustainable pharmacy benefit for veterans. In support of formulary management, VA PBM pharmacists prepare extensive clinical guidance documents (e.g., drug monographs and criteria for use) that are used by physicians and pharmacists with operational and clinical oversight of the VA national formulary. The VA PBM has utilized various contracting techniques and continually evaluates drug utilization data to identify opportunities for potential savings. Remarkably, since before 2004, the average acquisition cost for a 1-month supply of medication has remained fairly stable at approximately $13-$15. Two new VA PBM programs are the VA Center for Medication Safety (VA MedSAFE) and the Clinical Pharmacy Practice Office (CPPO). VA MedSAFE is a comprehensive pharmacovigilance program focused on the detection, assessment, and prevention of adverse drug events, and CPPO is dedicated to improving safe and appropriate medication use by supporting and expanding clinical pharmacy practice. Moving forward, the VA PBM will consider new initiatives to stay at the forefront of providing quality care while maintaining economic viability. © 2016, Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy. All rights reserved.


PubMed | New Jersey Healthcare System Center for Healthcare Knowledge Management, Clinical Pharmacy Services and Healthcare Services Research, New England Veterans Engineering Resource Center, Harvard University and 3 more.
Type: | Journal: Journal of general internal medicine | Year: 2016

There has been concern about the growing off-label use of testosterone. Understanding the context within which testosterone is prescribed may contribute to interventions to improve prescribing.To evaluate patient characteristics associated with receipt of testosterone.Cross-sectional.A national cohort of male patients, who had received at least one outpatient prescription within the Veterans Affairs (VA) system during Fiscal Year 2008- Fiscal Year 2012.The study sample consisted of 682,915 non-HIV male patients, of whom 132,764 had received testosterone and a random 10% sample, 550,151, had not.Conditions and medications associated with testosterone prescription.Only 6.3% of men who received testosterone from the VA during the study period had a disorder of the testis, pituitary or hypothalamus associated with male hypogonadism. Among patients without a diagnosed disorder of hypogonadism, the use of opioids and obesity were the strongest predictors of testosterone prescription. Patients receiving >100mg/equivalents of oral morphine daily (adjusted odds ratio=5.75, p<0.001) and those with body mass index (BMI) >40kg/mIn the VA, 93.7% of men receiving testosterone did not have a diagnosed condition of the testes, pituitary, or hypothalamus. The strongest predictors of testosterone receipt (e.g., obesity, receipt of opioids), which though are associated with unapproved, off-label use, may be valid reasons for therapy. Interventions should aim to increase the proportion of testosterone recipients who have a valid indication.


Soni A.,University of Pittsburgh | Aspinall S.L.,VA Pharmacy Benefits Management Services | Aspinall S.L.,Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion | Aspinall S.L.,University of Pittsburgh | And 8 more authors.
Oncology Research | Year: 2015

The objective of this study was to evaluate the real-world cost effectiveness of adjuvant stage III colon cancer chemotherapy regimens, given that previous analyses have been based on data from clinical trials. The study was designed using integrated decision tree and Markov model, which was developed to evaluate the cost effectiveness of 5-fluorouracil/leucovorin (5-FU/LV), capecitabine, and the combination of each with oxaliplatin. The analysis was performed from a US Veterans Affairs perspective via retrospectively collected data, over a 5-year model time horizon. Outcome and cost data were used to calculate cost per quality adjusted life year (QALY), and one-way and probabilistic sensitivity analyses were performed. In the base case analysis, capecitabine and capecitabine plus oxaliplatin both cost more and were less effective than other regimens, and 5-FU/ LV plus oxaliplatin, compared to 5-FU/LV alone, resulted in a cost of $25,997 per QALY gained. Model results were generally robust to parameter variation. Capecitabine plus oxaliplatin could be economically reasonable if full dosing occurred ≥76% of the time (base case 42%). In a real-world setting, the addition of oxaliplatin to 5-FU/LV is more effective but also more costly than 5-FU/LV alone. If full dosing of capecitabine-containing regimens can be assured, they may also be cost-effective strategies. Copyright © 2015 Cognizant Comm. Corp.


Hayward R.A.,Veterans Affairs Center for Clinical Management Research | Reaven P.D.,Phoenix VA Health Care System | Wiitala W.L.,Veterans Affairs Center for Clinical Management Research | Bahn G.D.,Hines Veterans Administration Hospital | And 5 more authors.
New England Journal of Medicine | Year: 2015

BACKGROUND: The Veterans Affairs Diabetes Trial previously showed that intensive glucose lowering, as compared with standard therapy, did not significantly reduce the rate of major cardiovascular events among 1791 military veterans (median follow-up, 5.6 years). We report the extended follow-up of the study participants. METHODS: After the conclusion of the clinical trial, we followed participants, using central databases to identify procedures, hospitalizations, and deaths (complete cohort, with follow-up data for 92.4% of participants). Most participants agreed to additional data collection by means of annual surveys and periodic chart reviews (survey cohort, with 77.7% follow-up). The primary outcome was the time to the first major cardiovascular event (heart attack, stroke, new or worsening congestive heart failure, amputation for ischemic gangrene, or cardiovascular-related death). Secondary outcomes were cardiovascular mortality and all-cause mortality. RESULTS: The difference in glycated hemoglobin levels between the intensive-therapy group and the standard-therapy group averaged 1.5 percentage points during the trial (median level, 6.9% vs. 8.4%) and declined to 0.2 to 0.3 percentage points by 3 years after the trial ended. Over a median follow-up of 9.8 years, the intensive-therapy group had a significantly lower risk of the primary outcome than did the standardtherapy group (hazard ratio, 0.83; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.70 to 0.99; P = 0.04), with an absolute reduction in risk of 8.6 major cardiovascular events per 1000 person-years, but did not have reduced cardiovascular mortality (hazard ratio, 0.88; 95% CI, 0.64 to 1.20; P = 0.42). No reduction in total mortality was evident (hazard ratio in the intensive-therapy group, 1.05; 95% CI, 0.89 to 1.25; P = 0.54; median follow-up, 11.8 years). CONCLUSIONS: After nearly 10 years of follow-up, patients with type 2 diabetes who had been randomly assigned to intensive glucose control for 5.6 years had 8.6 fewer major cardiovascular events per 1000 person-years than those assigned to standard therapy, but no improvement was seen in the rate of overall survival. (Funded by the VA Cooperative Studies Program and others; VADT ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00032487.) Copyright © 2015 Massachusetts Medical Society. All rights reserved.


Burk M.,Center for Medication Safety | Moore V.,Center for Medication Safety | Glassman P.,Center for Medication Safety | Good C.B.,Center for Medication Safety | And 3 more authors.
American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy | Year: 2013

Purpose. A Web-based application for coordinating medication-use evaluation (MUE) initiatives within the Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system is described. Summary. The MUE Tracker (MUET) software program was created to improve VA's ability to conduct national medication- related interventions throughout its network of 147 medical centers. MUET initiatives are centrally coordinated by the VA Center for Medication Safety (VAMedSAFE), which monitors the agency's integrated databases for indications of suboptimal prescribing or drug therapy monitoring and adverse treatment outcomes. When a pharmacovigilance signal is detected, VAMedSAFE identifies "trigger groups" of at-risk veterans and uploads patient lists to the secure MUET application, where locally designated personnel (typically pharmacists) can access and use the data to target risk-reduction efforts. Local data on patient-specific interventions are stored in a centralized database and regularly updated to enable tracking and reporting for surveillance and quality-improvement purposes; aggregated data can be further analyzed for provider education and benchmarking. In a three-year pilot project, the MUET program was found effective in promoting improved prescribing of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) and enhanced laboratory monitoring of ESA-treated patients in all specified trigger groups. The MUET initiative has since been expanded to target other high-risk drugs, and efforts are underway to refine the tool for broader utility. Conclusion. The MUET application has enabled the increased standardization of medication safety initiatives across the VA system and may serve as a useful model for the development of pharmacovigilance tools by other large integrated health care systems.

Loading VA Pharmacy Benefits Management Services collaborators
Loading VA Pharmacy Benefits Management Services collaborators