Early treatment for addiction leads to normal pregnancy
OAKLAND, Calif. Pregnant women who receive treatment for tobacco, alcohol and illegal drug abuse early in their pregnancies get results as good as those of women without drug abuse problems, a Kaiser Permanente study reported.
Researchers looked at 49,985 women in the HMO’s prenatal care program, and examined use of cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin.
The researchers compared a control group of 46,553 women with no signs of substance abuse to 2,073 who were screened, assessed and received ongoing treatment at 21 Kaiser Permanente outpatient obstetric clinics in northern California between 1999 and 2003. A further 1,203 were screened and assessed but received brief treatment. The remaining 156 were screened but refused assessment and treatment.
The results showed that the risk of complications such as stillbirth, separation of the placental lining from the uterus and low birth weight were several times higher in the 156 women who refused treatment than in the ones who received ongoing treatment.
“The key message here to women who are currently smoking, drinking or using other drugs, or who recently tried to stop, is that it is not too late to seek help when you find out you are pregnant,” said Nancy Goler, an obstetrician and gynecologist with Kaiser Permanente.
Study: pharmacist monitoring can help hypertension
SEATTLE An experiment by the Seattle-based Group Health Cooperative has found that Web-based monitoring by pharmacists can help control hypertension.
It found that 56 percent of patients assigned home blood pressure monitoring, Web site training and Web-based pharmacist care experienced increases in control of blood pressure. Those who received the blood pressure monitoring and Web site training only did not experience a significant increase.
The study involved 778 patients ages 25 to 75 in three groups with uncontrolled essential hypertension and Internet access between June 2005 and December 2007.
Results of the study appeared in Wednesday’s issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Genzyme, Isis complete license agreement for cholesterol drug
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. Genzyme and Isis Pharmaceuticals announced Tuesday that they had finished a license and collaboration agreement for mipomersen, a drug candidate designed for patients with high cholesterol.
Under the agreement, Genzyme will pay Isis $175 million in licensing fees. Isis will contribute up to $175 million for development. After that, the two companies will share development costs. Isis may also receive up to $1.5 billion in commercial, development and regulatory milestone payments. Genzyme will have preferred access to future drugs that Isis develops for rare diseases and diseases affecting the central nervous system.
The companies will share profits for the drug, with Genzyme receiving 70 percent and Isis receiving 30 percent. They will split profits equally once revenues on mipomersen reach $2 billion. Genzyme will also be responsible for funding sales and marketing until revenues can cover them.
“Mipomersen is an innovative treatment that has the potential to change the standard of care for severely ill patients whose needs cannot be addressed by current cholesterol-lowering therapies,” said Henri A. Termeer, Genzyme’s chairman and chief executive officer.