On the Watch
The role of pharmacists evolving in the team-based approach to medical care
Pharmacists can play an influential role in ensuring patient access to quality health care by both encouraging and enhancing patient medication adherence and increasing patient knowledge of their disease states and medication therapies.
On the Watch
Drugs in Context: Farxiga
Antidiabetic drugs are considered to be first-line treatment options for individuals with type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus. It is estimated that type 2 diabetes affects about 24 million persons in the United States. Over time high blood levels can
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  • First long-term treatment for DME approved by FDA

  • FDA has approved fluocinolone acetonide intravitreal implant (Iluvien, Alimera) 0.19 mg for the treatment of diabetic macular edema (DME) in patients who have been previously treated with a course of corticosteroids and did not have a clinically significant rise in intraocular pressure (IOP). Iluvien was approved without any restriction requiring patients to have undergone, or be scheduled for, cataract surgery.
  • Pertuzumab regimen extends lives in HER2-positive breast cancer

  • Adding pertuzumab (Perjeta, Roche) to trastuzumab (Herceptin, Genentech) and docetaxel chemotherapy extended the lives (overall survival; OS) of people with previously untreated HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer by 15.7 months compared to Herceptin and chemotherapy (median OS: 56.5 vs. 40.8 months), according to data presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology 2014 congress in Madrid, Spain.
  • FDA approves subcutaneous injection opioid-induced constipation in chronic non-cancer pain

  • FDA approved methylnaltrexone bromide (Relistor, Salix Pharmaceuticals and Progenics Pharmaceuticals) subcutaneous injection, 12 mg/0.6 mL, for the treatment of opioid-induced constipation (OIC) in patients taking opioids for chronic non-cancer pain.
  • FDA: Slightly elevated risk of cardiovascular, cerebrovascular issues with Xolair

  • An FDA review of safety studies suggests a slightly increased risk of problems involving the heart and blood vessels supplying the brain among patients being treated with the asthma drug omalizumab (Xolair, Genentech) than in those who were not treated with omalizumab. As a result, FDA has added information about these potential risks to the drug label.
  • FDA approves updated label changes for Chantix

  • FDA has approved updated label changes for the smoking cessation drug, varenicline (Chantix, Pfizer).
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