Tag: Drugs


Why now is a good time to clean out old drugs from your medicine cabinet

Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. Here are some tips on how to clean out your medicine cabinet.

Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

“The motto that we have is keep them safe, clean them out and take them back,” Marla Zometsky, of the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board, said.

“Most of the prescription drugs that are misused, actually come from family and friends. You could be a drug dealer without even knowing it.”

After smoking pot, the second most common form of drug abuse in America is non-medical use of prescription drugs. Hence, National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

Items not to bring to drop-off locations include illegal drugs, inhalers and liquids in large quantities. Welcomed items include prescription and non-prescription pills, electronic cigarettes and vaping products and their devices with batteries removed, and drugs for pets.

“Sometimes people will just throw their unused medications in the toilet, and we really don’t want you to do that because it contaminates the water supply,” Zometsky said. “It’s important to dispose of them safely and properly, so it helps everyone. It helps us maintain our safety in terms of drug misuse and abuse, and it helps our environment.”

Permanent lock boxes for old medications are in place regionwide at some police stations, hospitals and drug stores.

You can find lock box locations and participating Drug Take Back Day sites by zip code on the Drug Enforcement Administration website.

“It’s a great opportunity to clean out your medication cabinet, but also to do it in a safe way,” Zometsky said.

If you miss the day or can’t make it to a permanent lock box location, Zometsky’s advice:

  • Do not crush tablets or capsules.
  • Mix medications with items such as kitty litter, a soiled diaper or used coffee grounds.
  • Before putting the mix in the trash, seal it inside something such as a plastic bag.
  • Remove or scratch out all the personal information on the prescription label.

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HIV Drugs Prevent Type 2 Diabetes, May Be Path to New Therapy

A class of drugs long used to treat HIV and hepatitis B viral infections appears to prevent the development of diabetes in a substantial proportion of patients who take these agents, an analysis of multiple databases has shown.

“Nucleoside reverse-transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs), drugs approved to treat HIV-1 and hepatitis B infections, also block inflammasome activation,” Jayakrishna Ambati, MD, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, Virginia, and colleagues write in their article, published recently in Nature Communications.

“[We showed that] the adjusted risk of incident diabetes is 33% lower in patients with NRTI exposure…. These data suggest the possibility of repurposing an approved class of drugs for prevention of diabetes,” they say.

The researchers made a small chemical modification to NRTIs that led to their developing a new class of drugs, which they have termed “kamuvudines.” Kamuvudines are nontoxic derivatives of NRTIs, Ambati told Medscape Medical News.

“People take NRTIs because they need to live with HIV, but giving them to the general population is not a great idea because of the toxicities associated with long-term NRTI use.

“So our focus is not to go forward specifically with NRTIs but rather with these new molecules that are far less toxic, and that is how we envision a clinical trial going forward,” Ambati noted.

Researchers Screened Five Databases of >100,000 Patients

Ambati and colleagues analyzed information from five databases in which patients who had been exposed to an NRTI but who had not previously been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes were assessed for the subsequent development of diabetes over varying time intervals. In one, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) database ― from the largest integrated healthcare system in the United States ― the analysis spanned a period of 17 years.

Of 79,744 patients with a confirmed diagnosis of HIV or hepatitis B in the VHA database, the risk for type 2 diabetes was reduced by 34% among NRTI users compared with nonusers after adjusting for potential confounders (P < .0001).

The reduction in diabetes risk was similar among HIV-positive and hepatitis B–positive patients.

These results were reaffirmed by further analyses of four other databases, the investigators report. One of these, the employer-based health insurance Truven database, had data on 23,634 patients who had been diagnosed with HIV or hepatitis B. After adjusting for potential confounders, NRTI users had a 39% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to nonusers (P < .0001).

The risk of developing type 2 diabetes was somewhat lower among NRTI users in the Pearl Diver database, which includes predominantly private health insurance claims. Of 16,045 patients diagnosed with HIV or hepatitis B included in this database, the risk for type 2 diabetes was 26% lower among NRTI users compared to nonusers (P = .004).

A similar magnitude of risk reduction was seen in the analysis of the Clinformatics dataset. Among 6341 users of NRTIs, the risk for type 2 diabetes was 27% lower than it was for nonusers (P = .009).

Conditional discharge for dentist who failed to keep drugs register

A Belfast dentist was “horrified” to discover he had failed to keep a controlled register of a drug he used to treat vulnerable patients, a court heard yesterday.

avid Jordan received a 12-month conditional discharge for breaching the requirement to maintain a chronological sequence of entries for Fentanyl.

Belfast Magistrates’ Court was told the 65-year-old is among a few dentists in Northern Ireland trained to carry out conscious sedation.

But records were not properly kept on up to 340 ampoules of Fentanyl Citrate used in the procedure at his practice on the Holywood Road.

Mr Jordan, of Knockmore Park in Bangor, Co Down, admitted failing to keep a controlled drugs register between January 2016 and March 2019.

His barrister described it as a sad case involving a dentist about to retire after a previously unblemished career.

Under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2002 dentists are legally required to keep an accurate, up-to-date and chronological register, with entries including details on the strength and quantities of stock.

Supplies of Fentanyl were obtained from a Boots pharmacy under a private requisition system and held safely at the practice.

But a prosecution lawyer said: “The defendant didn’t keep or maintain a controlled drug register in relation to all of the 340 ampoules.”

He confirmed the case only related to how the Fentanyl was recorded, with no issues over its use.

District Judge George Conner heard it had been an oversight by a dentist who used conscious sedation to avoid subjecting patients with learning difficulties to a full general anaesthetic.

It was stressed that the dentist cooperated fully in the investigation, going through all medical notes and records to match up all Fentanyl in the practice and used to treat patients.

Mr Connor imposed a conditional discharge for 12 months.

Belfast Telegraph

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People make a beeline for fake Covid medicine, drugs controller intervenes- The New Indian Express

Express News Service

KOZHIKODE:  Thanks to an ENT physician’s ‘discovery’ of nasal drops which can ‘resist Covid’ and a prominent vernacular daily reporting it, a medical store in Koyilandy here is making a quick buck.  E Sukumaran, a Koyilandy-based senior ENT surgeon and former deputy director of health department, has claimed that nasal drops — the ‘medication’ has a 25 per cent glucose content — can eliminate the coronavirus from the throat itself. 

He also claimed that his findings had been sent to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), which has forwarded it to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). “ The PMO had informed me that the ICMR had deputed  Tripti Khanna, a scientist, to conduct further studies on it. But I never claimed that my findings were approved by either the PMO or the ICMR,” said Sukumaran.   

The  nasal drop
being sold as
Covid resistant

Though scientists and the medical fraternity have outrightly rejected Sukumaran’s claims, calling them highly unscientific and totally misleading, what happened in Koyilandy was that people thronged a drug store which started selling this glucose-based nasal drop. A 15 ml bottle was priced at `50 in the beginning. Later, the price was slashed to `30 and now it is being sold for `20. This medical store has special licence which allows it to sell drugs manufactured by mixing the components. 

“People queue up in front of the medical store to buy the drug. Though many of them were aware that it doesn’t prevent Covid, they are convinced that it will not cause any side effects either. The drug store is the biggest beneficiary of this fake discovery,” said a health department source. However, the biggest threat posed by this drug is that it will give a false sense of Covid immunity to gullible people and instigate them to breach Covid protocol. This correspondent bought the bottle directly from the said store without prescription. Along with the drug, there was also a piece of advice on how to administer it: “Two droplets in each nostril twice daily.” 

Meanwhile, after coming to know of the ‘miracle discovery’ through TNIE, the state drugs controller has ordered a probe. Sujith Kumar K, Assistant Drugs Controller,    Kozhikode, told TNIE that he had sent two of his officials to investigate the matter. According to him, he will see to it that the nasal drop is not sold without a doctor’s prescription. “We cannot prevent the sale of glucose water if there is a prescription as it is being used for other purposes such as drip. But it cannot be sold as a remedy for Covid,” he said.

K P Aravindan,  pathologist and member of the expert panel on Covid-19,  said no glucose containing water is used as nasal drops for any illness. “Bodies like the IMA should issue an advisory against such fake Covid drugs,” he said.

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Gilead questions WHO study that cast doubts on drug’s COVID-19 benefits

By Deena Beasley and Vishwadha Chander

(Reuters) – Gilead Sciences Inc has questioned the findings of a World Health Organization (WHO) study that concluded its COVID-19 drug remdesivir does not help patients who have been admitted to hospital.

The American company told Reuters the data appeared inconsistent, the findings were premature and that other studies had validated the drug’s benefits.

In a blow to one of the few drugs being used to treat people with COVID-19, the WHO said on Thursday its “Solidarity” trial had concluded that remdesivir appeared to have little or no effect on 28-day mortality or length of hospital stays among patients with the respiratory disease.

The antiviral medication was one of the drugs used to treat U.S. President Donald Trump’s coronavirus infection, and has been shown in previous studies to have cut time to recovery, though the European Union is investigating it for possible kidney injury.

The WHO trial was conducted in 11,266 adult patients in more than 30 countries. The evidence was conclusive, the WHO said.

Gilead said other trials of remdesivir, including with 1,062 patients that compared it with a placebo, showed the treatment cut COVID-19 recovery time.

“The emerging (WHO) data appears inconsistent, with more robust evidence from multiple randomized, controlled studies published in peer-reviewed journals validating the clinical benefit of remdesivir,” Gilead told Reuters.

Gilead said it was “unclear if any conclusive findings can be drawn” given what it called differences in how the trial was conducted from site to site and between the patients who received the medicine.

In April, the top U.S. infectious disease official, Anthony Fauci, predicted remdesivir would become “the standard of care”.

Companies such as Gilead are racing to find a treatment for COVID-19. Some 1.1 million people have died and 39.1 million have been reported infected in the pandemic, and the global economy has been thrown into chaos.

Remdesivir was developed for Ebola, which causes fever, bleeding, vomiting and diarrhoea and spreads among humans through bodily fluids.

It was quickly repurposed and has offered some hope for patients, though the WHO’s findings may shift the focus of the search for a vaccine to new monoclonal antibodies being developed by companies including Regeneron.

The Solidarity trial also evaluated hydroxychloroquine, anti-HIV drug combination lopinavir/ritonavir and interferon, and concluded that they, like remdesivir, did little to help patients survive or leave the hospital more quickly.

The WHO trial’s results are yet to be reviewed and were uploaded on the preprint server medRxiv. (https://bit.ly/3nViYIf)


Gilead say the Solidarity conclusions, lacking scrutiny from other scientists, were premature.

“We are concerned the data from this open-label global trial has not undergone the rigorous review required to allow for constructive scientific discussion, particularly given the limitations of the trial design,” it said.

Remdesivir got emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on May 1, and has been authorized for use in several countries.

During the Solidarity study, trials of hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir were stopped in June after

Trump Vs. Biden On Health Care, Prescription Drugs, Medicare : NPR

Read President Trump's and Democratic nominee Joe Biden's plans for health care.

Caroline Amenabar/NPR; Wil Taylor/Flickr

Read President Trump's and Democratic nominee Joe Biden's plans for health care.

Caroline Amenabar/NPR; Wil Taylor/Flickr

Key priorities

Joe Biden

  • Create a public option health care plan that expands off the Affordable Care Act.
  • Decrease the price of prescription drugs.
  • Protect abortion access.
  • Invest $775 billion in child and elder care.
  • Read details of Biden’s plans below.

Donald Trump

  • Repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with a new plan, which has not been publicly proposed.
  • Lower the price of prescription drugs and insurance premiums.
  • Read details of Trump’s plans below.

Biden’s plans for health care

Biden’s health care plan centers around reinforcing and expanding the Affordable Care Act — Obamacare — via a public option while also improving access to care.

The public option plan is described as available to all Americans, “whether you’re covered through your employer, buying your insurance on your own, or going without coverage altogether,” adding that the option is “like Medicare” — but is not Medicare.

The public option would be offered with no premiums to Americans who live in states that don’t have access to Medicaid benefits that they would qualify for in other states.

Though not explicitly mentioned in his proposal, Biden has said that undocumented immigrants would be able to buy into the public option plan and receive unsubsidized coverage — an option currently not allowed under the Affordable Care Act.

In terms of lowering costs on the individual health insurance marketplace, his proposal would do away with the “income cap” — which currently stands at 400% of the federal poverty line — that enables eligibility to receive a tax credit to help pay for premiums. The plan also would ensure that no household is putting more than 8.5% of their earnings (instead of the current 9.86%) into health insurance plans.

Biden’s proposal would work to lower prescription drug prices within Medicare, create an independent commission to oversee and regulate the price of new drugs, and get rid of the tax breaks given to pharmaceutical corporations on advertising.

On abortion access, Biden is in favor of restoring funding for Planned Parenthood. He does not support the so-called gag rule or the Hyde Amendment, which bans most federal funding for abortions. Biden backed the Hyde Amendment for a significant portion of his career and only came out against the legislation in July 2019, saying he could “no longer support an amendment that makes that right [to an abortion] dependent on someone’s ZIP code.”

Biden also wants to allocate $775 billion toward a plan for child and elder care. A lot of the funding would go toward cutting Medicaid waitlists for people needing home and community care, and to provide tax breaks to people who care for older family members.

Biden also pledges to invest in further health care employment, training 35,000 workers on how to aid Americans suffering from opioid addictions and adding “tens of thousands” of new jobs caring for veterans.

Biden also calls for the creation of a public health jobs corps, which would employ more than

US testing 3 drugs to tamp down coronavirus

WASHINGTON — U.S. government officials are launching a new study testing three drugs to tamp down an overactive response by the immune system that can cause severe illness or death in people with COVID-19.

The U.S. National Institutes of Health says the study will enroll 2,100 hospitalized adults with moderate to severe COVID-19 in the United States and Latin America. All will get the antiviral drug remdesivir plus one of the three “immune-modulating drugs” or a placebo.

The drugs are Bristol Myers Squibb’s Orencia and Johnson & Johnson’s Remicade, which are sold now for rheumatoid arthritis and an experimental drug from AbbVie called cenicriviroc. The drugs work in different ways to inhibit “cytokine storm,” an overproduction of chemicals the body makes to fight infections that can damage lungs, kidneys, the heart and other organs.

“These are all different ways of slowing down an overactive immune system,” said NIH director Dr. Francis Collins.

The new study is the fifth and final one in a series of experiments designed by a private-public partnership that includes dozens of drug companies, nonprofit groups and various U.S. government departments. Other therapies being tested include antibody drugs, anti-inflammatory medicines and plasma from COVID-19 survivors.


— Europe, U.S. reel as virus infections surge at record pace, prompt new restrictions

— White House puts political operatives at CDC to try to control virus information

— Thousands arrive in Hawaii on first day pre-travel testing allowing no quarantine


— Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak



PARIS — French restaurants, cinemas and theaters are trying to figure out how to survive a new curfew aimed at stemming the flow of record new virus infections.

France registered more than 30,000 virus cases Thursday, its highest single-day jump since the pandemic began, and nearly 200 cases per 100,000 people over the past week.

Culture Minister Roselyne Bachelot told Le Parisien newspaper she is negotiating for exceptions to a monthlong curfew between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. across the Paris region and eight other metropolitan areas. The curfew comes into effect Friday at midnight, and France is deploying 12,000 extra police to enforce it.

“The French culture world isn’t invincible, it needs help,” author and filmmaker Yoann Sfar, who has a new movie coming out, said Friday on RTL radio.

One movie theater chain will start opening at 8 a.m. in hopes of making up evening losses. Since Paris restaurants generally open at 7 or 7:30 p.m. for dinner, some might close altogether because it no longer makes financial sense to stay open for such a short shift.


BUDAPEST, Hungary — The number of deaths in Hungary caused by the coronavirus hit a new record on Friday, for the second day in a row as the epidemic is gaining momentum.

Hungarian health authorities reported 33 deaths over the past 24 hours, up from 29 a day earlier. The total number of confirmed infections

NIH to Study Three Drugs in Treatment of Covid-19 Patients

The National Institutes of Health will study the three medicines in the U.S. and Latin America in a trial expected to last up to eight months.


J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press

WASHINGTON—The National Institutes of Health is launching a late-stage clinical trial to determine whether three drugs used for controlling immune systems could be used to treat respiratory distress and organ failure in severely ill Covid-19 patients.

The NIH study will evaluate two drugs already on the market,

Johnson & Johnson’s

JNJ -0.61%

Remicade and

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.

BMY -0.95%

’s Orencia, along with an investigational drug called CVC from AbbVie Inc.

The study will evaluate whether any of the medicines, known as immune modulators, can control an overreaction of the patient’s systemic Covid-19 inflammatory response.

This phenomenon, known as a “cytokine storm” for the proteins that trigger the inflammation, can lead to respiratory distress, multiple organ failure and other severe reactions in hospitalized patients. Cytokines are part of the body’s normal immune reaction, but one that in this instance has gone haywire.

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.’s Orencia is one of three immune-system medicines the NIH is set to study.


Daniel Acker/Bloomberg News

The study, at sites in the U.S. and Latin America, is expected to last up to eight months and will enroll about 2,100 patients. All of the patients will receive the standard-treatment antiviral drug remdesivir.

Some will also get a placebo, while others will also get one of the drugs being studied. The study will evaluate whether the study drugs lower severity of disease, recovery time, death rate and use of hospital resources.

A growing number of hospitals are investigating antibody testing and blood plasma therapy as a way to combat the new coronavirus in sick patients. WSJ’s Daniela Hernandez explains. Photo illustration: Laura Kammermann

Write to Thomas M. Burton at [email protected]

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