Drug Development

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Ragweed-Allergies-042114.jpg Ragwitek, a once-a-day tablet, has been approved by the FDA to treat allergies to ragweed in adults aged 18 to 65. The drug contains an extract from short ragweed pollen to treat short ragweed pollen induced allergic rhinitis (hay fever), with or without conjunctivitis (eye inflammation). "The approval of Ragwitek offers millions of adults living with ragweed pollen allergies . . ."

Free drug samples may be costly in the long run, according to a new study from researchers at Stanford. For the study the researchers worked with a team of dermatologists to see how free samples impact their prescribing practices. In 2010 they found that 18 percent of all prescriptions from the dermatologist group included a free sample of some drug.

diabetes-041614.jpg The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's have approved a once-weekly injectable diabetes drug, Tanzeum. The FDA described Tanzeum (albiglutide) as a "glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist, a hormone that helps normalize patients' blood sugar levels. Tanzeum "can be used alone or added to existing treatment regimens to control blood sugar levels in the overall management of diabetes."

PrescriptionPills-041014.jpg Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs [NSAIDs] have been linked to a heart condition called atrial fibrillation, according to research conducted at the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam. The study, published in BMJ Open, found that the risk for atrial fibrillation may increase up to 84% for those taking NSAIDs. Atrial fibrillation causes the upper chambers of the heart to beat irregularly.

marijuana-122012.jpg Medical marijuana may ease symptoms caused by multiple sclerosis, according to research conducted at the American Academy of Neurology. The study, published in the journal Neurology, found that taking the drug in pill or oral spray form may reduce spasticity and bladder symptoms in MS patients. The new guidelines from the AAN add that smoking marijuana has little effect on those same symptoms.

Almost half of all Americans believe that the government and corporations are involved in medical conspiracies, according to research conducted at the University of Chicago. The study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, claims 49% of those questioned believed at least one of six conspiracy theories presented.

zocor-031914.jpg High doses of Zocor, the cholesterol-lowering drug simvastatin, could help slow the progression of multiple sclerosis, according to a small, early study from England. In patients with the secondary progressive (chronic) stage of multiple sclerosis, brain shrinkage was reduced 43 percent for those taking Zocor compared to patients taking placebos, researchers of the report published.