PHARMACY

Report: H1N1 may cause seizures in children

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK Health officials announced this week that children infected with H1N1 may experience seizures, according to reports.

The announcement came after four children in Texas were hospitalized after experiencing neurological complications, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. On May 28, the Dallas County Department of Health and Human Services notified CDC of four children with neurologic complications associated with novel influenza A (H1N1) virus infection admitted to hospitals in Dallas County, Texas, during May 18 to 28. The CDC said that from April 22 to July 20, seven possible cases of neurologic complications associated with novel A (H1N1) virus infection were identified.

Because flu-related brain complications are more common in children than adults and swine flu seems to infect children more often than adults, public health experts expect to see more cases of children who develop swine-flu-related neurological complications as the pandemic continues, the New York Times reported.

All of the children have fully recovered, reports said.

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FDA approves additional use for Forteo

BY Alaric DeArment

ROCKVILLE, Md. The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new use for an osteoporosis drug, the agency announced Wednesday.

The FDA said it approved Eli Lilly & Co.’s drug Forteo (teriparatide) as a treatment for glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis in adults with high risk for fracture.

Since 2002, the drug has included a boxed warning – the FDA’s highest warning – about the risk of bone cancer in patients taking it. Because patients with GIO may be younger than the ones who usually take Forteo, the warning will be updated, the agency said.

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Wyeth reports mixed results for Q2

BY Alaric DeArment

MADISON, N.J. Drug maker Wyeth had mixed fortunes during second quarter 2009, according to a financial report released Thursday.

The company reported a 13% increase in diluted earnings per share, but also a 4% decrease to $5.7 billion in global net revenue, though global net revenue increased by 2% when excluding the adverse effects of foreign exchange rates.

Wyeth also reported mixed results for its top-selling products. Sales of the antidepressant Effexor (venlafaxine hydrochloride) decreased by 25% for the quarter, though the children’s pneumococcal vaccine Prevnar (pneumococcal 7-valent conjugate vaccine [diphtheria CRM197 protein]) had a 13% sales increase, while the autoimmune disease drug Enbrel (etanercept) had a 7% increase in U.S. and Canadian sales.

“Wyeth’s results reflect the ongoing strength of our biotechnology and vaccine franchises Enbrel and Prevnar and our nutritionals products, all of which performed strongly around the world,” Wyeth CEO Bernard Poussot said in a statement. “Execution of our medical innovation strategy led to positive revenue growth in constant dollar terms.”

The company’s acquisition by Pfizer, announced earlier this year, received overwhelming support from Wyeth shareholders, the company said, with 98% of votes cast in favor. The acquisition is expected to close at the end of third quarter or during fourth quarter 2009.

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