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September 2017

Features

Politicians in both parties and at all levels of government have raised what many call the opioid crisis to a level of public attention it has never seen before. This article reviews the approaches, including prevention, treatment, and medication-assisted therapy, being taken by federal and state authorities to combat the abuse of opioids.
Despite massive effort and investment in health information systems and technology, the promised benefits of electronic health records (EHRs) are far from fruition. The author presents the legislative programs that encourage the implementation of EHRs and explores the barriers hampering interoperability.
Health Care & Law
Over the past few years, P&T committees have been evolving to deal with care at expanding sites within an organization, across a larger system, or involving multiple organizations. The authors consider one aspect of this expansion—medication system failures—that requires the attention of P&T policy.
Phentolamine, the current standard of care for vasopressor extravasation, is often unavailable for use. This review seeks to synthesize the available data in order to recommend alternative pharmacological options when the drug is not available.
Meeting Highlights
This year’s annual ESMO World Congress on Gastrointestinal Cancer paid particular attention to the influence of primary tumor sidedness in colorectal cancer as it affects prognosis and treatment outcomes to meet the growing interest in this theory.

Departments

Medication Errors
“Wrong patient” insulin pen injections alarmingly frequent
Prescription: Washington
Hospitals press FCC to expand health care on the airwaves
Approvals, new indications, regulatory activities, and more
Sarilumab (Kevzara) for moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis; valbenazine (Ingrezza), the first approval for tardive dyskinesia; and cerliponase alpha (Brineura) for late infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis type-2 disease
Drug Forecast
Reslizumab (Cinqair), an interleukin-5 antagonist for severe eosinophilic asthma