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Weekly Drug News Round-Up: February 15, 2017

Marathon’s Emflaza Approved for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD)

Symptoms of DMD are usually first seen between 3 and 5 years of age and worsen over time Read More...

Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a rare genetic disorder that causes progressive muscle deterioration and weakness. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Emflaza (deflazacort), a glucocorticoid for the treatment of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy in patients age 5 years of age and older. Emflaza effectiveness was shown in a clinical study of 196 male patients 5 to 15 years. At week 12, Emflaza patients had improvements in clinical assessment of muscle strength compared to placebo, which was maintained through week 52. Emflaza will be available in tablet and oral suspension form, but the date of commercial availability for the product is still unknown.

HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) Recall: Lack of Sterility Assurance

The product was only distributed to physician offices and clinics in Arizona, California, Wisconsin, and Minnesota Read More...

On February 14, 2016 Synergy Rx Pharmacy recalled all lots of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) 5,000 units/vial and 11,000 units/vial to the retail level distributed between 06/01/2016 and 12/22/2016 due to a lack of sterility assurance. The product is packaged in 15 mL serum glass vials. Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) is an unapproved product being marketed for weight loss. Synergy Rx Pharmacy has not received any reports of adverse events, to date, related to this recall. Customers should immediately stop using any recalled product and contact Synergy Rx Pharmacy at  619-821-8224 for the return of any unused product.

Eczema May Leave Some Flu Shots Less Effective, Study Finds

Patients with eczema who prefer the intradermal (under the skin) flu shot may not get adequate viral protection Read More...

As published in Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology this week, researchers tracked immune responses for 202 people with eczema and 136 people without the skin condition who received either an intradermal flu vaccine or intramuscular shot. Half of the study participants got an intradermal flu vaccine, while the other half received the intramuscular shot. One month later, only 11% of those who received intradermal shots had developed flu protection, compared with 47 percent of those who received the intramuscular shot. Dry skin of eczema patients is often colonized by Staphylococcus bacteria, which lowers the immune response and contributes to the problem.

Immunotherapy Not a Quick Fix for Hay Fever: Study

About 15 percent of Americans suffer from hay fever which can negatively impact sleep, work, and school Read More...

Spring isn’t long off in the U.S. If you suffer from seasonal allergies, a quick fix in the way of immunotherapy (allergy) shots is not possible, according to new research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. In fact, researchers say it can take three years for shots to work fully. Immunotherapy for hay fever (allergic rhinitis) involves receiving a high dose of grass pollen vaccine either as a monthly injection or as a daily pill placed under the tongue. But it can replace a lifetime of allergy pills and sprays, and is covered by insurance, according to experts.

Generics for EpiPen: What Are Your Best Options?

Keeping this medication on hand isn’t an option as the allergic reaction can be fatal Read More...

Concerns about drug pricing are at an all-time high in the U.S. One recent controversy has swirled around pricing for EpiPen and EpiPen Jr. (epinephrine auto-injector), a life-saving medication used for severe allergies (anaphylaxis) to bees, peanuts, shellfish, and other allergens. EpiPen, EpiPen Jr, Adrenaclick, or Auvi-Q are all considered the first-line treatment for anaphylaxis. However, cheaper options are now available for epinephrine auto-injectors after much concern about the price of this needed drug. Follow along with the latest update on epinephrine auto-injector options to learn how to save money, even on the more expensive brands.