Cancer Drug Causes Patient To Lose Fingerprints And Be Detained By US Immigration

May 28, 2009

Immigration officials held a cancer patient for four hours before they allowed him to enter the USA because one of his cancer drugs caused his fingerprints to disappear. His oncologist is now advising all cancer patients who are being treated with the commonly used drug, capecitabine, to carry a doctor’s letter with them if they want to travel to the USA.

The incident is highlighted in a letter to the cancer journal, Annals of Oncology Read the rest of this entry »

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Report Finds Racial Disparities In Prescription Drug Access, Use, Regimen Adherence

May 16, 2009

“Origins and Strategies for Addressing Ethnic and Racial Disparities in Pharmaceutical Therapy: The Health-Care System, the Provider, and the Patient,” National Minority Quality Forum: The report — by Richard Levy, a health care consultant and former vice president of the National Pharmaceutical Council; Robert Like, professor and director of the Center for Healthy Families and Cultural Diversity of the UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School; and Harry Shabsin, a private-practice psychologist — looks at how appropriate medications for a variety of diseases often are under-prescribed, over-prescribed, or mis-prescribed among minorities. The report looks at disparities in treatment of minority patients with cardiovascular disease, asthma, psychiatric illness, pain and other conditions and finds disparities in access to medications through insurance programs, in the prescribing of medications and in adherence to medication regimens. The report offers ways to improve prescribing and use of medications among diverse communities (National Minority Quality Forum release, 5/12).
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Shortage Of HIV/AIDS, TB, Malaria Drugs In Ugandan District Could Lead To Treatment Interruption, Drug Resistance

April 22, 2009

A shortage of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria medications in Uganda’s northern Gulu district could cause patients to interrupt treatment and lead to drug resistance, Paul Onek, Gulu director of health services, said recently, IRIN/PlusNews reports. According to IRIN/PlusNews, inadequate management of the country’s drug supply regularly causes shortages.

More than 2,000 TB patients in the district have begun a six-month treatment regimen and about 1,300 HIV-positive people have received a monthly supply of antiretrovirals from Gulu’s largest hospital. However, Onek noted that the district has not received TB drugs since January. Angelo Ojera, HIV focal point in the district, said that some TB patients are taking expired medications and that some HIV-positive people who have malaria have had to purchase drugs from private clinics.
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UNITAID, Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative Reach Agreement With Generic HIV/AIDS Drug Manufacturers To Lower Prices

April 21, 2009

UNITAID and the Clinton Foundation HIV/AIDS Initiative on Friday announced a bulk purchasing agreement with a group of generic drug manufacturers that will reduce the price of some antiretroviral drugs in developing countries, Reuters reports. The discounted prices have been reached for 41 adult and pediatric medications at an average discount of 16% compared with 2008, according to Reuters (Hirschler, Reuters, 4/16).

The agreement will reduce the cost of a generic, second-line regimen that contains tenofovir, lamivudine and lopinavir/ritonavir by 18% and 39% compared with average prices in low- and middle-income countries, respectively (UNITAID/Clinton Foundation release, 4/17). Under the agreement, the new cost will be $590 annually, compared with more than $700 one year ago (Reuters, 4/16). The agreement also includes three generic suppliers, which will provide heat-stable lopinavir/ritonavir for $470 per patient annually. In addition, the agreement includes a lower price — $210 per patient annually — for a first-line, once-daily treatment that includes tenofovir, lamivudine and efavirenz. The new cost is 37% lower than the current average market price in low-income countries (UNITAID/Clinton Foundation release, 4/17).
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Drug interactions and side effects

March 25, 2009

Question:

Things seem to be going from bad to worse with my husband who is 51. He has a blood clotting problem so he is on Coumadin. Now he is on Flomax (1 week new) and will be picking up a new medicine (pill not insulin) for new diabetes. He has high blood pressure pills, too. Anyway…I`m worried about the 2 medications together. Will his sex drive also be affected. His emotional health is taking a hit with all this. He wants to lose weight but his reply “I can`t eat green leafy vegetable because of the Coumadin”…HELP! Thank You VERY much!!!

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Legislation Would Give 12 Years Of Market Exclusivity To Brand-Name Biologic Drug Manufacturers

March 20, 2009

Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), House Energy and Commerce Committee ranking member Joe Barton (R-Texas) and Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) on Tuesday introduced legislation that would allow FDA to approve generic versions of biologic drugs, CongressDaily reports. The bill would give brand-name biologic drugmakers a 12-year period of exclusivity for their products before generic competition can be introduced. The measure also would require data from generic companies.
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FDA Approves Orphan Drug ATryn To Treat Rare Clotting Disorder

February 12, 2009

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued its first approval for a biological product produced by genetically engineered (GE) animals.

The approval is for ATryn, an anticoagulant used for the prevention of blood clots in patients with a rare disease known as hereditary antithrombin (AT) deficiency. These patients are at high risk of blood clots during medical interventions, such as surgery, and before, during and after childbirth.
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