AHIP praised the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the constitutionality of the inter partes patent review process, noting its importance for preventing inappropriate tactics to prolong patent monopolies on brand-name drugs. "By upholding a faster and less costly patent review process, the Supreme Court has protected an important pathway that allows generic prescription drugs to get to patients faster. Generic drugs increase competition and choice in the market, which helps to lower drug prices," the group said.
A combination of 400 milligrams of ibuprofen and 1,000 milligrams of acetaminophen relieves dental pain better than prescription opioids and causes fewer side effects, according to a review of more than 460 published studies. The findings, published in The Journal of the American Dental Association, suggest that use of common nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, with or without acetaminophen, "offers the most favorable balance between benefits and harms, optimizing efficacy while minimizing acute adverse events," study co-author Anita Aminoshariae said.
The FDA said it is re-evaluating the safety of Nuplazid, the only medication approved to treat hallucinations and delusions tied to Parkinson's disease psychosis, after it was linked to hundreds of deaths. An analysis by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices showed that during the first 10 months Nuplazid was available, 244 deaths were reported involving Nuplazid as a "suspect" medication, and reported deaths now number more than 700, according to the FDA.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists this week recommended women receive treatment for a "fourth trimester," beginning within three weeks of birth and focusing on maternal physical, social and psychological well-being. The recommendation for ongoing care, published in Obstetrics & Gynecology, called for an initial postpartum assessment and follow-up to include issues such as emotional well-being, infant care, sexuality, contraception and sleep.
A House subcommittee voted to advance 57 bills aimed at combating the opioid abuse epidemic, but some Democrats are worried that they were not given enough time to review the impact of the bills, many of which are still in draft form. Some of the bills, which will be brought to the House Energy and Commerce Committee in the next few weeks, would provide grants to local, state and federal agencies to establish or operate laboratories to better detect fentanyl; grant the FDA the authority to catch overseas shipments of fentanyl and other illegal opioids; and ask the FDA to establish regulatory guidance on the development of nonaddictive painkillers.
People who took anticholinergic drugs for Parkinson's disease, depression and urinary incontinence for at least a year had about a 30% higher risk of developing dementia than those who didn't take anticholinergics, researchers reported in The BMJ. However, the study found no increased odds of dementia among those who received anticholinergics for asthma and gastrointestinal disorders.
A study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that long-term use of proton pump inhibitors was associated with increased risk of pneumonia among older patients. The study, based on primary care data from a British database, included 75,050 individuals aged 60 and older who used PPIs for at least a year, and the researchers uncovered one excess pneumonia case for every 420 patients receiving the drugs.
The Federal Communications Commission's program administrator announced proposed funding cuts to health care providers who participate in the Rural Health Care Program, which supports broadband access for participants. The American Hospital Association expressed opposition to the move and urged the agency to "fully fund qualified applicants under the RHC program for fiscal year 2017 and to take steps to permanently adjust the cap to prevent similar funding cuts in the future."
A data brief from the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics showed a decrease in the number of US females ages 10 to 14 who gave birth from 2000 to 2016. The birth rate for this group reached a record low in 2015 and 2016, at 0.2 births per 1,000 females, down from 0.9 births per 1,000 females in 2000.
Amid questions about his conduct as White House physician, Dr. Ronny Jackson withdrew from consideration to serve as Veterans Affairs secretary. Jackson denied accusations regarding alcohol use and improper distribution of medications.
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