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P&T December 2012


Health Care & Law
Pitfalls and Recommendations
Medication errors, with methotrexate in particular, are all too common—especially when patients are moved from one site of care to another. The authors discuss ways to improve appropriate medication use during patient transitions.
Focus on Individualizing Non-Insulin Therapies
Successful management of hyperglycemia may involve glucose and non-glucose therapies, non-drug approaches, and non-insulin agents. Treatment should be tailored to each patient, with an emphasis on safety.
Used together, sitagliptin (Januvia) and metformin (Glucophage) help to improve glycemic levels in diabetic patients, suggesting a synergy between the agents. However, the cost of sitagliptin and the need for more data may restrict its use. More studies are needed to assess the effects of long-term sitagliptin and to determine its role in combination therapy.


Medication Errors
Methods to improve recognition of look-alike alphanumeric characters
Prescription: Washington
Hospitals will need to add more pharmacy data into their electronic records systems to meet “Stage 2” CMS criteria.

FDA approvals, drug indications, and updates

Mirabegron (Myrbetriq) for overactive bladder; phentermine/topiramate ER (Qsymia) for weight management; and ocriplasmin injection (Jetrea) for vitreomacular adhesion

Drug Forecast
Vismodegib (Erivedge) for advanced basal cell carcinoma
Meeting Highlights

Topics include comparisons of bivalirudin (Angiomax) and unfractionated heparin in reducing bleeding, prasugrel (Effient) and clopidogrel (Plavix) in acute myocardial infarction, aspirin for critical limb ischemia, and mobilized CD34+ cells for angina.

Season’s Greetings