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U.S. Oncologists Decry High Cost of Cancer Drugs

Posted 23 Jul 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 23, 2015 – Soaring costs for cancer drugs are hurting patient care in the United States, a group of top oncologists claim. "High cancer-drug prices are affecting the care of patients with cancer and our health care system," Dr. Ayalew Tefferi, a hematologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., said in a Mayo news release. Tefferi and his colleagues made a number of recommendations on how to address the problem in a commentary published July 23 in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices is one of the suggestions the team of 118 leading cancer experts offered as a possible solution. Along with their recommendations, the group also expressed support for a patient-based grassroots movement on change.org that is demanding action on the issue. "The average gross household income in the U.S. is about $52,000 per year. For an insured patient with ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Provera, Depo-Provera, Methotrexate, Breast Cancer, Lupron, Accutane, Prostate Cancer, Medroxyprogesterone, Tamoxifen, Arimidex, Lupron Depot, Femara, Tretinoin, Gleevec, Fluorouracil, Rituxan, Colorectal Cancer, Zoladex, Renal Cell Carcinoma

Gene Discoveries Could Help Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment

Posted 28 Apr 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 28, 2015 – Genetic variations may hold clues to rheumatoid arthritis – suggesting not only who will develop the painful condition, but also predicting its severity and even who might die from it, a new study says. "Genetic factors predisposing to disease, to disease severity, and response to treatment will allow tailoring treatment to individual patients' needs," said lead researcher Dr. Sebastien Viatte, a research fellow at the University of Manchester in England. Using data from several sources on thousands of patients in the United Kingdom, researchers found that gene mutations at a location on a chromosome called HLA-DRBl were associated with rheumatoid arthritis severity and the response to treatment with tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitor drugs. This study, Viatte said, is a potentially important first step toward personalized medicine for patients with the ... Read more

Related support groups: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Methotrexate, Humira, Enbrel, Remicade, Plaquenil, Rituxan, Hydroxychloroquine, Imuran, Orencia, Cimzia, Azathioprine, Leflunomide, Arava, Simponi, Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, Rituximab, Otezla, Xeljanz, Infliximab

FDA Medwatch Alert: Injectable Products by Mylan: Recall - Presence of Particulate Matter

Posted 25 Apr 2015 by Drugs.com

including certain lots of: Gemcitabine for Injection Carboplatin Injection Methotrexate Injection Cytarabine Injection See the press release for a listing of the product strength, NDC, and lot numbers affected by this recall. Some products may be packaged with a Pfizer Injectables label (see Background below)   [Posted 04/24/2015] ISSUE: Mylan N.V. is conducting a voluntary nationwide recall to the hospital/user level of select lots of injectable products due to the presence of visible foreign particulate matter observed during testing of retention samples. Administration of a sterile injectable that has foreign particulates has the potential of severe health consequences. Intrathecal administration could result in a life threatening adverse event or result in permanent impairment of a body function. Intravenous administration has the potential to damage and/or obstruct blood ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Methotrexate, Carboplatin, Gemzar, Gemcitabine, Cytarabine, Methotrexate LPF Sodium, Trexall, Cytosar-U, Cytosar, Rheumatrex Dose Pack, Carboplatin Novaplus, Rasuvo, Paraplatin, Otrexup, Tarabine PFS, Folex PFS

Some Arthritis Meds Cost Seniors Thousands Annually

Posted 21 Apr 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 21, 2015 – Arthritis medications known as biologic disease-modifying drugs can cost Medicare patients more than $2,700 in co-payments a year, a new report finds. Researchers say the tab is an immense burden on patients with disabling conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic disorder that affects an estimated 1.3 million Americans. Biologic anti-rheumatic medications – which include drugs such as adalimumab (Humira), anakinra (Kineret) and etanercept (Enbrel) – have allowed patients to gain better control of rheumatoid arthritis when taken early in the course of disease, the researchers explained. But some of the new drugs top $20,000 annually, according to the April 21 online report in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatology. "Many patients face a growing and unacceptable financial burden for access to treatment," said study lead author Dr. Jinoos Yazdany of the ... Read more

Related support groups: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Methotrexate, Humira, Enbrel, Remicade, Plaquenil, Rituxan, Hydroxychloroquine, Imuran, Orencia, Azathioprine, Leflunomide, Arava, Rituximab, Otezla, Xeljanz, Infliximab, Etanercept, Kineret, Adalimumab

Lower Doses of Rheumatoid Arthritis Drugs May Work for Some

Posted 5 Nov 2014 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 5, 2014 – Some people in the early stages of rheumatoid arthritis may be able to safely lower their medication doses once their symptoms are well under control, a new study suggests. In a clinical trial, British researchers found that many patients were able to remain in remission for months after their doctors lowered their doses of the drugs methotrexate and Enbrel (etanercept). What's more, some continued to do well when they were taken off the drugs altogether, the researchers said in the Nov. 6 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. The findings suggest it's "reasonable" to lower, or even stop, certain patients' medication doses, wrote the researchers, led by Dr. Paul Emery of the University of Leeds. But experts not involved in the study stressed that there are some big unknowns. For one, it's not clear which patients would likely do well if their drug ... Read more

Related support groups: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Methotrexate, Enbrel, Etanercept, Methotrexate LPF Sodium, Trexall, Rasuvo, Otrexup, Folex PFS, Rheumatrex Dose Pack

Medicines Are Biggest Culprit in Fatal Allergic Reactions: Study

Posted 10 Oct 2014 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Oct. 9, 2014 – Although food allergies have garnered a lot of attention lately, a new study reports that medications are actually the biggest cause of sudden deaths related to allergy. Over a little more than a decade, nearly 60 percent of the allergy-related deaths were caused by medications, while less than 7 percent were caused by food allergies, the study found. "Medications can be dangerous," said study researcher Dr. Elina Jerschow, director of the Drug Allergy Center at Montefiore Medical Center and assistant professor of medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in New York City. While research from other countries has reported medications as a major culprit in anaphylaxis-related deaths, Jerschow said, the problem has been less defined in the United States. One reason is that there is no national registry for anaphylaxis deaths, she said. The study was ... Read more

Related support groups: Provera, Amoxicillin, Depo-Provera, Doxycycline, Metronidazole, Methotrexate, Penicillin, Clindamycin, Cephalexin, Bactrim, Azithromycin, Cipro, Lupron, Accutane, Ciprofloxacin, Levaquin, Augmentin, Flagyl, Zithromax, Medroxyprogesterone

FDA Approves Rasuvo (methotrexate) Injection

Posted 14 Jul 2014 by Drugs.com

Chicago, IL, July 14, 2014 – Medac Pharma, Inc., a privately held pharmaceutical company focused on the development of new molecules and improving the effectiveness of existing medicines, announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Rasuvo, a subcutaneous injectable methotrexate (MTX) therapy delivered in an auto-injector for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), polyarticular-course juvenile idiopathic arthritis (pJIA) and psoriasis. Rasuvo will be available in 10 dosage strengths, ranging from 7.5 mg to 30 mg in 2.5 mg increments and will be launched in the U.S. The company concurrently announced that the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware has denied a motion for a preliminary injunction filed by Antares Pharma, Inc. “We’re delighted to have secured approval for our lead product, Rasuvo, and look forward to introducing this much-needed therapy to the ma ... Read more

Related support groups: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Methotrexate, Psoriasis, Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis

Otrexup (Methotrexate) Injection Approved By FDA

Posted 15 Oct 2013 by Drugs.com

EWING, N.J., October 14, 2013 — Antares Pharma, Inc. today announced the approval of Otrexup (methotrexate) injection by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Otrexup is the first FDA approved subcutaneous (SC) methotrexate (MTX) for once weekly self-administration with an easy-to-use, single dose, disposable auto injector. Otrexup is indicated for adults with severe active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who have had an insufficient therapeutic response to or are intolerant of an adequate trial of first line therapy including full dose non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs), or children with active polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis (pJIA). The FDA also approved adult use of Otrexup for symptomatic control of severe recalcitrant, disabling psoriasis that is not adequately responsive to other forms of therapy. In 2012, approximately six million prescriptions were w ... Read more

Related support groups: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Methotrexate, Psoriasis, Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis

Kidney Damage a Risk of Some Childhood Cancer Treatments, Finds Study

Posted 24 Sep 2013 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 24 – Some adult survivors of childhood cancer are at increased risk for kidney problems, a new study says. The study included more than 1,100 adults, aged 18 and older, who were followed for five to 42 years after being diagnosed and treated for childhood cancer. The researchers examined the long-term effects of kidney-damaging treatments, including the chemotherapy drugs ifosfamide, cisplatin, carboplatin, high-dose methotrexate and high-dose cyclophosphamide; radiation therapy to the kidney region; and partial or complete surgical removal of the kidney (nephrectomy). Compared with patients who did not receive kidney-damaging treatments, those who were treated with ifosfamide or cisplatin and those who underwent nephrectomy had poorer kidney function, which persisted throughout the follow-up period. The researchers also found that patients treated with high doses of ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Methotrexate, Renal Failure, Carboplatin, Cisplatin, Cytoxan, Cyclophosphamide, Platinol, Methotrexate LPF Sodium, Ifosfamide, Cytoxan Lyophilized, Trexall, Paraplatin, Carboplatin Novaplus, Rheumatrex Dose Pack, Ifex, Neosar, Platinol-AQ, Folex PFS

Expensive or Not, Rheumatoid Arthritis Drugs Have Similar Effect: Study

Posted 1 Jul 2013 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 1 – Treatment with a pricey biological drug was no better than cheaper, conventional therapy in terms of reducing time off from work for people with rheumatoid arthritis, a new study finds. Swedish researchers assessed lost work days among rheumatoid arthritis patients who had not responded to initial treatment with a standard medication, methotrexate. The group of 204 patients were randomly given either the biological drug infliximab (Remicade) or conventional combination therapy with the non-biologics sulfasalazine plus hydroxychloroquine. At the start of the study, the average amount of lost work time was 17 days per month for all patients. During the 21-month study, the patients receiving conventional therapy lost about six fewer days of work per month, compared with about five fewer days for those taking Remicade – not a significant difference. Regardless of the ... Read more

Related support groups: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Methotrexate, Remicade, Plaquenil, Hydroxychloroquine, Sulfasalazine, Infliximab, Azulfidine, Sulfazine, Trexall, Methotrexate LPF Sodium, Plaquenil Sulfate, Folex PFS, Quineprox, Rheumatrex Dose Pack, Azulfidine EN-tabs

Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment May Not Work As Well for Heavier Patients

Posted 18 Jun 2013 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 18 – Overweight and obese people with rheumatoid arthritis are less likely to go into remission in the early stages of the disease and require much more drug treatment than people with normal weight, according to a new study. The study included nearly 350 people with early rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who underwent a treatment meant to achieve remission of their disease. The strategy included strict follow-up visits, as well as treatment with steroids and the drug methotrexate, combined with anti-tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF) therapy if a good response didn't occur. Anti-TNF drugs are used to reduce inflammation in a variety of conditions. At six and 12 months of follow-up, overweight and obese patients had lower rates of remission. After 12 months, a higher percentage of overweight and obese patients were still on anti-TNF therapy, compared to normal-weight patients. The ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Methotrexate, Humira, Enbrel, Remicade, Cimzia, Simponi, Infliximab, Etanercept, Adalimumab, Golimumab, Trexall, Certolizumab, Methotrexate LPF Sodium, Folex PFS, Rheumatrex Dose Pack

Standard Rheumatoid Arthritis Therapy as Good as Costlier Newcomer: Study

Posted 12 Jun 2013 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 11 – Newer, costlier treatment for rheumatoid arthritis appears no better than an older, less-expensive regimen for people who don't respond to the first-line drug methotrexate, a new study suggests. "Newer isn't always better," said researcher Dr. Ted Mikuls, an associate professor in the rheumatology division at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, in Omaha. "Some of the older medications can be effective." Rheumatoid arthritis causes inflammation in the joints, resulting in swelling, stiffness, pain and reduced joint function. It can also affect other parts of the body. "We compared two different ways of treating rheumatoid arthritis – one that included a new biologic [medication] with an older, more conventional oral medication," Mikuls explained. "We basically showed that at the end of the day patients, regardless of what they got, looked very similar in terms ... Read more

Related support groups: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Methotrexate, Enbrel, Plaquenil, Hydroxychloroquine, Sulfasalazine, Azulfidine, Sulfazine, Etanercept, Methotrexate LPF Sodium, Trexall, Quineprox, Plaquenil Sulfate, Rheumatrex Dose Pack, Azulfidine EN-tabs, Folex PFS

FDA Medwatch Alert: Methotrexate Sodium, USP Injectable Vials by Sandoz US: Recall - Particulate Matter In Vials

Posted 22 May 2013 by Drugs.com

ISSUE: Sandoz is conducting a voluntary nationwide recall to the hospital/user level of two lots of its Methotrexate Sodium, USP, 25 mg/mL, 40 mL vial injectable product in the US, due to the discovery of particulate matter in vials during routine quality examination of retention samples at the manufacturer. Parenteral injection of drug from the affected lots can lead to microembolisation in areas where the particles lodge. Clinical symptoms are not to be expected from these microemboli and Sandoz is not aware of any reports of related adverse events. BACKGROUND: Methotrexate is an antimetabolite used in the treatment of neoplastic diseases, severe psoriasis, and rheumatoid arthritis, including polyarticular juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. The lot numbers and expiration dates of the two recalled lots are: CL0996 (expiration date 12/2013) and CJ4948 (expiration date 05/2013). These lots ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Methotrexate, Methotrexate LPF Sodium, Trexall, Folex PFS, Rheumatrex Dose Pack

Cancer Chemotherapy Tied to Slight Rise in Risk for Leukemia

Posted 14 Feb 2013 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Feb. 14 – Chemotherapy can be a lifesaver for thousands of cancer patients, but a new study suggests that it might slightly raise the odds for a type of leukemia later in life. Over the past 30 years, the risk for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) has increased for patients who underwent chemotherapy for certain forms of cancer, particularly non-Hodgkin lymphoma, the new study found. On the other hand, the researchers from the U.S. National Cancer Institute said other cancer survivors may have a reduced risk for AML due to a change in chemotherapy agents that occurred decades ago. One expert not connected to the study stressed that cancer patients need to put the findings into perspective. "It's important to realize that the risk of developing acute myeloid leukemia related to prior chemotherapy is small and increases with the number of chemotherapy treatments given over time," ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Provera, Depo-Provera, Methotrexate, Lupron, Accutane, Medroxyprogesterone, Tamoxifen, Arimidex, Lupron Depot, Femara, Tretinoin, Gleevec, Fluorouracil, Rituxan, Zoladex, Votrient, Claravis, Tarceva, Avastin

Newer Psoriasis Drugs May Lower Heart Attack Risk for Patients

Posted 20 Aug 2012 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Aug. 20 – People with psoriasis who take a new class of drugs known as tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors may be at a lower risk for heart attack than their counterparts who only use topical medications to treat this inflammatory skin condition, a new study shows. And patients taking older systemic medicines and phototherapy may also have a reduced heart attack risk compared to those using topical preparations, the study found. Of 8,845 study participants, about 57 percent were treated with topical therapy only, 19 percent received a TNF inhibitor for at least two months and about 24 percent were treated with other medications or phototherapy. People who were treated with TNF inhibitors had a 50 percent lower risk, and those treated with other psoriasis drugs or phototherapy had a 46 percent lower risk for heart attack, than those who used topical medications alone. The ... Read more

Related support groups: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Methotrexate, Humira, Psoriasis, Enbrel, Remicade, Cyclosporine, Cimzia, Simponi, Soriatane, Infliximab, Acitretin, Neoral, Etanercept, Adalimumab, Golimumab, Gengraf, Methotrexate LPF Sodium, Sandimmune, Soriatane CK

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