Pills could save millions over IV meds

Switching hospitalized patients from IV medication to pills could save millions of dollars each year, according to Johns Hopkins researchers in a study published in Clinical Therapeutics. A review of computerized records at Baltimore's Johns Hopkins Hospital in 2010 indicated making the switch to oral meds of chlorothiazide (for high blood pressure and fluid retention), voriconazole (anti-fungal), levetiracetam (to stop seizures), and pantoprazole (for acid reflux) could have saved the department of medicine $1.1 million, according to a press release last week. Study leader Brandyn D. Lau, a medical informatics specialist at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, recommended that computerized medication systems remind physicians about IV alternatives. Press release