Infections that are resistant to anti-bacterial drugs will cause 10 million new deaths every year by 2050, warns a report from the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance [AMR]. The study, commissioned by the U.K. government, estimates that the deaths would claim 2-3.5 percent of GDP worldwide. "The research was commissioned to understand the economic cost of AMR . . ."
Those taking statins for high cholesterol may be at an increased risk of developing cataracts, according to a new study from researchers at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. For the study the researchers collected data from 207,000 adults in the U.S. and Canada between 2000 and 2011. "The benefits of statins are far outweighed by any small risk for cataract surgery."
The narcotic painkiller tramadol (Ultram) has reportedly been linked with sudden drops in blood sugar, according to a new study from researchers at McGill University in Montreal. For the study the researchers collected data about the drug from roughly 300,000 users. Compared with codeine, Tramadol was associated with a 52 increase in the likelihood of hospitalization for low blood sugar.
A new drug called Nivolumab has shown promise as a treatment for Hodgkin's lymphoma in a new clinical trial. The drug leverages the immune system's strength by blocking a protein that can in some cases slow down natural immune defense. The trial took place at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, in Boston and included 23 Hodgkin's patients.
The FDA has reportedly issued approval to a new lymphoblastic leukemia drug called Blincyto (blinatumomab). The drug will specifically serve patients with Philadelphia chromosome-negative precursor B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-cell ALL). The condition is a rare form of cancer in which bone marrow creates an excess number of B-cell lymphoblasts.
It's too late to make a new vaccine for the current flu season, according to the CDC. The CDC says that that one part of this year's flu vaccine is not fully protective against the predominant flu virus, known as influenza A (H3N2). The virus has mutated since last year's shot was made. "Though reduced, this cross-protection might reduce the likelihood of severe outcomes . . ."
The FDA has issued a new labeling system for pregnant women and their doctors, made to make the risks of prescription medicines clearer. According to the government agency, the new system will guard not only pregnant women but new mothers who are breastfeeding. "The new labeling rule provides for explanations, based on available information, about the potential benefits and risks for the mother.
Purdue Pharma LP has won approval from the FDA for its extended release, abuse deterrent hydrocodone painkiller, Hysingla ER. The pill is designed to be difficult to be crushed for snorting and prepared for injection. "While the science of abuse deterrence is still evolving, the development of opioids that are harder to abuse is helpful in addressing the public health crisis . . ."
Over the past decade, the cost of developing a new drug has tripled, now requiring $2.56 billion, according to research conducted at the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development. The study based its results on data on the reports of ten drug companies and 106 experimental products. "This is a very high number," Kenneth I. Kaitin, director of the Tufts center, told the Boston Globe.
The FDA has approved Trumenba, a vaccine that may help prevent the invasive meningococcal disease caused by Neisseria meningitidis serogroup B bacteria. The bacteria is the leading cause of meningitis and is spread through the exchange of oral fluids. "Recent outbreaks of serogroup B meningococcal disease on a few college campuses have heightened concerns for this potentially deadly disease."