News Wire

The FDA has approved the gene therapy Luxturna (voretigene neparvovec-rzyl, Spark Therapeutics, Inc.) to treat children and adults with an inherited form of vision loss that may result in blindness. Luxturna is the first directly administered gene therapy approved in the U.S. that targets a disease…
Rates of vaccine exemptions among students in Washington fell significantly after the state required parental counseling, according to a study published online in the journal Pediatrics. “This highlights the importance of more stringent policies for obtaining immunization exemptions,” the authors…
These are certainly desperate times when it comes to the nation’s opioid epidemic. It might not be a desperate measure to force addicts into short-term rehabilitation facilities, but it’s getting attention, the Wall Street Journal reports. “In an aggressive, new proposal, Massachusetts authorities…
Adding to a late-in-the year flurry of huge mergers, Ascension and Providence St. Joseph are in talks that would create the largest hospital operator in the country, according to the Wall Street Journal. “A deal would create a new operation of unprecedented reach, with 191 hospitals in 27 states and…
The FDA is proposing a new risk-based enforcement approach to homeopathic drug products. Among the targets: products marketed for serious diseases without showing clinical benefits, products that contain potentially harmful ingredients, and products that don’t meet current good manufacturing practices.…
Diabetes patients who take the most commonly prescribed diabetes drug, metformin, are the least likely to follow medical advice regarding their medication due its side effects, an article in the journal Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism reports. Researchers from the University of Surrey in the United…
A spate of acquisitions in the health care industry may change the way U.S. employers design their future health care strategies and alter the way individuals access health care in the future, according to a survey from the consultant Aon. On December 14, Aon asked 450 human resources leaders from large…
Rapidly dividing aberrant stem cells are a major source of cancer. But a new study suggests that mature cells also play a key role in initiating cancer––a finding that could upend the way scientists think about the origin of the disease. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in…
After reviewing the latest research, the FDA has reaffirmed its 2014 warning that power morcellators should rarely be used in gynecological surgery because of the risk of spreading a hidden uterine cancer. According to a report in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the FDA said the latest studies are consistent…
Nearly one in three students in 12th grade report past-year use of a vaping device, raising concerns about the impact on their health. What they say is in the device, however, ranges from nicotine to marijuana to “just flavoring,” according to the 2017 Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey of eighth,…
The FDA has approved ozenoxacin cream, 1% (Xepi, Medimetriks Pharmaceuticals, Inc.) for the treatment of impetigo in patients 2 months of age and older. The product is applied topically twice daily for five days. In the U.S., impetigo is estimated to account for approximately 10% of skin problems observed…
It’s shaping up to be a bumper year for drug approvals, with U.S. officials clearing twice as many novel medicines as in 2016, yet returns on research investment at leading pharmaceutical companies are down. In fact, projected returns at 12 of the world’s top drugmakers have fallen to an eight-year…
The FDA has approved infliximab-qbtx (Ixifi, Pfizer), the third biosimilar to Remicade (Johnson and Johnson)––and the second one from Pfizer, which already markets Inflectra in the U.S. Pfizer and Celltrion Inc. launched Inflectra in late 2016. The other Remicade biosimilar, Renflexis, is made by…
The FDA, seeking to get critical updates on antibiotics and antifungal drugs to health care professionals more quickly, has created a website that will provide direct and timely access to information about when bacterial or fungal infections are likely to respond to a specific drug. The new tool is…
The FDA has expanded the approved use of mepolizumab (Nucala, GlaxoSmithKline) to treat adult patients with eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (EGPA), a rare autoimmune disease that causes vasculitis, an inflammation in the wall of blood vessels of the body. This new indication provides the…

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