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The FDA has approved a vaccine that has shown efficacy of more than 90% in the prevention of shingles, a painful and potentially serious problem that will affect one in three Americans.  Zoster vaccine recombinant, adjuvanted (Shingrix, GlaxoSmithKline) is a non-live, recombinant subunit vaccine given…
A new formulation of extended-release (ER) exenatide in an improved once-weekly, single-dose autoinjector has won FDA approval for adults with type-2 diabetes whose blood sugar remains uncontrolled on one or more oral medicines in addition to diet and exercise. AstraZeneca announced the approval of…
The average lifespan of African-Americans is significantly shorter than that of white Americans mostly because of heart disease and stroke, which contributed to the loss of more than two million years of life among African-Americans between 1999 and 2010, according to a new scientific statement published…
The FDA has approved golimumab (Simponi Aria, Janssen Biotech, Inc.) for the treatment of adults with active psoriatic arthritis (PsA) or active ankylosing spondylitis (AS). Golimumab is a fully-human anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha therapy administered via a 30-minute infusion. It first received…
Days after a federal judge threw out patents on the dry-eye medicine Restasis (Allergan), a San Diego pharmaceutical company said it would offer a cheaper compounded version of cyclosporine. Shares of Imprimis Pharmaceuticals nearly doubled after the announcement. Allergan last month sued Imprimis alleging…
Patients seeking care for migraine in the emergency department experience better pain relief from the intravenous (IV) nonopioid treatment prochlorperazine along with diphenhydramine than they do with the frequently used IV opioid treatment hydromorphone, Montefiore Health System researchers write in…
Updated findings from the phase 3 KEYNOTE-024 trial show that pembrolizumab (Keytruda, Merck) lowered the risk of death by 37% compared with chemotherapy after two years as first-line monotherapy in patients with non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose tumors express high levels of PD-L1. Pembrolizumab…
Anthem is establishing a new pharmacy benefits manager (PBM) in hopes of cutting its pharmacy bill by $4 billion a year while improving patient outcomes. The new PBM, called IngenioRx, will begin offering a full suite of PBM solutions starting in 2020, when Anthem’s contract with Express Scripts ends.…
The second CAR T-cell therapy approved by the FDA targets a type of lymphoma with a grim prognosis, offering new hope to patients who have often relapsed after a string of earlier treatments. The U.S. list price: $373,000. Axicabtagene ciloleucel (Yescarta, Gilead Sciences) became the first chimeric…
U.S. Representative Tom Marino (R-Pennsylvania), President Trump’s nominee to be the country’s drug czar, has withdrawn his name from consideration following a report that he pushed a bill that weakened enforcement of suspicious drug distributors. The withdrawal, which Trump announced in a tweet,…
A U.S. judge has invalidated patents on Allergan PLC’s dry-eye medicine Restasis (cyclosporine ophthalmic emulsion) on grounds that the patents cover ideas that are obvious, sending shares of the pharmaceutical company down 3.5%. Judge William Bryson issued the ruling in federal court in Marshall,…
Nearly half of all U.S. medical care is delivered by emergency departments (EDs), according to a study by researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM). And in recent years, the percentage of care delivered by EDs has grown. The paper highlights the major role played by emergency…
Outrage over the cost of cancer care has focused on skyrocketing drug prices, including the $475,000 price tag for the  first U.S. gene therapy, tisagenlecleucel (Kymriah, Novartis), a leukemia treatment approved in August. But total costs for tisagenlecleucel and 21 similar drugs in development—known…
The next-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitor lorlatinib (Pfizer Inc.) led to overall response rates ranging from 33% to 90% in cohorts of patients with ALK-positive and ROS1-positive advanced non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), including heavily pretreated participants, in a phase 2 trial. Side effects…
Cabozantinib (Cabometyx, Exelixis, Inc.) provided “a statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement” in median overall survival (OS) compared with placebo among patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in the global phase 3 CELESTIAL trial, Exelixis announced. The CELESTIAL…

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