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Weekly Drug News Round-Up: November 30, 2016

Veltassa Boxed Warning Now Updated

FDA approves removal of a Boxed Warning for Veltassa Read More...

Veltassa (patiromer) is an oral potassium binder for the treatment of high potassium levels (hyperkalemia). However, Veltassa can bind to many drugs, decreasing their absorption and reducing their effectiveness. The FDA has now approved a supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) which allows removal of the Boxed Warning regarding the separation of Veltassa and other oral medications. The new recommendation, which is found in other sections of the label, is to take Veltassa at least 3 hours before or 3 hours after other oral medications. Previously, the recommended separation time found in the Boxed Warning was a 6 hour window.

Investigational Drug Ingrezza for Tardive Dyskinesia Under FDA Review

Ingrezza has Breakthrough Therapy Designation and is under FDA Priority Review Read More...

Tardive dyskinesia, which can develop after exposure to a group of medications known as neuroleptics, is characterized by involuntary, repetitive movements of the face, trunk, or extremities, including lip smacking, grimacing, and tongue protrusion. These symptoms are rarely reversible and there are currently no FDA approved treatments. Neurocrine Biosciences announced that an FDA Advisory Committee will review the New Drug Application (NDA) for Ingrezza (valbenazine) for treatment of tardive dyskinesia in February of 2017. This novel agent is a highly-selective VMAT2 inhibitor that modulates dopamine release during nerve communication. Ingrezza is designed to allow for once daily dosing. FDA should make a final approval determination by April 11, 2017.

Electronic In-Hospital Prescribing May Lead to Dose Errors: Study

Physicians may need to adjust default doses based on an older patient’s characteristics Read More...

Default doses programmed into electronic prescribing systems may be too high for older adults in the hospital setting, according to new research published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. Researchers looked at the records of 287 patients over the age of 65 who fell while staying in a large urban hospital. They found that 41 percent of certain high-risk medications were electronically set at doses that were greater than recommended for older patients. The study included drugs such as the pain pills OxyContin and Percocet, sleeping pills, muscle relaxants which may have anticholinergic properties, and benzodiazepines such as Valium, Xanax and Librium.

Pain Relief After a Car Crash: Opioids or NSAIDs?

Now that opioid prescribing is under fire, what should ER docs do? Read More...

Emergency room (ER) doctors often see patients after a car accident, and pain may need to be treated. But which agents work for pain, and which are the safest? Researchers at Brown University assessed 948 people for pain six weeks after being treated in an ER and released following a car crash. Overall, they found the risk of persistent pain was about the same whether patients took opioids like Oxycontin or Percocet or NSAIDs such as Advil or Motrin. Those prescribed opioids narcotics, which can be addictive, were 17.5 percent more likely to still be taking the drugs after six weeks.

Skyrocketing Insulin Prices Leave Many Diabetics With Few Options

In many areas of Europe, insulin costs one-sixth of what it does in the United States Read More...

Insulin is a life-saving medication all type I and many type 2 diabetics need to maintain safe blood sugar levels. However, the cost of the injection, which was discovered decades ago, has soared closed to 700 percent over the last 20 years. Insulin’s price rise, along with that of other life-saving allergy drugs such as Epipen, have led to a call for action in the U.S. In fact, The American Diabetes Association (ADA) has asked Congress to hold hearings about the dramatic increase in insulin prices. A lack of price transparency, annual formulary changes, and new insulin approvals often make it difficult for patients or doctors to know what the drug really costs.