According to announcement at the Latin American Cooperative Oncology Group (LACOG) 2013 conference, cancer cases in Latin America region is increasing in an alarming rate.
The new study shows around 13 deaths for every 22 cancer cases in the region, compared to around 13 deaths for every 37 cases in the United States and around 13 deaths for every 30 cases in Europe. There are 163 cases of cancer per 100,000 people, compared to 300 in the Unites States.
The study was published in the British journal The Lancet Oncology. There are far fewer cases of cancer in the region than in the US or Europe - However, the proportion who die is much higher.
The reason behind this disparity is due to late diagnosis, poor access to treatment, increase in life expectancies, rise in alcohol consumption, smoking and obesity.
The cancer rates are expected to rise more than 33 percent in the region by 2020.
It is prophesed that the main reason for this is that, most patients look for treatment when they are at late stages of the cancer and are too late to get the treatment to survice. On top of this, the cost of cancer treatment is very expenisve in Latin America.
The study suggests that Latin American nations should push for major changes to their healthcare policies, such as investing more funds to public health, broadening healthcare access so cancer patients can be treated faster
and ealier. Also coming up with better national cancer plans are essential and urgent.
Vs company says that it warned of drug- safety questions. Did Merck know about increased fracture risk in Fosamax patients years before the osteoporosis treatment hit the market?
A plaintiff's lawyer in the latest lawsuit claims Merck ($MRK) was warned about the potential for spontaneous fractures 5 years before Fosamax made its debut.
"This company should have warned of the problems that they saw coming," attorney Paul Pennock said on the opening day of the trial in a New Jersey federal court (as quoted by Bloomberg). "The company should have warned of the problems they learned actually were happening."
Merck faces 3,300 lawsuits alleging that the bone drug caused serious femur fractures. Pennock represents Fosamax user Bernadette Glynn, who used the drug for 7 years. She claims that Fosamax weakened her femur, causing a fracture when she bent over to pick something up, Bloomberg reports. Hers is the second fracture suit to hit court; the first ended in a mistrial last month.
Read more: http://www.nj.com/business/index.ssf/2013/04/at_fosamax_trial_attorney_char.html
Merck says doctors and patients were appropriately warned about Fosamax's risks. The company says Glynn didn't simply bend over to pick something up but tripped over a chain saw and broke her leg.
A 2010 study flagged a potential risk of femur fractures in patients using Fosamax and similar bone drugs. FDA reviewed the data and added warnings to the drugs' labels, cautioning doctors about their long-term use.
An FDA advisory panel also looked at the drugs' risks--including the leg-fracture data--in 2011; the expert advisers favored warnings and perhaps restrictions on long-term use. At the time, FDA had been reviewing bisphosphonate safety for almost four years.
In an usual move that may prompt millions of women to re-think their use of popular bone-building drugs, the FDA published an analysis in New England Journal of Medicine, that suggested caution about long-term use of the drugs. Read more: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1202619?query=featured_home
This round of Fosamax liability suits joins more than 1000 other cases linking the bone drug to osteonecrosis of the jaw.
By Dr. Shruti U. Bhat
Doctors aren't getting the skinny on drug side effects from pharma reps, a new study finds. Even the most
serious risks are often overlooked, the survey found. And while probes of off-label marketing abound, enforcement of risk disclosures during sales visits is mostly absent.
"Laws in all three countries require sales representatives to provide information on harm as well as benefits," lead author Barbara Mintzes of the University of British Columbia said in a release. "But no one is monitoring these visits and there are next to no sanctions for misleading or inaccurate promotion."
Researchers surveyed 255 family physicians in Canada, France and the U.S. The doctors were asked to fill out forms after each sales call. In all, some 1,700 visits were recorded between May 2009 and June 2010. Most of the doctors reported receiving little to no information about harmful side effects; in fact, sales reps failed to offer any
information about side effects and contraindications in 59% of the visits recorded.
In fact, serious risks were mentioned only 6% of the time--despite the fact that almost 6 out of 10 of the promoted drugs carry "black box" safety warnings.
French reps were the most conscientious. They offered info on serious risks during 40% of their visits. Canadian reps were least likely to share risk information; Vancouver salespeople disclosed no potential harms for 66% of the drugs they promoted, the study found. Significant contraindications came up only 14% of the time in both Vancouver and Montreal. The U.S. reps were slightly better, sharing those contraindications 17% of the time.
By Dr. Shruti Bhat
INTERPOL and 29 of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies have joined forces in an initiative to battle counterfeit drugs. INTERPOL announced the creation of the Pharmaceutical Crime Programme to further build on the work of its Medical Product Counterfeiting and Pharmaceutical Crime (MPCPC) unit. The program is funded by $5.9 million (EUR $4.5 million) from pharmaceutical industry partners.
According to a press release the program will focus on the prevention of all types of pharmaceutical crime, including branded and generic drug counterfeiting as well as the identification and dismantling of organized crime networks linked to drug counterfeiting.
“Both brand-name and generic pharmaceuticals are susceptible to counterfeiting, putting patient lives at risk,” said Haruo Naito, president and CEO of Eisai, in the release. “This is why we have joined our colleagues across
the biopharmaceutical industry to partner with INTERPOL and expand the work of its Medical Product Counterfeiting and Pharmaceutical Crime Unit. We fully support INTERPOL's decision to establish a comprehensive initiative that will enhance its efforts to prevent medical product counterfeiting and pharmaceutical crime. Ultimately, this is about protecting patients around the world.”
Scientists may be one step closer to using stem cells to treat patients with Parkinson's disease. Carlsbad, CA-based International Stem Cell Corp. ($ISCO) has developed a method to treat the common neurodegenerative disease by replacing lost neurons with new neuronal cells derived from human parthenogenetic stem cells (hpSC).
Researchers manufactured highly pure populations of neural brain cells differentiated from hpSCs and transplanted them into the brains of African Green monkeys and rats with animal versions of Parkinson's disease. These neuronal cells functioned similarly to adult cells, and the researchers said they expressed greater levels of dopamine- the neurotransmitter that is essential to Parkinson's disease--than previously reported approaches.
There is human data to suggest implanting neuronal cell into Parkinson's disease patients can have benefits on the symptoms," said Simon Craw, executive vice president of International Stem Cell Corp., to FierceBiotechResearch,
citing two past U.S. and Swedish studies. Previously, researchers had studied fetal neuronal cells in relation to treating neurogenerative disorders like Parkinson's. But Craw said there are two major problems associated with that
research. First, the source of these cells presents an ethical issue since they must be taken from human fetuses, and second, fetal neuronal cell transplantation for Parkinson's has caused the movement disorder dyskinesia in some studies.
Researchers observed the rodents for 6 months and the primates for four months and saw behavioral improvements in both studies. There were no noticeable negative side effects, and the therapy did not produce any tumors in the animals. The company details its protocol in a paper in the Nature journal Scientific Reportsand will present the research at the American Academy of Neurology's annual meeting in San Diego on March 20.
Every year, about 60,000 people are diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. While deep brain stimulation and levodopa can alleviate some of the symptoms of the disease, they tend to become less effective over time.