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August 2016


In response to the alarming rate of opioid overdose deaths in the U.S., the President, Congress, and federal agencies are making efforts to reduce the number of fatalities.
Despite annual recommendations, American adults remain inadequately vaccinated. The author outlines how compliance may be improved through health care professional interventions, as well as government and community-based programs.
As in the U.S., there is no unified national formulary in Saudi Arabia, so individual institutions must develop their own medication lists. A Saudi health system’s strategy for maintaining formulary safety, efficacy, and cost-effectiveness is described.
Meeting Highlights
We present EULAR sessions on the latest treatments for rheumatic disease with an infliximab biosimilar, certolizumab pegol, secukinumab, and bimekizumab. We also report on significant developments in diabetes presented at ADA’s Scientific Sessions.
Pipeline Plus
Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) are leading systemic therapies for the treatment of renal cell carcinoma. However, programmed death-1 inhibitors, promising new agents in development, may surpass TKIs as the standard of care in the future.


Medication Errors
Inadvertent intrathecal vincristine administration causes fatalities
Prescription: Washington
Recent FDA compounding guidances raise hackles
New Drugs/Drug News
Approvals, new indications, regulatory activities, and more
Venetoclax (Venclexta) for chronic lymphocytic leukemia; riboflavin 5′-phosphate solutions (Photrexa Viscous and Photrexa) for progressive keratoconus; and pimavanserin (Nuplazid) for Parkinson’s disease psychosis
Drug Forecast
Ceftazidime-avibactam (Avycaz) for the treatment of complicated infections