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Weekly Drug News Round-Up: November 4, 2015

FDA Clears Nucala Injection for Severe Asthma

Common side effects include headache, injection site reactions, back pain, and weakness Read More...

FDA has approved GlaxoSmithkline’s Nucala (mepolizumab) for the maintenance treatment of severe eosinophilic asthma, in conjunction with other asthma treatments in patients 12 years and older. Nucala is approved for patients who have a history of severe asthma attacks (exacerbations) despite receiving their current asthma medicines. The agent blocks interleukin-5 (IL-5) and reduces inflammatory-producing white blood cell accumulation in the lungs. Mepolizumab is given via subcutaneous injection every 4 weeks. FDA approved the adolescent use despite a previous advisory committee recommendation against it due to efficacy and safety concerns.

COPD Combo Utibron Neohaler Wins Approval

Novartis states that Utibron Neohaler will be available in the first quarter of 2016 Read More...

Chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD) is a group of lung disorders that impair airflow and make breathing exceedingly difficult over time. As a new treatment for COPD, FDA has approved Utibron Neohaler (glycopyrrolate and indacaterol), a twice-daily, long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA) and long-acting beta2-adrenergic agonist (LABA) fixed-dose combination for COPD maintenance treatment. In 12-week trials, Utibron Neohaler showed improvements in lung function compared to its individual components and placebo, all given twice-a-day.

FDA Approves Novartis Seebri Neohaler for COPD

Seebri Neohaler comes as an inhaler device with capsules that contain 15.6 mcg of glycopyrrolate inhalation powder Read More...

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Seebri Neohaler (glycopyrrolate), a long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA) for the maintenance treatment of airflow obstruction in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including chronic bronchitis and/or emphysema. Glycopyrrolate is an anticholinergic agent that works by relaxing airway muscles around the lungs to help prevent wheezing, cough, chest tightness, and shortness of breath. Seebri Neohaler is used twice a day via a low resistance inhaler, which improves inhalation for patients with various severities of airflow limitation. Seebri Neohaler is not to be used as a rescue inhaler for acute symptoms.

Polypharmacy On The Rise in the U.S.

According to researchers, many drugs are being used to treat preventable conditions Read More...

A recent study in published in the Journal of the American Medical Association points out that Americans are using more prescription drugs than last decade. Researchers noted that 59 percent of adults used prescription drugs in 2011-2012, an 8 point climb from 51 percent in 1999-2000. Fifteen percent of these adults took 5 or more prescription drugs. Drugs included on the list included simvastatin (Zocor) for high cholesterol, drugs for high blood pressure like lisinopril, metformin for type 2 diabetes, and agents like omeprazole (Prilosec) for acid reflux. Not surprisingly, many drugs were used to treat preventable conditions like obesity and diabetes.

Should Docs Drop or Build Trust With Families Who Don’t Vaccinate?

Public concerns seem to have risen especially since the Disneyland measles outbreak this year Read More…

A shocking survey published in Pediatrics this week brings forth an ethical and medical debate: 1 in 5 doctors drop families from their practice who refuse to vaccinate. Physicians in the South and Northeast appear to be most inflexible. Doctors say they feel pressure from parents who do not want to expose their children to unvaccinated kids in the clinics. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) both discourage this strategy, instead asking doctors to help build trust with the families for eventual vaccination of the children.