Major drop in prescription of opioids in the U.S.The number of opioid prescriptions dropped 12% in 2017 in the U.S., the steepest fall registered in the country since 1992, daily El País reported on Saturday.
According to a report by Iqvia consulting, increased control of opioids use in the U.S. both by healthcare authorities and physicians has resulted in the biggest fall in the use of these drugs since records began. This is good news in the context of a true “epidemic” of abuse which has been linked to over 150 deaths each day, the newspaper reported.
Over the past few years, the country has struggled to understand how it is possible that opioids have caused more deaths than traffic accidents each year, or those of U.S. soldiers in the Vietnam war, which lasted more than a decade.
Addiction to opioids has its origins in the 1990s, when these potent analgesics started to be widely prescribed. Millions of patients sought illegal, dangerous substitutes when prescriptions stopped or they felt the need to increase doses, El País said.
Besides a lack of control by healthcare authorities, many have accused doctors and pharma of deceiving the public about the risk of addiction to these medicines. It is estimated that the U.S. accounts for 30% of the global opioids market, despite accounting for only slightly over 4% of the world’s population, El País noted.
The role of innovative drugsOn Tuesday, daily La Razón carried an editorial signed by a renowned Spanish physician, Bartolomé Beltrán, about the role of innovative drugs.
Foundation demands access to OrkambiThe Oliver Mayor Foundation against cystic fibrosis has denounced lack of access to Vertex Pharmaceuticals’ Orkambi (lumacaftor/ivacaftor), daily 20 Minutos and a number of regional newspapers reported on Tuesday.
Despite its being approved in the EU for two years and being the only drug which treats the cause of the disease instead of merely alleviating its symptoms, it has not been approved for reimbursement in Spain, 20 Minutos reported.
The newspaper quoted pneumologist Antonio José Aguilar as regretting that the 200 cystic fibrosis patients with two copies of the F508del mutation who could benefit from this therapy will continue to receive palliative care and antibiotics and face the possibility of having to undergo a lung transplant.
Pfizer’s Mylotarg approved in the EUPfizer’s Myotarg (gemtuzumab ozogamicin) has been approved in the EU for acute myeloid leukaemia, medical journals Diario Médico, IM Médico Hospitalario and Acta Sanitaria reported on Wednesday. (APMHE 57805)
Diario Médico quoted Cecilia Guzmán, medical director of the oncology division in Pfizer Spain, as saying: “This great advance is the result of the collaboration between Pfizer and scientists from all over the world”.
New drug prevents metastases in colorectal cancerAn experimental drug developed by researchers has successfully prevented liver metastases in mice with colorectal cancer, daily ABC reported on Wednesday.
The research, carried out by a team at the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) in California, has been published in the journal Cell Reports, ABC added.
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