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P&T® Journal contents for July 2007


Although the use of benzodiazepines has been reported to be associated with hip fractures in the elderly, a 2007 study reveals that no significant reduction in hip fractures resulted when the drugs were restricted. Dr. Kaell and Dr. Freedman suggest that removing this drug class from insurance coverage might not be in the best interest of patients.
Alan T. Kaell, MD, and Steve A. Freedman, PhD, FAAP, NASI
Two new agents—temsirolimus (Torisel) and estradiol (Divigel)—have been approved: temsirolimus for patients with advanced kidney cancer and estradiol for hot flashes associated with menopause. The newest indication for somatropin (rDNA origin) (Norditropin), approved as an injection for treating short stature in children with Noonan’s syndrome, is also discussed.
Marvin M. Goldenberg, PhD, RPh, MS
Meeting Highlights
Advances in reducing symptoms of schizophrenia include a transdermal estrogen patch and an investigational agent, bifeprunox. An integrated approach (home visits and group family sessions) plus standard treatment (contact with a mental health center) also helped to reduce the number of patients with concomitant substance abuse.
Walter Alexander
Literature Review
The authors report on the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of antiresorptive medications (bisphosphonates, selective estrogen receptor modulators, and calcitonin); anabolic agents (parathyroid hormone); and strontium ranelate, all of which show promise in preventing fractures in women with osteoporosis after menopause.
Carrie McAdam-Marx, RPh, MS, Joanne LaFleur, PharmD, MSPH, Carmen Kirkness, MSc, PT, and Carl Asche, PhD


David Nash, MD, MBA, describes the DEcIDE Research Network, which will focus on the quality and efficiency of health care delivery, prescription drugs, electronic registries, health databases, and prospective studies.
David B. Nash, MD, MBA
Medication Errors
Matthew Grissinger, RPh, FASCP, explains how health care professionals can better educate patients about their medications by providing easy-to-understand written materials and by eliciting feedback from patients to ensure that the most important information is disseminated.
Matthew Grissinger, RPh, FASCP
Prescription: Washington
Everyone agrees that switching from paper to electronic package inserts is a good thing, but as Stephen Barlas points out, the devil is in the details.
Stephen Barlas
P&T presents the latest studies and information about FDA approvals, drug indications, and industry updates.