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Friday 24 May 2019
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May 23, 2019
Inotersen is the world’s first and only subcutaneous RNA-targeting drug designed to reduce the production of human transthyretin protein
Akcea Therapeutics UK Ltd has announced that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published its final Highly Specialised Technologies (HST) Guidance for Tegsedi® (inotersen) for the treatment of stage 1 or stage 2 polyneuropathy in adult patients with hereditary transthyretin amyloidosis (hATTR).1,2
 
May 22, 2019
Coronary angiography is an invasive procedure that provides an X-ray outline of the arteries supplying blood to the heart but there has been controversy over when to use it

Imaging provides a more precise diagnosis of a heart attack that can be used to individualise treatment. That is the main message of an expert consensus paper published in the European Heart Journal,1 and presented at EuroPCR 2019 in Paris.2
 

May 22, 2019
The worse outcome in women is largely attributable to the fact that women had about half the chance of having a shockable initial rhythm compared to men

Women who have a cardiac arrest outside the hospital setting are less likely to receive resuscitation from bystanders and more likely to die than men, according to new research published in the European Heart Journal.1
 

May 20, 2019
Over 870,000 people have taken part in clinical trials in 2018/2019 and this number marks a significant step towards the NHS Long Term Plan’s goal of reaching one million participants by 2023/24
The past 12 months has shown a positive rise in people benefiting from clinical research in England, as numbers have reached record highs with over 870,000 participants involved in clinical research studies supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) over the last year.
 
May 17, 2019
Pharmacy regulators in Britain and Northern Ireland are considering making the registration assessment the same in all four UK countries.

Pharmacy regulators in Britain and Northern Ireland are considering making the registration assessment the same in all four UK countries.
 

May 17, 2019
Analysing fragments of DNA that are shed by tumours into the bloodstream could indicate early on whether patients are at risk of their cancer spreading, according to new research
Researchers at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust in the UK say ctDNA, a form of liquid biopsy, may be an accurate technique to monitor treatment response in patients with locally advanced rectal cancer, allowing treatment to be adapted or changed earlier to try to prevent the development of metastatic disease.
 
May 17, 2019
A new study describes a method of reprogramming regulatory T cells that usually suppress immune responses into inflammatory cells that not only permit but also intensify an antitumour immune response
A new study from the Center for Immunology and Inflammatory Diseases (CIID) at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) describes a method of reprogramming the regulatory T cells that usually suppress immune responses into inflammatory cells that not only permit but also intensify an antitumour immune response.1 
 
May 16, 2019
Regularly taking glucosamine supplements is linked to a ‘significantly lower risk’ of cardiovascular disease (CVD), a new study has found.

Regularly taking glucosamine supplements is linked to a "significantly lower risk" of cardiovascular disease (CVD), a new study has found.
 
Study participants without cardiovascular disease took regular glucosamine supplements between 2006 and 2016, resulting in fewer CVD events, CVD-related deaths, coronary heart disease and stroke incidences.
 

May 15, 2019
The National Institute for health and Care Excellence (NICE) has reversed its draft decision not to recommend ocrelizumab (Ocrevus, Roche) for treating primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS) in adults.

The National Institute for health and Care Excellence (NICE) has reversed its draft decision not to recommend ocrelizumab (Ocrevus, Roche) for treating primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS) in adults.
 
The decision formed part of final draft guidance on the drug published last week (9 May), following an agreement between NHS England and the manufacturer that will make ocrelizumab available at a lower price.
 
The details of the commercial arrangement are confidential.
 

May 9, 2019
Familial chylomicronaemia syndrome is a debilitating disease caused by impaired function of the enzyme lipoprotein lipase, which causes high circulating levels of triglycerides in the body, leading to extreme abdominal pain and episodes of potentially fatal pancreatitis
Akcea Therapeutics and Ionis Pharmaceuticals have announced that Waylivra (volanesorsen) has received conditional marketing authorisation from the European Commission as an adjunct to diet in adult patients with genetically confirmed familial chylomicronaemia syndrome (FCS) and at high risk for pancreatitis, in whom response to diet and triglyceride lowering therapy has been inadequate.1
 
May 8, 2019
The anti-epileptic drug Epanutin will be out of stock until November in its 50mg Infatabs (phenytoin base) form due to manufacturing delays, Pfizer has announced

The anti-epileptic drug Epanutin will be out of stock until November in its 50mg Infatabs (phenytoin base) form due to manufacturing delays, Pfizer has announced.
 
The pharma company revealed that the drug, which is used to control tonic-clonic seizures and partial seizures or both, had fallen victim to delays "despite best efforts".
 

May 2, 2019
Pancreatic Cancer UK has announced that they are investing £750,000 into developing the first simple test for pancreatic cancer by 2024
Currently, pancreatic cancer is diagnosed by a CT or MRI scan and there is currently no ‘non-invasive’ detection test so a development of one would be welcomed.
 
However, whilst having a bio-marker for the disease is fantastic and something we should be investing in, this will not solve the problem of late diagnosis (which is the major cause for the extremely low survival rate in pancreatic cancer).  
 
April 30, 2019
These analyses report on secondary endpoints from the Stop&Go study, with the main endpoint for second-line being progression-free survival
Continuous chemotherapy shows greater benefit in patients with advanced breast cancer by both improving survival and maintaining quality of life compared to intermittent scheduling, according to analyses of the Stop&Go study presented at the ESMO Breast Cancer Congress 2019.1,2  
 
April 29, 2019
All opioid medicines in the UK will now carry addiction warnings on their labels, the health secretary has announced.

All opioid medicines in the UK will now carry addiction warnings on their labels, the health secretary has announced.
 

April 26, 2019
Pharmacists shouldn’t necessarily tell patients to reduce their egg intake, says Rod Tucker

During the 1960s, the highly successful ‘go to work on an egg’ campaign by the Egg Marketing Board recommended that the best way to start the day was to have an egg for breakfast.
 

April 25, 2019
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is an area of extremely fast development of new treatments and careful attention and pharmaceutical expertise will be required to develop the treatment strategies to deal with the explosive growth of patients diagnosed with NAFLD and NASH
Non alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is going to be the next big challenge for the health economy. 
 
A recent guidance by Public Health England1 reported the high obesity rate among England’s population: two thirds of adults, a quarter of 2-10-year-olds and one third of 11-15-year-olds are obese. The number of people who continue to have unhealthy and potentially dangerous weight is projected to rise and is of considerable public health concern.
 
April 25, 2019
Haemophilia is an X-linked genetic disorder characterised by a deficiency or absence of coagulation factors VIII or IX, resulting in a life-long bleeding disorder

Haemophilia is an X-linked genetic disorder characterised by a deficiency or absence of coagulation factors VIII or IX, resulting in a life-long bleeding disorder.1–7 Haemophilia is also called the ‘Royal disease’ because Queen Victoria was a carrier of haemophilia and her descendants spread the disease among Royal houses throughout Europe.1
 
Types of haemophilia
 
The most common types of haemophilia are:
 

April 25, 2019
This major breakthrough and world-first could hail a new era in the design and production of new antibiotics and anticancer agents
After 20 years of dedicated research, scientists have cracked the chemical code of an incredibly complex 'anti-tumour antibiotic' known to be highly effective against cancer cells as well as drug-resistant bacteria, and have reproduced it synthetically in the lab for the first time.
 
April 23, 2019
Scientists from the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute at The University of Manchester showed that a small volume of blood can contain up-to-date genetic information about a patient's cancer to inform treatment choices

Scientists could help match cancer patients with no other treatment options to clinical trials with experimental medicines, by analysing the genetic faults in a sample of their blood, according to research published in Nature Medicine.
 

April 18, 2019
The Welsh Government will invest £3.6m in 2020/21 to attract and train more pharmacists in Wales, it announced yesterday

The Welsh Government will invest £3.6m in 2020/21 to attract and train more pharmacists in Wales, it announced yesterday (17 April).

April 16, 2019
Standardisation of doses of intravenous chemotherapy agents was initially proposed to improve pharmacy capacity and reduce medication errors and wastage; however, further optimisation of the administration of anticancer drugs can potentially contribute to a more efficient oncology unit

Key points
 
• Dose standardisation can reduce the risk of calculation errors, decrease preparation time, and reduce waste.
 
• Pharmacists play a critical role in the preparation of chemotherapy and the verification of prescriptions.
 
• An analysis of prescriptions by BOPA identified 2.3% errors that could result in patient harm.
 

April 16, 2019
The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) is cracking down on internet pharmacy safety by making these businesses carry out identity checks on patients before they sell them medication

The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) is cracking down on internet pharmacy safety by making these businesses carry out identity checks on patient

April 15, 2019
Equashield’s expansion to the UK highlights the company’s commitment to increasing safety measures for hazardous drug handlers across the globe
Equashield, a leading provider of closed system transfer devices (CSTDs) for hazardous drugs, has announced an expansion of its exclusive partnership with Leaf Medical Ltd to distribute its manual and automated CSTD solutions for the safe compounding and administration of hazardous drugs.
 
April 15, 2019
This collaboration is expected to take several forms, including joint design and implementation of clinical research, working meetings at scientific conferences, cross-entity working groups with diverse functional group participation and clinical trial innovations
The US-based Antibacterial Resistance Leadership Group (ARLG), part of the Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI) and the University Medical Center (UMC) Utrecht, the managing entity of the COMBACTE (Combatting Bacterial Resistance in Europe) consortium, will work together to solidify a comprehensive global community to combat the threat of antibiotic resistance around the world.
 

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