News Wire

The American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) has called Zika “possibly the scariest virus since HIV” for various reasons, including that it is “all but proven” to cause birth defects. Other viruses are known to harm neonates. For example, genital herpes can be fatal to a newborn, but this…
The cost of an effective, widely used clot-busting treatment has more than doubled during the past decade, but Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement lags far behind, according to new research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2016. “Stroke health care professionals…
Reducing excessive emergency room (ER) use was one of the key objectives of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), but the law has barely made a dent in the problem, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Using the 2013 and 2014 National…
As “superbug” outbreaks caused alarm across the country last year, Dr. Jeffrey Tokar, director of gastrointestinal endoscopy at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, pointed to recent outbreaks from contaminated medical scopes and discussed steps doctors and hospitals should take to ensure patient…
The FDA has approved a new indication expanding the use of palbociclib (Ibrance, Pfizer) 125-mg capsules, a therapy for metastatic breast cancer. Palbociclib is now approved for the treatment of hormone receptor-positive (HR+), human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative (HER2–) advanced or…
The primary endpoint of improved overall survival has been met in a phase 3, randomized, open-label study comparing blinatumomab (Blincyto, Amgen) with standard of care in adult patients with Philadelphia chromosome-negative relapsed or refractory B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).…
The FDA has granted breakthrough therapy status to intravenous (IV) oliceridine (TRV130) for the management of moderate-to-severe acute pain. After two successful phase 2 studies, oliceridine is now in phase 3 development. The ATHENA-1 safety and tolerability study is ongoing in approximately 900 patients,…
The FDA has granted a breakthrough therapy designation to midostaurin (PKC412, Novartis) for the treatment of adults with newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia (AML) who are FMS-like tyrosine kinase-3 (FLT3) mutation-positive, as detected by an FDA-approved test, and who are eligible to receive standard…
Pioglitazone, a drug used to treat type-2 diabetes, may prevent recurrent stroke and heart attacks in people with insulin resistance but without diabetes. The results of the Insulin Resistance Intervention After Stroke (IRIS) trial, published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), suggest a…
U.S. and Brazilian medical experts have launched a research partnership to find a vaccine against the Zika virus, according to a Reuters report. Researchers from the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with experts from the FDA and the Department of…
Anti-anxiety medications play a large but overlooked part in the opioid-related deaths that are currently grabbing headlines, according to an article posted on the STAT website. In 2013, benzodiazepines, such as alprazolam (Xanax, Pfizer) and diazepam (Valium, Roche), were involved in more than 30%…
The FDA has given the nod to brivaracetam (Briviact, UCB, Inc.), a high-affinity synaptic vesicle protein 2A (SV2A) ligand, as an add-on treatment to other medications to treat partial-onset seizures in patients 16 years of age and older with epilepsy. Epilepsy has many possible causes, including stroke,…
Researchers in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, have detected Zika virus in the amniotic fluid of two pregnant women whose fetuses have been diagnosed with microcephaly, according to a study published online in Lancet Infectious Diseases. Although the report suggests that Zika can cross the placental barrier,…
Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center paid a $17,000 ransom in bitcoins to a hacker who seized control of the hospital’s computer systems and wouldn’t give back access until he was paid, the hospital has reported. The cyber-assault occurred on February 5, when a hacker using malware infected the…
The FDA may have greatly underestimated the number of fetal deaths among women who became pregnant after using the contraceptive device Essure (Bayer), according to a Reuters report. The device consists of two metal coils inserted into the fallopian tubes. Approved in 2002, Essure was marketed as an…

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