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Weekly Drug News Round Up - February 11, 2015

Lucentis Approved to Treat Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of blindness in adults in the U.S. Read More...

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration expanded the approved use for Lucentis (ranibizumab injection) to treat diabetic retinopathy (DR) in patients with diabetic macular edema (DME). Lucentis is a humanized anti-VEGF antibody fragment also approved for the treatment of age-related macular edema, macular edema after retinal vein occlusion, and diabetic macular edema. In clinical trials of 759 participants followed for three years, participants treated with Lucentis showed significant improvement in the severity of their DR at two years compared to patients who did not receive the eye injection.

Dutrebis Approved for HIV-1 Infection, Not Yet Marketed

According to Merck, Dutrebis, will not be made commercially available in the U.S. at this time Read More...

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Dutrebis (lamivudine 150 mg and raltegravir 300 mg) for use with other antiretroviral products for the treatment of HIV-1 infection in patients greater than or equal to 6 years of age weighing at least 30 kg. In clinical trials, Dutrebis was shown to provide comparable lamivudine and raltegravir exposures to one Epivir 150 mg tablet plus one Isentress 400 mg tablet. The raltegravir contained in Dutrebis has a higher bioavailability than the raltegravir poloxamer formulation in Isentress, and accounts for the difference in raltegravir dose. The recommended dosage of Dutrebis is one tablet taken twice daily.

Survey Says: People Would Rather Die Sooner Than Take A Pill

For some, dying sooner, or even paying out of pocket is a more desirable outcome than taking a daily heart pill Read More...

Many Americans are against taking daily medications, according to a recent survey funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health. One out of three adults would rather die sooner than take a daily pill to prevent heart disease. Roughly one in five would be willing to pay a whooping $1,000 or more to avoid taking that daily pill, too. However, most respondents accepted the fact that medication could be beneficial in prolonging their life, even though inconvenient. Over 60% said they weren’t willing to risk death at all, and 70 percent said they wouldn't trade any weeks of their lives to avoid taking a heart pill every day.

Low Vitamin D Levels in Childhood May Raise Heart Risks: Study

Factors such as high blood pressure, smoking, and obesity did appear to affect the results Read More…

Low vitamin D levels as a child may increase the risk of heart disease as an adult, according to a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. Vitamin D levels in over 2,100 people in Finland were measured between ages 3 to 18. Participants were then checked again for hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) at ages 35 to 40. Those with the lowest vitamin D levels when they were young had a much higher risk for artery hardening as adults. The study showed a link, but did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship between childhood vitamin D levels and heart disease.

Multiple Sclerosis: 13 Questions to Ask Your Doctor

New MS treatments can reduce the frequency of relapses and delay progression Read More...

Did you know that multiple sclerosis (MS) has been reported as the leading cause of disability in young adults? MS, a nervous system disorder characterized by symptoms of visual difficulties, muscle weakness, and fatigue, can have a major impact on the daily lives of those in the prime of their lives. But the good news is that not everyone who gets MS will develop severe symptoms. However, for those that do, newer treatments such as Plegridy, Aubagio, Gilenya and Tecfidera are offering hope. Follow along slide-by-slide and chat with your doctor to learn frank answers to commonly asked questions about MS.