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Health care has entered an era of change more dramatic than any in the last few decades. While issues related to health care access and coverage, including payment for care, dominate the media, health care providers are challenged daily to meet the needs and demands for wellness services, primary care and chronic disease management, end-of-life care, and specialty care. Effective health care practitioners now must be able to manage the economic burdens of care, including psychosocial dimensions, and apply the latest advances in the health sciences. This is true just as much with the management of patient-centered pharmacotherapy as with any other aspect of health care. To remain relevant and effective, the pharmacotherapist must maintain a commitment to life-long learning in the interest of caring for patients.

The 8th edition of Pharmacotherapy: A Pathophysiologic Approach has six new chapters. The first section of the book includes new chapters on Palliative Care, Health Literacy, Cultural Competency, and Medication Safety. A new chapter on Celiac Disease addresses a condition that is now recognized as affecting as many as 1 of every 300 people in the United States. There is also a new chapter on Renal Cell Carcinoma, and the chapters on acutely decompensated heart failure and cystic fibrosis have been completely rewritten. Most importantly, each chapter of the book has been updated to reflect the latest in evidence-based information and recommendations. We have done our best to balance the need for accurate, thorough, and unbiased information about the treatment of diseases with the practical limitations of paper books.

With each edition, the editors recommit to our founding precepts:

• Advance the quality of patient care through evidence-based medication therapy management based on sound pharmacotherapeutic principles.
• Enhance the health of our communities by incorporating contemporary health promotion and disease-prevention strategies in our practice environments.
• Motivate young practitioners to enhance the breadth, depth, and quality of care they provide to their patients.
• Challenge established pharmacists and other primary-care providers to learn new concepts and refine their understanding of the pathophysiologic tenets that undergird the development of individualized therapeutic regimens.
• Present the pharmacy and health care communities with innovative patient assessment, triage, and pharmacotherapy management skills.

The eighth edition continues the emphasis on evidenced-based pharmacotherapy. Most of the disease-oriented chapters have incorporated updated evidence-based treatment guidelines that include, when available, ratings of the level of evidence to support the key therapeutic approaches. Also, in this edition key features have been retained, including:

• Key concepts listed at the beginning of each chapter are identified in the text with numbered icons so that the reader can easily jump to the material of interest.
• The most common signs and symptoms of diseases are presented in highlighted Clinical Presentation tables in disease-specific chapters.
• Clinical controversies in treatment or patient management are highlighted to assure that the reader is aware of these issues and how practitioners are responding to them.
• Each chapter has approximately 100 of the most important and current references relevant to each disease, with most published since 2005.
• The diagnostic flow diagrams, treatment algorithms, dosing guideline recommendations, and monitoring approaches that were present in the last edition have been refined.

We have made a special effort with this edition to have authors summarize concepts more succinctly or use tables to present details more concisely. This process continued as the book entered production, and even during the review of final proofs, we continued to make changes to ensure that this book is as current and complete as is possible.

In closing, we acknowledge the many hours that Pharmacotherapy's more than 300 authors contributed to this labor of love. Without their devotion to the cause of improved pharmacotherapy and dedication in maintaining the accuracy, clarity, and relevance of their chapters, this text would unquestionably not be possible. In addition, we thank Michael Weitz, Karen Edmonson, and James Shanahan and their colleagues at McGraw-Hill for their consistent support of the Pharmacotherapy family of resources, insights into trends in publishing and higher education, and the critical attention to detail so necessary in pharmacotherapy.

The Editors
March 2011

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