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Weekly Drug News Round Up - September 24, 2014

FDA Approves Eli Lilly’s Trulicity for Type 2 Diabetes

Trulicity is given via a subcutaneous (under the skin) injection administered with a ready-to-use single-dose pen Read More…

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Trulicity (dulaglutide) to improve blood sugar levels, along with diet and exercise, in adults with type 2 diabetes (T2D). Trulicity is a once-weekly, glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist, a hormone that helps normalize blood sugar levels. Trulicity has been studied as monotherapy and in combination with other T2D therapies, including metformin, sulfonylurea, thiazolidinedione, and prandial insulin. Trulicity should not be used in patients with a history of medullary thyroid carcinoma or in patients with multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2. In clinical trials, common side effects included nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and decreased appetite.

Celgene’s Otezla Now Approved for Plaque Psoriasis

Currently, patients with psoriasis are primarily treated with injectable agents like Humira and Enbrel Read More…

Otezla (apremilast) is an oral, selective inhibitor of phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4). Otezla was previously approved in March 2014 for the treatment of adults with active psoriatic arthritis. This week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Otezla for treatment of plaque psoriasis, a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease of the skin. In two pivotal studies, Otezla resulted in a significant improvement in plaque psoriasis at week 16. Side effects of Otezla were diarrhea, nausea, upper respiratory tract infection, tension headache, and headache. Otezla is dispensed through a network of specialty pharmacies.

FDA Warns Doctors of Danger From Counterfeit Drugs

Health care providers are not immune from inadvertently buying fake drugs from rogue wholesalers Read More...

This week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has launched the "Know Your Source" program to educate healthcare providers and administrators about proper drug purchasing procedures. The program aims to protect patients from taking potentially harmful counterfeit drugs. The FDA recommends that healthcare providers only buy prescription drugs from wholesale drug distributors licensed in their states, avoid offers that sound too good to be true, to question aggressive marketing tactics and deep discounts, and to verify that the drugs are indeed FDA-approved. The FDA warns consumers of Internet fraud, too.

Diabetes Drug Metformin May Affect Thyroid

Metformin is used to lower blood sugar (glucose) levels, and it works by reducing glucose production in the liver Read More...

Metformin, a drug commonly used to treat type 2 diabetes, may raise the risk of low levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) among patients with an underactive thyroid, a new study suggests. Low TSH levels can be linked with heart problems and bone fractures, although a cause-and-effect association has not been proven in this study. However, experts question if the results of low TSH levels have clinical significance in this set of patients, and note that the reason for metformin's effect on TSH levels is not known. Researchers suggest additional evidence-based studies should be performed considering the elevated incidence of low TSH levels in metformin users.

Know Your Latest Options: Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatments

Do you know the difference between an NSAID and a DMARD? Read More...

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease that leads to pain, swelling and destruction of joint tissues. RA usually occurs in people between the ages of 20 and 50 years old, but it can affect children and seniors, too. At least three-quarters of people afflicted with RA are women. The treatment of RA has significantly improved in the last 50 years -- treatments have allowed patients to control pain, remain active, and limit progressive joint destruction. In this slideshow, learn more about new treatments including DMARDS, NSAIDS, methotrexate, biologic DMARDs like Humira or Enbrel, and non-TNF biologics like Xeljanz.