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Buprenorphine and methadone should not be withheld from patients struggling with opioid addiction if they’re also using benzodiazepines or other drugs that depress the central nervous system, the FDA says—even though the combined use of these drugs increases the risk of serious adverse effects.…
A World Health Organization (WHO) analysis of the antibacterial clinical development pipeline shows a serious lack of new antibiotics under development to combat the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance. Most of the drugs currently in the clinical pipeline are modifications of existing classes…
The FDA has cleared the first duodenoscope with a disposable distal cap, a new feature that will improve access for cleaning and reprocessing. The decision marks the latest step in the agency’s four-year battle to reduce bacterial infections that have been linked to duodenoscopes even when users were…
The FDA has approved the once-daily, single-inhaler triple therapy of fluticasone furoate/umeclidinium/vilanterol (Trelegy Ellipta, GlaxoSmithKline/Innoviva, Inc.) for the long-term maintenance treatment of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This includes patients with chronic…
Antidepressant medications, most commonly prescribed to reduce depression and anxiety, increase the risk of death, according to findings from researchers at McMaster University. It’s widely known that brain serotonin affects mood and that most commonly used antidepressant treatment for depression…
The FDA has approved fluticasone propionate nasal spray (Xhance, Optinose) for the treatment of nasal polyps in patients 18 years of age and older. It is estimated that up to 10 million Americans suffer from nasal polyps and the symptoms that accompany them. “This is a serious disease that causes…
Two cancer trials involving atezolizumab (Tecentriq, Genentech) have been placed on partial clinical hold by the FDA as the regulatory agency continues to examine potential dangers of checkpoint inhibitors following deaths associated with pembrolizumab (Keytruda, Merck) earlier this summer, according…
Immune-cell–based therapies opening a new frontier for cancer treatment carry unique, potentially lethal side effects that provide a new challenge for oncologists. A team led by clinicians at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center is addressing that issue by proposing guidelines for systematically…
Primary care physicians (PCPs) spend more than six hours entering data into electronic health records (EHRs) during a typical day, which usually lasts 11.4 hours, according to a study by the University of Wisconsin and the American Medical Association (AMA). AMA officials were quick to point out that…
The FDA has approved secnidazole (Solosec, Symbiomix Therapeutics) 2 g oral granules for the treatment of bacterial vaginosis (BV) in adult women. Secnidazole is a potent, next-generation, 5-nitroimidazole antibiotic with enhanced pharmacokinetic properties that enable delivery in a single dose that…
Lanreotide injection (Somatuline Depot, Ipsen Biopharmaceuticals, Inc.) 120 mg has received FDA approval for a new indication: the treatment of carcinoid syndrome. When used, it reduces the frequency of short-acting somatostatin analog rescue therapy. The medication, a somatostatin analog, is also approved…
With the United States in the grip of an opioid epidemic, many insurers limit access to pain medications that carry a lower risk of addiction or dependence, according to an investigation by ProPublica and The New York Times. But insurers often provide comparatively easy access to generic opioid medications.…
Patients with hard-to-treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) lived longer without disease progression when treated with a combination of venetoclax (Venclexta, AbbVie/Genentech) and rituximab (Rituxan, Biogen/Genentech) than when treated with a combination of bendamustine and rituximab, a new study…
Reversing an earlier decision to exit the Virginia ACA marketplace, Anthem announced that it will sell insurance in 68 counties and cities in the state next year. The decision means that all counties in the country will be covered, Reuters reports. “Earlier this week, a spokesperson for Virginia’s…
It’s not just that insurers make it easier for people to obtain addictive opioids than more expensive, but non-addictive counterparts, it’s also that they’ve erected hurdles to addiction treatment, according to a jointly reported article by the New York Times and Pro Publica. HHS is looking into…

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