PHARMACY

Study: High blood-pressure meds associated with increased injury risk from a fall in elderly patients

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO — Medication to treat high blood pressure in older patients appears to be associated with an increased risk for serious injury from falling such as a hip fracture or head injury, especially in older patients who have been injured in previous falls, the JAMA Network Journals reported Monday. 

Most people older than 70 years have high blood pressure, and blood pressure control is key to reducing risk for myocardial infarction and stroke. Previous research has suggested that blood pressure medications may increase risk of falls and fall injuries.

Researchers examined the association between BP medication use and experiencing a serious injury from a fall in 4,961 patients older than 70 years with hypertension. Among the patients, 14.1% took no antihypertensive medications, 54.6% had moderate exposure to BP medications and 31.3% had high exposure.

During a three-year follow-up, 446 patients (9%) experienced serious injuries from falls. The risk for serious injuries from falls was higher for patients who used antihypertensive medication than for nonusers and even higher for patients who had had a previous fall injury.

"Although cause and effect cannot be established in this observational study and we cannot exclude confounding, antihypertensive medications seemed to be associated with an increased risk of serious fall injury compared with no antihypertensive use in this nationally representative cohort of older adults, particularly among participants with a previous fall injury," wrote Mary Tinetti of the Yale School of Medicine. "The potential harms vs. benefits of antihypertensive medications should be weighed in deciding whether to continue antihypertensives in older adults with multiple chronic conditions."

 

 

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PhRMA names new SVP federal advocacy

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America on Tuesday announced the appointment of Charles “Chuck” Clapton to the position of SVP federal advocacy, effective March 17, 2014.  

In this capacity, Clapton will be responsible for leading PhRMA’s federal government affairs initiatives and advancing its legislative agenda, working with stakeholders to develop and advocate for health policies that foster innovation and ensure patient access to new medicines in the United States and around the world.  

He will report to Chip Davis, EVP advocacy and member relations.

“Chuck is a dynamic advocate and an expert on the policy issues facing the biopharmaceutical sector and the patients we serve,” said John Castellani, president and CEO of PhRMA. “He will make important contributions to our work with policymakers on promoting research and innovation and making progress for patients.”

Most recently, Clapton worked as a partner at the international law firm HoganLovells, where he represented healthcare clients on legislative and regulatory matters. Prior to joining HoganLovells, Clapton worked for 17 years on Capitol Hill, where he held several leadership positions on the House Energy & Commerce Committee, Ways & Means Committee, Office of the Speaker and the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

“Chuck’s experience, reputation and results-oriented focus during his distinguished career on Capitol Hill will be tremendous assets to PhRMA and its members as he leads our federal advocacy efforts,” Davis said.  

During his time with the House and Senate, Clapton worked on reimbursement and coverage initiatives, including the Medicare Modernization Act that created the highly successful Medicare Part D drug program. In addition, he has extensive experience with policy issues related to Food and Drug Administration review and approval of new medicines, the distribution and use of non-FDA approved drugs, and other critical patient safety matters.

Clapton earned his J.D. from the Catholic University, Columbus School of Law and B.A. from Boston College.

 

 

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Dr. Reddy’s launches Sumatriptan

BY Ryan Chavis

HYDERABAD, India — Dr. Reddy’s Labs announced that it has launched Sumatriptan Injection USP, Autoinjector System 6-mg/0.5-mL, a generic version of Imitrex STATdose Pen (sumatriptan succinate) 6-mg/0.5-mL. The drug is available in a carton containing 2 single-dose prefilled syringes.

Sumatriptan is used to treat acute migraine headaches with or without aura and acute cluster headaches in adults who have been diagnosed with migraine or cluster headaches, according to the company.

The Imitrex STATdose Pen brand, along with the generic had combined U.S. sales of approximately $169 million for the twelve months ending in December 2013, according to IMS Health.

 

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