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Monday 18 February 2019
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Topic: *** Editor's Pick

January 29, 2019
The supply of medicines will be prioritised over ‘vital food’ in the event of a no-deal Brexit, according to health secretary Matt Hancock.

The supply of medicines will be prioritised over "vital food" in the event of a no-deal Brexit, according to health secretary Matt Hancock.
 

January 25, 2019
Pharmacists will play a crucial role in the Government’s bid to cut antibiotic use by 15%, according to its five-year national plan to tackle antimicrobial resistance.

Pharmacists will play a crucial role in the Government’s bid to cut antibiotic use by 15%, according to its five-year national plan to tackle antimicrobial resistance.
 
The document, published yesterday (24 January) alongside a 20-year vision, outlines a number of actions aimed at reducing drug resistance by ensuring people take fewer antibiotics.
 

January 23, 2019
Those aged 18-29 are the most likely to suffer an asthma attack and least likely to receive life-saving asthma care than any other age group, research has revealed.

Those aged 18-29 are the most likely to suffer an asthma attack and least likely to receive life-saving asthma care than any other age group, research has revealed.
 
Two-thirds (67%) of patients in this group are not receiving basic asthma care – higher than any other age group – a survey of more than 10,000 asthma patients by the charity Asthma UK revealed.
 
Patients in this age group are also twice as likely to receive emergency asthma care than patients aged over 60, the charity said.
 

January 21, 2019
The National Institute of health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended Verzenios (abemaciclib) in combination with an aromatase inhibitor (AI) to treat metastatic breast cancer

The National Institute of health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended Verzenios (abemaciclib) in combination with an aromatase inhibitor (AI) to treat metastatic breast cancer.

Eli Lilly and Company announced on 18 January that the drug is recommended by NICE within its marketing authorisation as an option for treating locally advanced or metastatic, hormone receptor- positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative breast cancer as first endocrine-based therapy in adults.

January 17, 2019
Erleada™ (apalutamide) offers a new treatment option for men with non-metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer who are at high risk of metastatic disease
Janssen has announced that the European Commission (EC) has licensed Erleada (apalutamide), for the treatment of men with non-metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (nmCRPC) who are at high risk of developing metastatic disease.
 
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK,1 resulting in over 47,000 diagnoses each year, or 129 each day.2
 
January 16, 2019
A university has been given more than £2m to conduct research into opiod overprescribing in the NHS.

A university has been given more than £2m to conduct research into opiod overprescribing in the NHS.
 

January 15, 2019
Academics and health professionals are combining their expertise to trial new technology which could speed up the diagnosis and treatment for thousands of hepatitis and HIV patients
 
Late diagnosis of blood-borne viruses (BBV), such as HIV and hepatitis, remains high in the UK despite efforts to increase testing among those at risk of infection.
 
Experts at Teesside University and South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have developed a new software application to assist GPs and health-care workers to make decisions about BBV- testing in real time.
 
January 15, 2019
Sheffield Teaching Hospitals is one of 20 UK sites participating in a groundbreaking trial looking at whether an anti-sickness drug commonly given to patients having cancer treatments such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy could improve the lives of patients living with irritable bowel syndrome
Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has been named as one of 20 UK sites involved in a landmark trial assessing whether a drug commonly used to prevent nausea and sickness after surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy could help treat patients suffering with the agonising symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
 
January 8, 2019
New plans for the NHS to tackle ‘killer conditions’ such as strokes and heart attacks could save up to half a million lives, the UK’s Government has announced.

The NHS Long Term Plan, published today (7 January) outlines how over three million people will be treated from new stroke, respiratory and cardiac services over the next decade.
 
The measures, supported by £4.5bn in new service model funding, will help prevent over 150,000 heart attacks, strokes and cases of dementia, according to the plan.
 
Measures in the plan will also help over three million people through improved stroke, respiratory and cardiac services over the next 10 years, it said.
 

January 7, 2019
If approved, ustekinumab will be the first interleukin (IL)-12/23 inhibitor licensed for the treatment of ulcerative colitis

Janssen has announced the submission of a Group Type II Variation Application to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) seeking approval of Stelara® (ustekinumab) for the treatment of adults with moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis (UC).

Ustekinumab is a human monoclonal antibody that targets the interleukin (IL)-12 and IL-23 cytokines, which are believed to play an important role in the immune and inflammatory responses seen in immune-mediated diseases, such as UC and Crohn’s disease.1

December 17, 2018
Omalizumab prefilled syringe is the first and only biologic to receive European Commission approval for self-administration in severe allergic asthma and chronic spontaneous urticaria
Novartis has announced that the European Commission (EC) has approved Xolair® (omalizumab) prefilled syringe (PFS) for self-administration, allowing patients with severe allergic asthma (SAA) and chronic spontaneous urticaria (CSU) to administer their own treatment.
 
With this approval, Xolair is the first and only biologic to offer the option of self-administration for SAA and CSU.
 
December 17, 2018
The study results indicate the need for a personalised approach to delirium in the ICU
A population heath study from the Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University Center for Aging Research has determined that haloperidol, the drug most commonly used to treat delirium in hospital medical and surgical intensive care units (ICUs), did not benefit elective thoracic surgery ICU patients when given prophylactically, with the possible exception of those who have had surgery to remove their oesophagus.
 
The study results indicate the need for a personalised approach to delirium in the ICU.
 
December 13, 2018
The role of NGS in myeloid neoplasms with a focus on the broad utility of variants and a brief introduction to blood disorders, NGS and the considerations for testing clonal myeloid malignancies is discussed
Myeloid malignancies are complex clonal diseases arising in haematopoietic stem or progenitor cells. These heterogenous disorders comprise many different subtypes such as myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN), myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative neoplasms (MDS/MPN) and acute myeloid leukaemia (AML).
 
December 12, 2018
The Government has chosen England’s chief pharmacist to look into ‘problematic’ overprescribing in the NHS, it has announced.

The Government has chosen England’s chief pharmacist to look into "problematic" overprescribing in the NHS, it has announced.
 

December 11, 2018
A no-deal Brexit could create disruption over importing and exporting medicines at the Anglo-French border for up to six months, the Government has predicted.

A no-deal Brexit could create disruption over importing and exporting medicines at the Anglo-French border for up to six months, the Government has predicted.
 
In a letter published on 7 December, health and social care secretary Matt Hancock said Britain exiting the European Union without a deal will "significantly" reduce access across the channel for "up to six months".
 

December 11, 2018
The study was a retrospective analysis of all patients with acute ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction treated at Triemli Hospital in Switzerland between 2000 and 2016

Women are being urged to call an ambulance immediately if they have heart attack symptoms, following research showing they wait longer than men to get help. The study has been published in European Heart Journal: Acute Cardiovascular Care, a publication of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).1

December 10, 2018
Men with inflamed guts are four to five times at risk for prostate cancer and are in need of more careful screening
Men with inflammatory bowel disease have four to five times higher risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer, reports a 20-year study from Northwestern Medicine.
 
This is the first report to show men with inflammatory bowel disease have higher than average PSA (prostate-specific antigen) values, and this group also has a significantly higher risk of potentially dangerous prostate cancer.
 
December 10, 2018
The Joint Cancer Research UK - AstraZeneca Functional Genomics Centre will be a dedicated world-class resource for AstraZeneca and Cancer Research UK’s academics and alliance partners working at all stages of translational research, from target discovery and validation, to assessing novel drug combinations
Cancer Research UK and AstraZeneca have announced that they are opening a new centre in the UK, dedicated to realising the full potential of functional genomics in the discovery and development of new drugs for patients with cancer.
 
This partnership will explore in more detail the function and interaction of genes and proteins in cancer, and apply new genome-altering technologies such as CRISPR, to create sophisticated models of the disease for research.
 
December 7, 2018
Researchers at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have published results showing that online cognitive behavioural therapy can be useful in treating gastrointestinal disorders in children when no physical cause can be found

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) online can be useful in treating gastrointestinal disorders in children when no physical cause can be found.

This is the viewpoint of researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden that is described in a new study published in the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.1

December 6, 2018
Harmonisation of the diagnostic performance of existing serological assays, finding novel markers to reduce the diagnostic limitation of seronegativity and exploring the predictive value of autoantibodies are the major goals of serodiagnostic research in rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a prevalent chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease mainly characterised by joint swelling and pain, affecting approximately 0.5–1% of the population in industrialised countries.1

December 6, 2018
Observations from a recent Phase II trial support further development of ustekinumab as a new therapy for SLE, and results from Phase III trials are awaited

Development of new treatments for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) has been challenging.

Many components of the immune system have been identified as targets for novel therapies, but the majority of the clinical trials have failed. However, many trials are ongoing and some of them have reported promising preliminary results.

December 6, 2018
Delays in taking new cancer drugs through clinical trials and getting them approved for use mean NHS patients are waiting longer to access them, a report by the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) finds.

NHS patients are waiting longer for new cancer drugs because of delays in taking them through clinical trials and getting them approved for use, a new report has revealed.

The average time from when a cancer drug is patented to approval by NICE increased from 12.7 years between 2000-08 to 14.1 years between 2009-16, The Institute of Cancer Research, London (ICR) found.

December 6, 2018
One-year open-label extension study ongoing, with patients already well treated with ABX464 for a total of 5 to 12 months (induction and maintenance study)
Abivax, a biotechnology company harnessing the immune system to develop treatments for inflammatory/autoimmune diseases, infectious diseases and cancer, has announced that the Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) has recommended continuation of its ongoing 12-month open-label maintenance extension study, ABX464-102, continuing its completed randomised, placebo-controlled Phase IIa induction trial, ABX464-101.
 
December 6, 2018
Research shows 31% of medication administration errors in English and Welsh acute care trusts are due to omitted medicine or ingredient.

Three in 10 drug-related deaths occurring in acute care settings are caused by omission, a study has revealed.