Harvard Health Publications releases swine flu report
BOSTON Appearing in such remote locations as Texas, New Zealand and Israel, the swine flu has sparked global fears of a worldwide pandemic reminiscent of the Spanish flu pandemic that killed as many as 50 million people worldwide in 1918 and 1919.
Health experts say the pandemic hasn’t arrived yet, and they note that people in 1918 didn’t have access to things like antiviral medications and breathing machines. Still, governments are responding rapidly, and the Harvard Medical School has issued a special report on how and why the virus is threatening and what people can do if it reaches their communities.
Harvard Health Publications, a division of the school, has released a report titled “Swine Flu: How to understand your risk and protect your health.” The report explains what the illness is, how it’s diagnosed and treated, and how families and businesses can protect themselves against it. The report can be purchased and downloaded as a PDF for $18 from the HHP Web site at www.health.harvard.edu/sf.
FDA, SAMHSA to develop education campaign for methadone
ROCKVILLE, Md. A drug used to treat pain and heroin addiction is one of the most-abused prescription drugs in the country, but two government agencies will collaborate to educate the public on how to use it safety.
The Food and Drug Administration and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration announced Monday that they would launch a joint education campaign within SAMHSA about the safe use of methadone.
The agencies will hold a press conference Tuesday morning to mark the launch of the program.
Decision Resources releases bipolar depression report
WALTHAM, Mass. Psychiatrists treating patients with bipolar depression base their prescribing decisions on a therapy’s effect on decrease in severity of depressive symptoms, a report released Monday has found.
Decision Resources’ report, “Bipolar Depression: Despite Negative Results, Physicians Still Hopeful About Aripiprazole,” based on a survey of psychiatrists in the United States and Europe, also found that an orally administered drug that carries a lower risk of weight gain than AstraZeneca’s Seroquel (quetiapine fumarate) would earn a 21% patient share in bipolar depression in the United States and a 30% share in Europe.
Most of the people interviewed also thought that Abilify (aripiprazole), made by Bristol-Myers Squibb and Otsuka Pharmaceutical, is an efficacious therapy for bipolar depression despite its failure in clinical trials of people with the disorder.