Study shows continuous use of Humira reduces signs of psoriasis
CHICAGO According to a new study in the January 2008 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, psoriasis patients taking the drug Humira showed a significant reduction in the signs of their disease when the drug was taken continuously. The drug is currently under review by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of moderate to severe chronic plaque psoriasis.
The study, which was funded by the drug’s maker, Abbott Laboratories, was conducted over a year with more than 1,200 patients and examined short-term and sustained efficacy and safety of the drug in patients. The patients were either given Humira or a placebo. The patients were split up so that two-thirds took the drug, while the remaining third took the placebo.
After week 16, three big keys were discovered: three in four patients achieved skin clearance of 75 percent or better. Nearly half of patients achieved 90 percent clearance. And one in five patients treated with Humira achieved a complete clearing of their psoriasis.
FDA to open office in India
KOCHI The Food and Drug Administration is planning on opening an office of its agency in India, in an effort to ensure the quality of the food and drugs being imported by the U.S., according to published reports.
Health and Human Service secretary Michael Leavitt and FDA commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach are in the country presently assessing the manufacturing practices existing at drug and food processing units.
According to Leavitt, he set up the mission because, “there was a serious apprehension among the consumers in this country on the quality of food and drugs being imported.” “We are trying to ensure the quality in the entire system of supply chain, right from the seed to the last outlet from where people buy the goods,” he said.
The U.S. imports about $56 million worth of food and drug products from India.
BioDelivery works on risk management plan for dissolving fentanyl patch
RALEIGH, N.C. BioDelivery Services International is planning on developing a safety plan for its new BEMA fentanyl patch, which the Food and Drug Administration accepted for review last week, according to published reports.
In December, a public health advisory from the FDA was released following reports of life-threatening side effects and even death associated with inappropriate prescriptions or use of the patches. So, to be safe, BioDelivery has developed a Risk Minimization Action Plan, or RiskMap, for its patch, which dissolves in the mouth and is placed on the walls of the cheek, unlike other fentanyl patches, which are placed on the skin and have to be disposed of.
Fentanyl is a narcotic pain medication more powerful than morphine. It has been in use for years. The FDA first issued a public health advisory for fentanyl skin patches in July 2005 following reports of the deaths of some patients.
BioDelivery’s vice president of marketing stated that the company is more confident as to the differences between its patch and other fentanyl patches, and believes the confidence is extended to how the drug is meant to be used and how the drug is delivered in the body.