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P&T® Journal contents for October 2009


Health Care & Law
No, Says a New ACLU Lawsuit
The American Civil Liberties Union is suing Myriad Genetics, a company whose patents protect information about genes linked to breast and ovarian cancer. The status of gene patents may be changing in an age where patients are able to sequence their own DNA and our knowledge about the human genome is expanding more rapidly than ever.
Robert I. Field, JD, MPH, PhD
Drug Utilization Evaluation
The authors sought to determine whether levalbuterol use was in compliance with P&T committee–approved guidelines. Removing levalbuterol from the formulary resulted in cost savings and did not result in any lack of therapeutic benefit.
Nicole D. Verkleeren, PharmD, BCPS, and Krista M. Lipchick, PharmD
Drug Review
Erlotinib appears to improve survival for patients with advanced lung cancer who have not responded to chemotherapy. It is also the first therapy in more than a decade that may prolong survival in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer.
Caio M. Rocha-Lima, MD, and Luis E. Raez, MD
Meeting Highlights
At this international cardiology meeting, studies focused on dabigatran (Pradaxa), a promising substitute for warfarin; ticagrelor (Brilinta), a platelet inhibitor; otamixaban, an anticoagulant; and ezetimibe/atorvastatin (Vytorin) for reducing cholesterol levels and other cardiac risk factors. A comparison of beclomethasone-HFA (Qvar) and fluticasone (Flovent) for asthma is also presented.
Walter Alexander
Topics include asenapine sublingual tablets (Saphris) for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder; saxagliptin (Onglyza) for obtaining glucose control in type-2 diabetes; and interferon beta-1b (Extavia) injection for patents with multiple sclerosis.
Marvin M. Goldenberg, PhD, RPh, MS


David B. Nash, MD, MBA, pays tribute to his father and provides a first-hand account of some problems with hospitals in the U.S.
David B. Nash, MD, MBA
Medication Errors
Preventing Errors with Neuromuscular Blocking Agents
In Part 2 of a two-part series, Matthew Grissinger, RPh, FASCP, discusses recommendations for avoiding mistakes when using neuromuscular blocking agents.
Matthew Grissinger, RPh, FASCP
Prescription: Washington
New Policy’s Success Depends on Manufacturers
Stephen Barlas discusses the FDA’s position on greater availability of experimental drugs for critically ill patients.
Stephen Barlas
From Intuniv to Valturna, P&T presents the latest studies and information about FDA approvals, recalls, and industry updates.
Drug Forecast
Authors Reilly and Chavez re­view tolvaptan (Samsca) for patients with hyponatremia.
Timothy Reilly, PharmD, BCPS, and Benjamin Chavez, PharmD, BCPP