Press review

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Sanofi’s painkiller Nolotil at the top of Spain’s best-seller medicines

MADRID, 15 Mar (APM) - Sanofi’s painkiller Nolotil (metamizole magnesium) was the best-selling drug in Spain's community pharmacies in 2018, it was widely reported on Thursday.
Four painkillers were at the top of the list of top-selling drugs, namely Nolotil followed by Menarini’s Skudexum (tramadol+dexketoprofen, marketed under the name Enantyum in Spain), Kern’s paracetamol and Cinfa’s paracetamol, according to a report by pharmacists’ association FEFE, daily El País reported.
Average spending on drugs rose 2.3% in January 2019 from the same period last year, El País noted.
Whereas Nolotil was the best-selling drug by units, Sanofi’s low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) Lovenox (enoxaparin, marketed under the name Clexane in Spain) was the best-seller in value, the newspaper added.
According to FEFE’s report, the prices of new approved medicines in 2018 have only had “little influence” in drug expenditure in community pharmacies. El País quoted the report as saying: “Drug expenditure in community pharmacies is highly restrained, and has been surpassed by drug expenditure in hospitals.”
The ranking of too-selling drugs in 2018 has not changed from the previous year and there is only one change in the list compared to that of 2016, medical journal Redacción Médica reported.
Dailies 20 Minutos, Público, El Español and a number of regional newspapers also covered the story.

Monthly injection shows promise in HIV - conference

Data from two studies presented at the annual Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Washington support the use of monthly injections to treat HIV, daily El País reported on Tuesday.
The FLAIR and ATLAS trials showed non inferiority of injectable once-monthly treatment with ViiV’s experimental integrase inhibitor cabotegravir and Janssen's Edurant (rilpivirine) to achieve maintained viral suppression for at least six months compared to the standard of care treatment - three oral drugs taken daily -, El País added.
Even though the drugs used in this therapy regimen are known, the new form of administration and the possibility of reducing the number of doses make this approach extremely interesting by specialists because it has the potential to improve treatment adherence, the newspaper said.
El País quoted Marisa Montes, member of the board of the Spanish Society of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology as saying both studies have solid data which are extremely relevant for patients.

Most pills include useless, harmful ingredients - MIT study

A new study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Brigham and Women’s Hospital has found that most pills and capsules sold in the U.S. contain at least one ingredient that can cause adverse reactions in certain patients, financial El Economista reported on Thursday.
The authors of the study noted that most of these substances are inactive ingredients, "used to improve taste or achieve a longer expiry date". A total of 354,597 inactive ingredients were identified in 42,052 oral medicines included in the analysis, the financial added.
El Economista quoted author Giovanni Traverso as saying: “The last thing physicians want is to prescribe drugs which can cause adverse or allergic reactions.”

Supply shortages of Bayer’s cardio aspirin

Bayer has informed Spanish regulator AEMPS of supply shortages of its cardio aspirin Adiro, which will not be rectified before the end of 2019, medical journal Redacción Médica and a number of regional newspapers reported on Tuesday.
Supply shortages affect now 100mg and 300mg formulations of Adiro. A total of 2,569 community pharmacies have reported shortages of the 300mg formulation, which makes Adiro the drug affected most by supply shortages in the first week of March, according to the Council General of Official Pharmacists Colleges, Redacción Médica reported.
Regional newspapers carried updates of supply shortages in their respective territories.

Roche’s Hemlibra approved in severe haemophilia

Roche has announced that the European Commission has approved Hemlibra (emicizumab) for routine prophylaxis of bleeding episodes in adults and children with severe haemophilia A without factor VIII inhibitors, medical journals Diario Médico, IM Médico Hospitalario, Acta Sanitaria, Redacción Médica, Europa Press agency and financial El Economista reported on Thursday.
The approval is based on results from the HAVEN 3 and HAVEN 4 studies and it will allow a higher number of patients to be treated with this medicine, Diario Médico reported. (APMHE 62256)
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