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Showing posts from 2008

Combination Vaccine for Kids withdrawn

A vaccine that combines conventional MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) with Chikenpox has been withdrawn in the United States due to a higher rate of seizures in children. In a study children aged 12 to 23 months who received the combined MMR cum Chickenpox vaccine had double the rate of seizures compared to children who got separate vaccine for MMR and chickenpox. This equates to one additional case of convulsion per 2000 vaccinations.

The Connection Between Sedatives and Fractures in Elderly Patients

Johns Hopkins Health Alerts:
Prescription Drugs
The Connection Between Sedatives and
Fractures in Elderly Patients
All drugs have potential side effects. Indeed, at some point you've probably squinted down the laundry list of possible side effects on the package insert of your medications. Common drug-related side effects include blurred vision, drowsiness, dizziness, dry mouth, heart palpitations, erectile dysfunction, memory impairment, and nervousness. Fortunately, many of these drug side effects occur in only small numbers of people. Now researchers have called into question the connection between sedatives which can cause dizziness and the potential for falls in elderly patients. They point out that well-meant policies discouraging sedative use in older people to prevent falls and fractures may not be necessary. Starting in 1989, New York State required doctors to fill out prescriptions in triplicate for benzodiazepines, the most widely used class of sedatives. Tw…

Isotretinoin in India: A tragedy in the offing

Isotretinoin in India: A tragedy in the offing
Wednesday, March 28, 2007 08:00 IST 
Seema Thakral

Isotretinoin is the drug of choice for severe calcitrant cystic acne vulgaris, which often causes scarring and depression from disfigurement. Isotretinoin has been called "the greatest medical advance of the 1980's." A majority of patients with acne are permanently cleared after a four to five months course of treatment. It has also been used off-label for a variety of oncology uses including: cervical cancer, head and neck cancer, squamous cell cancer of the skin, juvenile chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), and neuroblastoma. However, the drug is a proved teratogen and carries a significant risk of birth defects, if it taken during pregnancy. Birth defects, which have been documented following isotretinoin exposure include abnormalities of the face, eyes, ears, skull, central nervous system, cardiovascular system, and thymus and parathyroid glands. There is an increased risk …

An important discovery

"Gene therapy strategies will come in with a major cost advantage since DNA interference technology will act at the DNA level at lower doses, reduce toxicity and only one or two copies of the DNA"- Dr Ramanand Nadig
President Operations and  
Deputy Dean 
Clinical Research Education and Management Academy (CREMA)
Genes are segments of DNA present in the chromosomes in the nucleus of every cell. Genes carry instructions for making proteins, which are then copied by special enzymes into many copies of messenger RNA (mRNA). The mRNA then comes out of the nucleus, into the body of the cell; where it goes on to create the proteins needed for everyday life. Faulty or mutated genes lead to malfunctioning proteins that cause disease. Gene expression can be blocked by restricting the ability of chromosomal DNA to be copied into RNA and made into proteins. This research has given the lead wherein the ways to correct genetic disease by changing mutant gene sequences to its normal has been …

GSK adds CHF boxed warning on Avandia label

GSK adds CHF boxed warning on Avandia label
Friday, August 17, 2007 10:00 IST 
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

GlaxoSmithKline announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved updated US prescribing information for the thiazolidinediones (TZD) class of medicines used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. This approval allows GSK to implement changes in the label for Avandia (rosiglitazone maleate) as previously committed. 

The label will contain a boxed warning, which increases the prominence of an already existing warning for all medicines in the TZD class on the risk of congestive heart failure (CHF), a well known and well characterized risk in this class of medicine. The boxed warning also will note that TZDs are not recommended in patients with symptomatic heart failure, and that initiation of TZDs in patients with established NYHA class III or IV heart failure is contraindicated. 

The contraindications have also been updated regarding initiation of Avandia in patients w…

Are we ready for global phase I studies?

Are we ready for global phase I studies?
Wednesday, March 07, 2007 08:00 IST 
Dr Arun Bhatt

Indian clinical trial industry is now entering into an exciting phase. The market has grown from $ 20 million in 2002 to $ 80-100 million in 2005. The market is continuing to grow at a rapid pace. This growth is spurred by the changes in IPR status and amendments in Schedule Y of clinical trials. These have made India more attractive to international pharma community. 

In 2004 the global CRO market was estimated to be $ 10 billion and was expected to grow at an annual rate of 14-16 % (ACRO website). The market segmentation was: Phase I 6.09%; PhaseII-III 19.13%; Phase IIIb/IV 16.52%; Preclinical 17.39%; Central Lab 12.17%; Others 28. 7%. 

The 2007 estimate for CRO market is $14.4 billion. The 2007 market size for different phases (based on 2004 segmentation) is likely to be: Phase I : $ 0.87 million; Phase II-III : $ 2.7 billion;Phase IIIb/IV : $ 2.37 billion.

The Indian CRO market, in line with glob…