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P&T® Journal contents for January 2008

Features

The authors describe a study in which “bipolar families,” compared with families without a serious mental illness, incurred much higher medical costs, visited physicians more often, had more hospital stays, and spent more money on prescription­ drugs.
Mary Lou Chatterton, PharmD, Xiongkan Ke, MS, Barbara Edelman Lewis, PhD, MHA, Krithika Rajagopalan, PhD, and Arthur Lazarus, MD, MBA
Case Report
Second-generation atypical antipsychotic drugs carry a lower risk of extra­pyramidal symptoms and tardive dyskinesia compared with conventional agents, but they are not without their dangers. The case report of a 46-year-old patient demonstrates the point that the newer agents should be used according to their FDA-approved indications, when possible, and that patients using aripiprazole, an “atypical atypical” agent, need to be carefully monitored.
Thomas Schwartz, MD, and Shafi Raza, MD
Although the “vaccine revolution” has resulted in products that can prevent illness­ and reduce costs of disease, the authors raise several concerns: who will pay for these improvements, how these advances will alter treatment, how cost and efficacy will be balanced, and how to choose the right product.
Jonathan A. McCullers, MD, and Jeffrey D. Dunn, PharmD, MBA
Meeting Highlights
Presentations cover a number of clinical trials of cardiac agents, including clopidogrel­ versus prasugrel; an investigative thrombin receptor antagonist; a niacin/simvastatin­ combination; warfarin dosing versus genotype-guided dosing; clopidogrel eptifibatide, and bivalirudin; and eptifibatide versus abciximab.
Walter Alexander
Topics include nilotinib (Tasigna Capsules) for the treatment of chronic mye­logenous leukemia (CML), raltegravir (Isentress) for patients with HIV-1 infection, and ixabepilone (Ixempra), combined with capecitabine (Xeloda), for use in metastatic or locally advanced breast cancer.
Marvin M. Goldenberg, PhD, RPh, MS

Departments

Editorial
David Nash, MD, MBA, reviews Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performanc­e, a book in which Dr. Atul Gawande asserts that our health care system won’t im­prove­ until we rethink our everyday practices.
David Nash, MD, MBA
Medication Errors
In Part 2 of a two-part series, Matthew Grissinger, RPh, FASCP, details the steps needed for safely prescribing and dispensing patient-controlled­ analgesia (PCA).
Matthew Grissinger, RPh, FASCP
Prescription: Washington
Stephen Barlas discusses how consumers might have access to a number of “behind-the-counter” drugs only after they are counseled by a pharmacist.
Stephen Barlas
From cephipeme to valsartan, P&T presents the latest information about FDA approvals, new indications, recalls, and industry updates.
Drug Forecast
Drs. Colabella and Chagan review dalbavancin (Zeven), a glycopeptide for resistant gram-positive organisms.
Jennifer Colabella, PharmD, and Larisa Chagan, PharmD, BCPS