News Wire

Senator Orrin Hatch (R–Utah), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, has asked 20 hospital systems to provide detailed records about the controversial practice of allowing surgeons to operate on more than one patient at a time, according to an article in the Boston Globe. Hatch has requested the…
As rising drug prices intensify cost pressures, hospital pharmacies are striving to improve care and expand services without breaking the bank, according to an article in Hospitals & Health Networks. For example, the current interest in ensuring care continuity has prompted many hospitals to involve…
With the expiration in January of the patent on imatinib (Gleevec, Novartis)—the drug that 15 years ago changed chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) from a death sentence to a treatable illness—patients and insurance companies have the opportunity to realize huge cost savings, new research from the Johns…
A virus similar to the one responsible for severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) has been found in Chinese horseshoe bats and may be poised to infect humans without the need for adaptation, potentially setting the stage for a widespread outbreak, according to a study from the University of North…
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released new recommendations for prescribing opioid medications for chronic pain. The new guideline is for primary care providers—who account for nearly half of all opioid prescriptions—treating adult patients for chronic pain in outpatient…
CMS last year launched the Chronic Care Management (CCM) program in an effort to encourage physicians to focus on value over volume when treating certain Medicare beneficiaries. Managed Care reported at the time that under the program, physicians “can claim a monthly, non–visit-based payment…
Hospitals across the U.S. are finding creative ways to anticipate and mitigate drug-cost pressures, according to an article in the Washington Post. When doctors at the University Hospitals of Cleveland sign in online to prescribe medications, for example, they see an immediately recognizable symbol…
The FDA has accepted the biologics license application (BLA) for atezolizumab (Roche/Genentech) and has granted priority review for the treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma who had disease progression during or after platinum-based chemotherapy in the metastatic…
Currently, there is only one class of antiviral drugs against herpesviruses––a family of viruses that causes mononucleosis, herpes, shingles, and meningitis, among other illnesses––meaning that options for treating these infections are limited. If viruses become resistant to these frontline…
Positive results have been reported from a phase 3 trial of cytarabine/daunorubicin liposome for injection (Vyxeos, Celator Pharmaceuticals) in patients with high-risk (secondary) acute myeloid leukemia (AML) compared with the standard-of-care regimen of cytarabine and daunorubicin known as 7+3. The…
Researchers in Germany have developed a blood test that may allow the detection of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) at an early stage. The test consists of an immunochemical analysis using an infrared sensor. The sensor’s surface is coated with antibodies that extract biomarkers for AD from blood or cerebrospinal…
In Europe, pharma regulators have started a review into the safety of the leukemia drug idelalisib (Zydelig, Gilead Sciences) because of concerns over serious adverse events, including deaths, according to a Reuters report. The review was prompted by an increased rate of adverse events, mostly involving…
The FDA has approved a supplemental new drug application for crizotinib (Xalkori, Pfizer) to treat patients with metastatic non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose tumors are ROS1-positive. In 2015, the FDA granted breakthrough therapy and priority review designations for this indication. Crizotinib…
Positive results have been reported from a phase 3 study of the investigational medication cannabidiol (Epidiolex, GW Pharmaceuticals) in patients with Dravet syndrome, a rare and debilitating type of infantile-onset epilepsy for which no treatments are currently available in the U.S. Cannabidiol achieved…
Peter Holden, president and CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Plymouth, Massachusetts, and his peers recently formed a statewide task force under the auspices of the Massachusetts Hospital Association (MHA) and compiled a list of nine best practices to improve the management of opioid use in…

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