Health News Roundup: Opioid epidemic, AbbVie's Imbruvica, Lilly cancer drug, Samsung Bioepis biosimilar and much more
Study links opioid epidemic to painkiller marketing
Researchers are reporting a link between doctor-targeted marketing of opioid products and the increase in U.S. deaths from overdoses. In a county-by-county analysis, they found that when drug companies increased their opioid marketing budgets by just $5.29 per 1,000 population, the number of opioid prescriptions written by doctors went up by 82 percent and the opioid death rate was 9 percent higher a year later.
AbbVie's Imbruvica fails to meet the main goal in pancreatic cancer study
AbbVie Inc said on Friday its blockbuster cancer treatment in combination with chemotherapy agents failed to meet the main goal in a late-stage study of patients with a form of pancreatic cancer. The treatment, Imbruvica, failed to show statistically significant improvement in progression-free survival (PFS) or overall survival in metastatic pancreatic cancer patients, compared with the combination of placebo and two chemotherapy agents.
Lilly cancer drug fails the key trial, will no longer be prescribed
Eli Lilly and Co said on Friday that its cancer treatment Lartruvo, which had won conditional approval, failed to improve patient survival in a long-term confirmatory study and will no longer be prescribed, driving the drugmaker's shares down nearly 3 percent. No new U.S. patients will be started on the drug and Lilly is suspending promotion of the medicine, the company said.
Samsung Bioepis biosimilar to Roche's Herceptin wins FDA nod
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Friday it had approved a biosimilar to Roche Holding AG's blockbuster breast cancer treatment, Herceptin. The biosimilar, Ontruzant, is sold by Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp, a unit of Merck & Co Inc, and is developed by Samsung Bioepis Co Ltd, which is a joint venture between Samsung BioLogics and Biogen Inc. Insomnia treatment may help ease depression during menopause
Women going through menopause may have fewer symptoms of depression when they get treatment for insomnia than when they don't, a recent experiment suggests. Researchers recruited 117 menopausal women with insomnia for the study and randomly assigned them to three groups. One group received cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). Another group received a component of CBT known as sleep restriction therapy. The third group only received education on so-called sleep hygiene or habits that can make it easier to fall and remain asleep.
Long-term exercise by older adults tied to lower risk of falls
Older adults who have exercised regularly for at least a year may be less likely to experience falls or related injuries than their less active peers, a research review suggests. Researchers analyzed data from 40 clinical trials with a total of 21,868 adults who were 73 years old on average. All of the smaller trials randomly assigned some participants to do a variety of exercise programs for at least 48 weeks while others joined a comparison group that didn't exercise or, more often, an "active control" group that might exercise outside the context of the workouts being tested.
For heart failure patients in the hospital, flu boosts the risk of complications, death
When people with heart failure are hospitalized, having influenza is tied to greater odds of respiratory and kidney complications and a higher chance they won't survive to be discharged, a U.S. study suggests. Using a national database, the researchers looked at more than 8 million heart failure-associated hospitalizations and identified 54,585 patients who had flu at the time. They compared this group to a similar group of heart failure patients hospitalized without flu.
Shorter waits for new patients at VA than in the private sector, U.S. study finds
In many cases, veterans get the first appointment at VA hospitals quicker than the general public gets first appointments with health care providers, government researchers report. The researchers, all from the VA, compared wait times there for new patients to those for new patients in the private sector as determined by an outside company that used "secret shoppers" to investigate how long it would take to get the first appointment with various types of doctors.
(With inputs from agencies.)
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