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March 2016


Are Tiering and Cost Sharing Civil Rights Issues?
The Department of Health and Human Services’ proposed rule on Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act bans discrimination in health care. How the rule would affect formularies and P&T committees has prompted varying concerns.
Health Care & Law
Involving pharmacists in the process of comparing the medications that should be ordered for a patient with the new medications that are currently ordered and resolving differences improves accuracy, decreases mortality, and improves transitions of care.
Pharmacovigilance Forum
Topical anesthetics, such as benzocaine, have been reported to cause methemoglobinemia, in which hemoglobin is unable to release oxygen effectively to body tissues. The pathophysiology, symptoms, and treatment of a 46-year-old patient are examined.
Pharmacovigilance Forum
What Started as a Trickle Has Become a Flood, Despite Some Daunting Adverse Effects; New Drugs, Indications, and Combinations Continue to Emerge
What started as a trickle of new agents that help the body’s immune system fight cancer has now become a flood, despite some daunting adverse effects. This report discusses the new drugs, indications, and combinations that continue to emerge.
Meeting Highlights
The 119th annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology attracted 28,000 attendees. The authors review key scientific sessions on endophthalmitis, new patient education videos, and ongoing research activities.


Medication Errors
Understanding IV container overfill promotes safety.
Prescription: Washington
Confusion, ire follow FDA interim policy on compounding.
FDA approvals, drug indications, and updates
Elbasvir/grazoprevir (Zepatier) for chronic hepatitis C virus; sumatriptin nasal powder (Onzetra Xsail) for migraine; eribulin mesylate (Halaven), now for liposarcoma; and extended-release amphetamine (Adzenys XR-ODT) for ADHD
Drug Forecast
Naltrexone/bupropion ER (Contrave): newly approved treatment option for chronic weight management in obese adults