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P&T February 2015


Health Care & Law

Pharmaceutical waste has become an urgent public health and environmental protection issue in recent years, leading to a variety of sometimes-conflicting federal and state legislation and regulations that health care entities must take seriously.

P&T Committees Would Take On a More Visible Role

The federal government is proposing changes to the pharmacy benefit of marketplace plans in 2016 that (among other things) would increase the power of P&T committees, revise minimum “drug count” standards, and tighten conflict-of-interest rules.

Case Report

A woman received intravenous (IV) acetaminophen every six hours (16 doses) for pain control. Tests showed high levels of markers for liver damage, but levels fell after the drug was stopped—raising the possibility of hepatotoxicity linked to IV acetaminophen.

In a study in Michigan psychiatric hospitals, patients taking both valproic acid (VPA) and antipsychotics were slightly heavier than patients taking antipsychotics alone, but VPA did not appear to be associated with significant metabolic effects.

Meeting Highlights
56th Annual Meeting and Exposition

Key research focused on mantle cell lymphoma, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, human immunodeficiency virus–related lymphoma, myelodysplastic syndrome, and myelofibrosis.


Medication Errors

Smart pump concentration mistakes can lead to harm.

Prescription: Washington

GAO eyes group purchasing organization hospital rebates.

FDA approvals, drug indications, and updates

Blinatumomab (Blincyto) for acute lymphoblastic leukemia; human papillomavirus 9-valent vaccine, recombinant (Gardasil 9) for extended protection against cervical cancer; and hydrocodone bitartrate extended release (Hysingla ER) for 24-hour management of severe pain

Drug Forecast

Conestat alfa (Ruconest): first recombinant C1 esterase inhibitor for the treatment of acute attacks in patients with hereditary angioedema