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P&T January/February 2019


Development of New Biosimilar Drugs and Marketing of Few Approved Drugs Stymied

The United States is lagging behind Europe in biosimilar use, and missing out on a wider range of medication options and huge savings in drug expenditures. What’s causing the holdup?

Meeting Highlights

We report on sessions on the dapagliflozin effect on cardiovascular events; angiotensin receptor–neprilysin inhibition for acute decompensated heart failure; rivaroxaban’s effect on thromboembolic events with heart failure, sinus rhythm, and coronary disease; trial results on the withdrawal of pharmacological heart failure therapy in recovered dilated cardiomyopathy; and more from AHA’s November meeting.

Evaluating biosimilars requires payers to go beyond cost considerations: safety and efficacy, reliability of supply and logistics, and the impact of state laws on substitution and interchangeability must all be deliberated.

The authors proposed to align formulary medication restrictions, improve access to restriction information, and clarify the restrictions for pharmacists within their health system. After review and implementation by the system’s pharmacy, nutrition, and therapeutics committee, aligned medication restrictions increased from 11% to 100%.


Medication Errors

Incorrectly prescribed medications can have serious implications, especially in young children. Safe practice recommendations include listing patients’ age, weight, and date of birth on prescriptions, verifying discharge orders, and involving pharmacists in reconciliation.

Prescription: Washington

Will the new opioid abuse bill prove more effective than its predecessor? A plethora of provisions will have little impact on pharmacists and pharmaceuticals.

Approvals, new indications, drug safety issues, and more

Arikayce (amikacin liposome inhalation suspension) for <em>Mycobacterium avium</em> complex lung disease; Xofluza (baloxavir marboxil) for acute uncomplicated influenza; and Nuzyra (omadacycline) for community-acquired bacterial pneumonia and/or acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections