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P&T® Journal contents for January 2007

Features

Dr. Stefanacci explains the new rules for Medicare’s Part D drug benefit for the year 2007 and offers strategies for reducing out-of-pocket expenses for beneficiaries.
Richard G. Stefanacci, DO, MGH, MBA, AGSF, CMD
The authors present the results of a brief audience participation survey of 601 psychiatrists about their practices of prescribing antidepressants and discuss the use of first-line, second-line, and third-line treatment options.
Thomas L. Schwartz, MD, and Ayesha Rashid, MD
Patients were able to achieve reductions of blood pressure, glycosylated hemoglobin, and low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, according to the authors, because physicians adhered to national guidelines and spent “quality time” with these patients.
Shan Wang, PharmD, RPh, Nicholas Berbari, MD, David Choi, DO, James McNamara, PharmD Candidate, Martin Feuerman, MS, Kathryn Bucci, PharmD, and Brian Malone, MS, RPh
Meeting Highlights
Dr. Goldenberg discusses the current status of targeted therapies for colorectal cancer; novel biologic agents that target angiogenesis and growth factors; a monoclonal antibody for colon and pancreatic cancer; and kinase-targeted drugs for gastrointestinal stromal tumors.
Marvin M. Goldenberg, PhD, RPh, MS
Meeting Highlights
The authors review the cardiovascular risks of commonly used painkillers and present the latest findings on acute myocardial infarction, atrial fibrillation in hypertension, cardiovascular disease in diabetes patients, non–ST-segment elevation in acute coronary syndrome, and familial hypercholesterolemia. The controversial torcetrapib/atorvastatin (Lipitor) combination is also discussed.
Lawrence M. Prescott, PhD, and Sharon L. Prescott
A study that was conducted to determine the incidence of postoperative ileus found that this complication was the major cause of delay in the discharge of patients from the hospital, with annual costs totaling $1.46 billion.
Jay L. Goldstein, MD, Karl A. Matuszewski, MS, PharmD, Conor P. Delaney, MD, Anthony Senagore, MD, Evelyn F. Chiao, PharmD, MPH, Manan Shah, PharmD, PhD, Kellie Meyer, PharmD, MPH, and Thomas Bramley, RPh, PhD
Although chronic constipation is a common digestive complaint in North America, physicians and patients have very different definitions of this disorder. The authors discuss the three pathophysiological subtypes; complications; pharmacological therapies and their limitations; as well as the potential impact on quality of life and the economy.
Ashok K. Tuteja, MD, MPH, and Joseph E. Biskupiak, PhD, MBA
Meeting Highlights
The benefits of telbivudine (Tyzeka) and lamivudine (Epivir-HBV) for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B are compared.
Walter Alexander
Advances in therapies for seizure disorders are presented, including levetiracetam for elderly patients, carbamazepine for partial-onset seizures in children, pregabalin for refractory epilepsy, vigabatrin for infantile spasms, oxcarbazepine for control of seizure frequency, lacosamide for partial seizures, valproate for status epilepticus and serial attacks, and lamotrigine for tonic–clonic seizures.
Lawrence M. Prescott, PhD, and Sharon L. Prescott
The author summarizes the efficacy of two inhaled agents—ipratropium bromide (Atrovent HFA) and tiotropium bromide (Spiriva)—in reducing dyspnea, bronchoconstriction, the frequency of disease exacerbation, and in improving patients’ health status.
Daren L. Knoell, MD
Meeting Highlights
Two biologic agents are featured: infliximab (Remicade), which is approved for the treatment of ulcerative colitis, and adalimumab (Humira), indicated for patients with Crohn’s disease.
Walter Alexander
The author discusses paliperidone (Invega) for the treatment of schizophrenia; telbivudine (Tyzeka) for patients with chronic hepatitis B infection; and a combination of clindamycin phosphate and tretinoin (Ziana Gel) as a topical therapy for acne vulgaris.
Marvin M. Goldenberg, PhD, RPh, MS
Continuing Education Credit
Geriatric depression is often overlooked. The authors review the epidemiology, diagnosis, pathophysiology, and treatment of depression in older adults, with an emphasis on newer pharmacotherapeutic agents.
Richard B. Birrer, MD, Michael DeLisi, MD, and Talin Arsen Dadoyan, MD
Editor’s Memo
P&T pays tribute to a long-time columnist and medical writer, Lawrence Prescott, PhD.
Sonja Sherritze
Commentary
As with many well-intentioned feel-good initiatives, achieving the goals of the Medication Reconciliation Project will be a lot more difficult than dreaming them up.
Nancy Greengold, MD, MBA
Opinion
Stimulant drugs, considered a first-line therapy for ADHD, have a potential for misuse and abuse. A new agent may have less potential for these problems.
Frank A. López, MD
Cover Story
As a therapy for bleeding, rFVIIa is often prescribed for off-label indications, and this trend is increasing. The authors suggest possible new prescribing guidelines.
Sandra Magnetti, MS, DrPH, Michael Oinonen, PharmD, MPH, and Karl A. Matuszewski, MS, PharmD
Meeting Highlights
The author reviews therapies for multiple myeloma, chronic myeloid leukemia, paroxysmal nocturnal hemolysis, and B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Walter Alexander
Marvin M. Goldenberg, PhD, RPh, MS
Commentary
Although several years have passed since health savings accounts became available to Americans, the number of enrollees has remained relatively low. This article explores some of the pitfalls of the plans and the reluctance of the public to climb aboard.
Miriam Reisman

Departments

Editorial
David Nash, MD, MBA, describes the Pacific Northwest Economic Region (PNWER), an alliance of states and territories that offers publicly funded health insurance in Canada.
David Nash, MD, MBA
Medication Errors
Matthew Grissinger, RPh, FASCP, explains how “systems thinking” can be used to prevent errors like the tragic accident in 2001 that killed a young MRI patient.
Matthew Grissinger, RPh, FASCP
Prescription: Washington
Stephen Barlas discusses the challenges that face the new FDA Commissioner and Congress in 2007, especially the need to strengthen the FDA’s MedWatch system and its reporting of adverse drug events.
Stephen Barlas
P&T presents the latest studies and information about FDA approvals, drug indications, and industry updates.
Drug Forecast
The authors review varenicline (Chantix) for smoking cessation.
Marilena S. Antonopoulos, PharmD, and Christine M. Bercume, PharmD
Editorial
David Nash, MD, MBA, provides an update on the achievements of Thomas Jefferson University’s medication quality subcommittee and its efforts to promote drug safety.
David Nash, MD, MBA
Medication Errors
Matthew Grissinger, RPh, FASCP, explains how injections of the inappropriate type of contrast media have sometimes resulted in fatalities.
Matthew Grissinger, RPh, FASCP
Prescription: Washington
Stephen Barlas discusses the shortcomings of the Medicare Prescription Drug Negotiation Act, which was passed by the House of Representatives in an attempt to address the hot topic of Medicare Part D drug pricing.
Stephen Barlas
P&T presents the latest studies and information about FDA approvals, drug indications, industry updates, and new devices.
Drug Forecast
Drs. Hilas and Ezzo review inhaled insulin powder (Exubera) for patients with diabetes.
Olga Hilas, PharmD, BCPS, CGP, and Danielle C. Ezzo, PharmD, BCPS
Editorial
David Nash, MD, MBA, discusses the Institute of Medicine’s recommendations for a national P4P program for the entire Medicare system.
David B. Nash, MD, MBA
Medication Errors
Matthew Grissinger, RPh, FASCP, explains how injecting medications too rapidly can harm patients.
Matthew Grissinger, RPh, FASCP
Prescription: Washington
Stephen Barlas discusses some of the challenges that lie ahead at the FDA when Congress reauthorizes the Prescription Drug Users Fee Act, which expires in June.
Stephen Barlas
P&T presents the latest studies and information about FDA approvals, drug indications, industry updates, and new devices.
Drug Forecast
The author reviews conivaptan HCl injection (Vaprisol) for the treatment of euvolemic hyponatremia.
Larisa Chagan, PharmD, BCPS