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Weekly Drug News Round Up - October 14, 2015

Opdivo Gains New Indication for Additional Lung Cancer Type

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States Read More...

This week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration expanded the approved indications for Opdivo (nivolumab) to treat patients with advanced non-squamous (metastatic) non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose disease progressed during or after platinum-based chemotherapy. Opdivo is also approved to treat metastatic melanoma and advanced squamous non-small cell lung cancer. In clinical trials, patients treated with Opdivo lived an average of 12.2 months compared to 9.4 months in those treated with docetaxel (Taxotere). The FDA also approved the PD-L1 IHC 28-8 pharmDx test to detect PD-L1 levels and help identify patients that may most benefit from Opdivo.

MorphaBond Abuse-Deterrent Tablets Approved

The epidemic of prescription painkiller abuse in the U.S has prompted development of abuse-deterrent opioids Read More...

Morphine is a highly addictive and potentially abusable narcotic analgesic. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Inspirion's MorphaBond (morphine sulfate), an extended-release, abuse-deterrent, opioid analgesic for the treatment of pain severe enough to require daily, around-the-clock, long-term opioid treatment. MorphaBond has properties that are expected to reduce abuse or misuse via injection or nasal insufflation (snorting). In addition, if the tablets are exposed to liquid, a viscous material is formed which is difficult to inject. Common side effects of MorphaBond include constipation, dizziness, sedation, nausea, vomiting, sweating, dysphoria, and euphoric mood.

Essure Birth Control Implant Linked With Increased Risk for Reoperation

Researchers estimate over 10,000 U.S. Essure patients required reoperations over the past few years Read More...

Essure is a long-term implantable birth control device FDA-approved in 2002. It works to prevent conception by blocking the fallopian tubes with metallic coils. However, in a new study, researchers found a 10 times greater risk of women needing a reoperation during the first year for Essure compared to those who had minimally invasive surgery for sterilization. In September, an FDA panel reviewed Essure safety. Abdominal pain is the side effect most often reported by women, followed by heavier menstrual periods. Other reports of serious complications, such as coils that pierced the fallopian tubes and lodge in other organs, have also been noted.

More Evidence That Calcium Supplements Linked With Kidney Stone Risk

If a doctor has advised you to take calcium, do not stop taking it on your own Read More...

If you have a history of kidney stones, you might want to check with your doctor before starting an over-the-counter calcium supplement. Kidney stones develop when high levels of crystal-forming substances -- such as calcium, uric acid and oxalate -- build up in the urine. Most kidney stones contain calcium, and a new study adds to the evidence that calcium supplements may contribute to kidney stones. However, research since the 1990’s has found that patients can actually lower their risk of kidney stone recurrences by getting the recommended daily amount of calcium -- but from food, not supplements.

1 in 8 U.S. Kids Not Protected Against Measles: Report

This year there have been 189 cases of measles and 5 outbreaks in the US Read More…

Researchers from Emory University in Atlanta have analyzed a national survey of immunizations among U.S. adolescents from 2008 to 2013. They estimated that of the roughly 70 million children under the age of 17, almost 9 million lack immunity to measles. Some children cannot be vaccinated, whereas others are unvaccinated or undervaccinated. Shockingly, preschool children have the lowest levels of immunity, while older children seem to have adequate “herd” immunity at roughly 92 percent. Continued low vaccination rates could result in more sustained U.S. measles outbreaks due to importation from foreign visitors.