Watchdog group says medication-related deaths at record levels last spring
WASHINGTON A nonprofit group that monitors the healthcare industry said Wednesday that serious health problems and deaths related to medications increased to record levels between January and March of this year.
The Institute for Safe Medication Practices analyzed data from the Food and Drug Administration, finding that the agency received 21,000 reports of dangerous reactions to drugs, including nearly 5,000 deaths.
The two drugs that caused the largest number of problems were heparin, the blood-thinning drug that gained nationwide attention when tainted supplies were imported from China, and Pfizer’s anti-smoking drug Chantix (varenicline), which has been linked to suicidal behavior.
Nerviano partners with Genentech to develop anticancer drugs
NEW YORK A company that develops cancer drugs has announced a multi-year collaboration with Genentech.
Nerviano Medical Sciences said that it would collaborate with South San Francisco, Calif.-based Genentech to search for antibody drug compounds to develop anticancer drugs. It is the second agreement between Genentech and NMS in less than a year, NMS said.
Genentech will have exclusive rights to fully develop and commercialize licensed products, while NMS will primarily synthesize and manufacture drug reagents.
More Americans cutting back on prescription medications
NEW YORK Economic difficulties are causing more Americans to forego prescription drugs, according to The New York Times.
Costs for housing and food are trumping costs for drugs, and some patients have stopped taking drugs for chronic conditions such as osteoporosis and high cholesterol. Some drug makers have reported decreases in sales of certain drugs, while IMS Health has reported reductions in prescriptions being dispensed.
The Times reported that the trend could cause increases in complications from chronic disease.