PHARMACY

FDA launches new Web page to provide safety information on prescription drugs

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON The Food and Drug Administration announced Wednesday that it had launched a Web page to provide consumers and healthcare professionals with a single source of safety information about prescription drugs.

The page, www.fda.gov/cder/drugsafety.htm, provides links to information in categories such as drug labeling, drugs with risk evaluation and mitigation strategies, regulations and guidance documents and warning letters, import alerts, recalls, market withdrawals and safety alerts.

“By placing Web links to these up-to-date resources on a single page, we’re helping consumers and healthcare professionals find drug safety information faster and easier,” said Dr. Paul Seligman, associate director of safety policy and communication in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “This type of communication is aimed at helping consumers and healthcare professionals make well-informed decisions about medication use.”

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Study finds diet high in fructose may inhibit appetite suppression

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK A study on rats at the University of Florida suggests that a diet high in fructose can inhibit the hormone that controls appetite.

The study, published in the American Journal of Physiology, found that fructose can prevent the hormone leptin from suppressing appetite in rats, which began to gain weight rapidly after being fed large amounts of fructosefor six months when they began eating food with high amounts of fat, compared with rats that also consumed high-fat foods but no fructose.

“Leptin resistance is a condition that leads to obesity in rats when coupled with a high-fat diet,” said Philip Scarpace, the study’s senior author and a professor of pharmacology and therapeutics, in a statement. “The surprising finding here was that increasing the amount of fructose in the diet without increasing the amount of calories led to leptin resistance and later exacerbated obesity when paired with a high-fat diet.”

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FDA approves generic version of Epivir

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON The Food and Drug Administration has granted tentative approval to Indian drug maker Macleods Pharmaceuticals’ generic version of GlaxoSmithKline’s HIV drug Epivir (lamivudine), FDA records show.

The drug would be available as 150 mg and 300 mg tablets, but cannot be marketed in the United States because of patent protection.

GSK’s patent for lamivudine will expire in 2010. Epivir had sales of $246.85 million in 2007, according to GSK financial records.

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