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Weekly Drug News Round Up - September 26, 2012

Efforts to Combat Prescription Drug Abuse Paying Off in Young Adults

Prescription drug abuse among children and adults remains unchanged, as does the use of illicit drugs Read More...

Prescription drug abuse is an epidemic of untold proportion in the U.S. This week in the 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health it was reported that prescription drug abuse among young adults ages 18 to 25 fell 14 percent between 2010 and 2011. Young adults who abused prescription drugs including narcotics in the last month decreased from 2 million to 1.7 million. In addition, rates of drinking in the past month among underage people continued to decline from 2002. However, marijuana remains the most commonly used illegal drug in U.S. and goes up from 6 percent in 2007 to 7 percent in 2011.

Prolia Approved For Men With Osteoporosis and High Fracture Risk

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, two million U.S. men have osteoporosis and another 12 million are at risk Read More...

Osteoporosis-related fractures are usually associated with post-menopausal women, but men are at risk, too. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Prolia (denosumab) as a treatment to increase bone mass in men with osteoporosis and at high risk for fracture. In a placebo-controlled, Phase 3 trial in 242 men with low bone mineral density, Prolia 60 milligram subcutaneous injection given every six months resulted in significantly greater gains at the lumbar spine when compared to placebo (5.7 percent vs. 0.9 percent). Prolia is also approved for treatment of postmenopausal women with osteoporosis at high risk for fracture.

Deaths Related to General Anesthesia Drop Ninety Percent

Vast improvements are noted in general anesthesia safety since the 1970’s Read More...

Canadian researchers have reported in a meta-analysis published in The Lancet  that deaths due to general anesthesia over the last 50 years have dramatically dropped worldwide in developed countries. Before the 1970s, roughly 357 out of every one million patients died from complications due to anesthesia, but from the 1990s to 2000s that number dropped to 34 patients per one million. Using data from 87 studies and 21.4 million cases over 60 years, the researchers focused on the two days after surgery. Researchers found that although more complicated surgeries take place now, the odds of dying from general anesthesia has dropped about 90 percent. Common agents used in general anesthesia include propofol and isoflurane, sevoflurane or desflurane.

U.S. Preventative Task Force Recommends Screening Adults for Alcohol Misuse

Primary care doctors should ask patients about their drinking habits and provide counseling to those who misuse alcohol Read More...

An estimated 30 percent of people in the United States misuse alcohol, which includes binge drinking and alcohol dependence. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has found that screening and intervention can help adults who drink more than the recommended amount of alcohol. The Task Force reviewed an analysis of 23 studies on screening and behavioral counseling interventions among people who misuse alcohol. The studies found that adults drank 3.6 fewer drinks per week and that 12 percent fewer adults reported heavy drinking episodes one year after counseling intervention.

Mylan Launches First Time Generic Diovan HCT

Mylan is shipping generic valsartan/hydrochlorothiazide immediately

Mylan Pharmaceuticals has received approval for the antihypertensive agent valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide tablets (Diovan HCT) in 80/12.5, 160/12.5, 320/12.5, and 320/25 milligram strengths. The brand product Diovan HCT is manufactured by Novartis and was ranked 36th in U.S. sales in Q2 2012 with revenues of over $400 million, although those numbers are expected to drop. Mylan also has 168 abbreviated new drug applications worth over $77 billion in annual sales pending FDA approval. Valsartan/hydrochlorothiazide tablets are indicated for patients whose hypertension is not adequately controlled with one agent, or for patients who initially will need multiple agents to control their blood pressure.