Inflammatory mediator regulates diarrhea in IBD
NEW YORK New research indicates that the activation of an inflammatory mediator in the human body may cause diarrhea in people suffering from inflammatory bowel disease.
Researchers led by Terrence A. Barrett of Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago have discovered that activation of NF-?B results in diarrhea in IBD. IBD, which affects approximately 1-in-500 people in the United States, describes a group of diseases, including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, with inflammation in the intestinal tract. Patients with IBD experience diverse symptoms, including abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, bloody stools, and weight loss.
Until now, the response of NF-?B, a protein complex, has never been completely understood. The researchers discovered, however, following immune activation, blocking NF-?B expression in the cells lining the intestinal tract inhibited diarrhea and prevented protein changes in these cells, resulting in decreased leakiness between the cells. These findings suggested that immune cell-mediated activation of in IBD promotes the movement of fluid into the bowel lumen, resulting in diarrhea.
The results were presented in the Jan. 2010 issue of the American Journal of Pathology.
Tylenol Arthritis caplet recall becomes a bigger headache
NEW YORK Johnson & Johnson has expanded its voluntary recall of Tylenol Arthritis caplets in the wake of consumer reports of a moldy smell that can cause nausea and sickness. The recall now includes all product lots of the Arthritis Pain caplet 100-count bottles with the red EZ-Open cap.
Prior to this, the company had recalled five lots of the product in November, citing similar reasons, with user complaints of nausea, stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhea.
According to J&J, the odor is coming from trace amounts of 2,4,6-tribromoanisole — a chemical used to treat wooden pallets that transport and store packaging materials — which is believed to be the result from the breakdown of another chemical used in the manufacture of the drug.
To date, the side effects have been “temporary and non-serious,” although the health effects of the compound have not been studied.
The recall only affects the specific lots reported, and does not extend to any other Tylenol pain products.
J&J is moving its production of Tylenol Arthritis Pain caplets 100-count to another plant, and plans to reintroduce the product in January.
J&J is advising consumers seeking a refund or replacement to call (888) 222-6036.
CVS Caremark appoints new president of PBM business
NEW YORK If there was any doubt as to the value CVS Caremark places on personalized medicine, that doubt no longer should exist.
Clearly, the company believes that one area its PBM can create real value for payers is within pharmacogenomics or personalized medicine. Not only has CVS Caremark tapped Per Lofberg, co-founder of genetic benefit management company Generation Health, to serve as the PBM president, but it also has upped its stake in Generation Health.
Generation Health will continue to operate as a separate business from CVS Caremark, but CVS Caremark will have financial and strategic ties to the company, as well as representation on its board of directors.
The moves are undoubtedly in line with CVS Caremark’s efforts to move well beyond a traditional retail pharmacy role and into a pharmacy healthcare service company aimed at improving health outcomes and lowering healthcare costs.
PGx clinical services are expected to be introduced to CVS Caremark’s PBM clients in the second quarter 2010, and will initially focus on testing programs for medications in the areas of oncology, cardiovascular medicine and HIV, among others. In addition, the partnership opens the door for future programs to test for certain hereditary diseases.
According to Generation Health, genomic testing represents a $3 billion market that is growing 45% annually. There are at least 100 new tests added each year and they are usually priced at several hundred dollars each.