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We wanted you to be aware that the FDA has granted accelerated approval of IBRANCE® (palbociclib) for the treatment of postmenopausal women with ER+/HER2- advanced breast cancer. Click here to see the press release!
Otezla® (apremilast) is approved for the treatment of patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis who are candidates for phototherapy or systemic therapy. Please click here for more information.
OAs part of APhA's longstanding and ongoing commitment to helping its members ensure optimal and safe patient use of prescription medications, nonprescription products, and dietary supplements, APhA convened national pharmacy and medicine leaders and other stakeholders on March 26.
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Scientists uncover new genes that affect development and maintenance of blood stem cell
Even though the transplantation of blood stem cells, also known as bone marrow, has saved many lives over many decades, the genes that control the number or function of blood stem cells are not fully understood. In a study published in Stem Cell Reports, the USC Stem Cell labs of Hooman Allayee and Gregor Adams uncovered new genes that affect blood stem cell development and maintenance.
Early lead exposure affects gene expression throughout life
A team of researchers led by North Carolina State University biologists Cathrine Hoyo and Randy Jirtle have found links between lead exposure in children and epigenetic alterations in regulatory regions of genes that are imprinted and known to be critical in growth regulation and brain development. These alterations seem to persist into adulthood, with more profound effects in males.
Genomics: The future gold standard of medicine?
Hospital & Health Networks
It cuts across everything a hospital is pursuing today. Personalized medicine, with care tailored to the unique genetic blueprint of each patient — perhaps once thought of as science fiction — is becoming a strategic imperative across the entire healthcare field.
At NorthShore University HealthSystem, in the north Chicago suburb of Evanston, Illinois, integrating genetics into everyday care has become its driving force, says President and CEO Mark Neaman.
What is the difference between personalized medicine and precision medicine?
There is considerable overlap between “personalized medicine” and “precision medicine,” and the two terms often are used interchangeably. Personalized medicine, a phrase coined in the 1990s, describes a medical model through which healthcare delivery is tailored to individual patients based on their characteristics, including genetic makeup, disease biomarkers, treatment history and environmental factors.
Pain relief breakthrough: Experimental stem cell procedure provides mice with long-lasting nerve pain relief
Nerve pain is intense, debilitating and, unfortunately, especially difficult to treat due to its resistance to traditional painkillers. Stem cell therapy has shown potential for relieving nerve pain, but our understanding of the relatively new science has remained limited. A recent study from Duke University reveals a key factor in the behavior of stem cells in response to pain, and may help advance developments for cell-based therapies to treat chronic neuropathic pain.
Miniature, beating hearts grown using stem cells
Structures resembling miniature, beating hearts can now be grown in a lab using stem cells.
Dr. Bruce Conklin, a stem cell biologist at the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease in San Francisco, along with colleagues developed these tiny hearts using stem cells derived from skin tissue. The scientists allowed the cells to grow in a petri dish, adding a chemical layer containing slight physical and chemical differences, thanks to tiny etchings made with oxygen plasma.
BioFeedback for immunoglobulin is a health outcomes reporting program that provides clinical feedback on the use of immunoglobulin in autoimmune-related disorders. Physicians and medical directors can now deploy clinical interventions when they have the greatest impact on healthcare quality and costs.
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Editing stem cell genes will 'revolutionize' biomedical research
Applying a dramatically improved method for "editing" genes to human stem cells, University of Wisconsin-Madison professor of neuroscience Su-Chun Zhang has shown a new way to silence genes in stem cells and their progeny at any stage of development.
The advance has advantages in speed and efficiency, says Zhang, and is already being used for basic biological studies.
EMERGING MEDICAL TECHNOLOGIES
Survey: Telemedicine use on the rise
By Scott E. Rupp
The latest telehealth report — one of many in a recent string — suggests the market is finally maturing. "Telehealth Index: 2015 Physician Survey" found strong support exists for video-based telemedicine, more so than for telephone or email communications. The report comes at a time when telehealth providers are making a strong push to qualify the video-based doctor's visit as comparable to a trip to the doctor's office, clinic or emergency room.
Mobile apps helping reduce readmissions
Healthcare IT News
Cynthia Deyling, M.D., chief quality officer at Cleveland Clinic, sees burgeoning use of mobile technology at the health system.
While emphasizing that, of course, "some readmissions are clinically appropriate and necessary," Deyling says Cleveland Clinic, like so many other hospitals and health systems these days, is putting a focus on "reducing preventable readmissions through improved patient education, follow up, communication and care coordination."
ACCOUNTABLE CARE ORGANIZATIONS
Health systems sign private-sector ACO deals that may lead to capitation
On a wooded campus in Falls Church, Virginia, Inova Health System has executives in its integrated provider network and its insurance joint venture with Aetna working alongside each other on one floor of a building. It's part of the system's $27 million investment in establishing an insurance arm and an accountable care program.
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Expert: Bundled payments a better model than accountable care organizations
Healthcare Finance News
A former advisor to President Barack Obama is warning healthcare providers to embrace bundled payments as accountable care organizations fall behind in reaping savings from value-based payment models.
According to Ezekiel Emanuel, M.D., and Topher Spiro, accountable care organizations, the much-hoped-for drivers of delivery and payment transformation, aren’t working so well.
FDA: NEW TREATMENTS AND TECHNOLOGY
Reflections of a pharmacist: The new FDA NSAID warning
By Jason Poquette
The FDA recently published a new drug safety warning indicating there is a greater risk of heart attack or stroke related to the use of nonaspirin NSAIDs than previously believed. This warning soon spread to all the national and local media, and the questions started pouring in. Is ibuprofen safe any longer? Will naproxen cause a heart attack? Should I stop taking my diclofenac for pain? As a pharmacist, I took a significant personal interest in this matter.
US FDA approves new drug for schizophrenia, major depression
HealthDay News via U.S. News & World Report
A new drug to treat schizophrenia and depression has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Rexulti tablets can be used to treat adults with schizophrenia. The new drug can also be used as an add-on therapy to antidepressant drugs for adults with major depression. "Schizophrenia and major depressive disorder can be disabling and can greatly disrupt day-to-day activities," Dr. Mitchell Mathis, director of the Division of Psychiatry Products in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in an agency news release.
FDA approves AstraZeneca's lung cancer drug as 1st-line treatment
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved AstraZeneca Plc's drug, Iressa, as a first-line treatment for a common form of lung cancer.
The drug was previously approved for use in non-small cell lung cancer patients only after they did not respond to chemotherapy.
The FDA said the approval was based on results from a trial of 106 patients with previously untreated non-small cell lung cancer.
The unaffordable care act
The Wall Street Journal
The Affordable Care Act was supposed to make insurance, well, more affordable. But now hard results are starting to emerge: premium surges that often average 10 percent to 20 percent and spikes that sometimes run as high as 50 percent or 60 percent or more from coast to coast. Welcome to the new abnormal of Obamacare.
US regulators are lining up to put Aetna's multibillion Humana deal under the microscope
Reuters via Business Insider
U.S. insurance regulators and state attorneys general are lining up to scrutinize Aetna's proposed $33 billion takeover of rival Humana for potential harm to consumers, complicating what is already expected to be a tough and lengthy review by federal antitrust authorities.
Federal audits of Medicare advantage reveal widespread overcharges
Government audits just released as the result of a lawsuit detail widespread billing errors in private Medicare Advantage health plans going back years, including overpayments of thousands of dollars a year for some patients.
Since 2004, private insurers that run Medicare Advantage plans, an increasingly popular alternative to traditional Medicare, have been paid using a risk score calculated for each patient who joins.
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