LATEST NEWS

Several Health Insurers Now Consider DBS Therapy for Epilepsy a Covered Indication
Vials Being Rationed, Only One Manufacturer
Non-Invasive Therapy for Patients Who are Nonresponsive to Antidepressants
Disease Occurs in 1 in 5,000 Male Births in the U.S.
Scan Could Improve Understanding of Dopamine Function in Schizophrenia
OCA Meets Primary Endpoint of Improvement in Liver Fibrosis
Drug Has Potential Role In Oxidative Stress, Inflammation, and Neurodegeneration
Intratumoral Injection Stimulates Immune Activation
Test Determines Severity of Pain, Helps Physicians Select Best Options
Policy Could Be Life-Changing for People With Spinal Cord Injury

P&T January/February 2019
Table of Contents

Features

Development of New Biosimilar Drugs and Marketing of Few Approved Drugs Stymied
The United States is lagging behind Europe in biosimilar use, and missing out on a wider range of medication options and huge savings in drug expenditures. What’s causing the holdup?
Meeting Highlights
We report on sessions on the dapagliflozin effect on cardiovascular events; angiotensin receptor–neprilysin inhibition for acute decompensated heart failure; rivaroxaban’s effect on thromboembolic events with heart failure, sinus rhythm, and coronary disease; trial results on the withdrawal of pharmacological heart failure therapy in recovered dilated cardiomyopathy; and more from AHA’s November meeting.
Evaluating biosimilars requires payers to go beyond cost considerations: safety and efficacy, reliability of supply and logistics, and the impact of state laws on substitution and interchangeability must all be deliberated.
The authors proposed to align formulary medication restrictions, improve access to restriction information, and clarify the restrictions for pharmacists within their health system. After review and implementation by the system’s pharmacy, nutrition, and therapeutics committee, aligned medication restrictions increased from 11% to 100%.

Departments

Medication Errors
Incorrectly prescribed medications can have serious implications, especially in young children. Safe practice recommendations include listing patients’ age, weight, and date of birth on prescriptions, verifying discharge orders, and involving pharmacists in reconciliation.
Prescription: Washington
Will the new opioid abuse bill prove more effective than its predecessor? A plethora of provisions will have little impact on pharmacists and pharmaceuticals.
Approvals, new indications, drug safety issues, and more
Arikayce (amikacin liposome inhalation suspension) for <em>Mycobacterium avium</em> complex lung disease; Xofluza (baloxavir marboxil) for acute uncomplicated influenza; and Nuzyra (omadacycline) for community-acquired bacterial pneumonia and/or acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections

Industry announcements