Tracey Walker, Contributing Editor
5 most over-prescribed antibiotics
The repercussions of antibiotic resistance are once again underscored in a recent policy brief from Health Affairs and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
New guide offers naloxone-dispensing information for pharmacists
Naloxone is a lifesaving antidote for reversing opioid overdose symptoms and the pharmacist’s role has quickly expanded in managing this population.
Rite Aid buys PBM EnvisionRx for $2 billion
Rite Aid Corp. has announced its plan buy pharmacy benefits manager EnvisionRx for about $2 billion.
FDA warns of rare brain infection with MS drug
After an MS patient died, FDA called for a description of the case to be added to the labeling for dimethyl fumarate.
Gilead receives approval for two HIV-1 cocktail drugs
FDA has approved two new HIV-1 cocktail drugs: elvitegravir (Vitekta, Gilead), an integrase inhibitor and cobicistat (Tybost, Gilead), a protease-inhibitor booster.
FDA approves another treatment for advanced melanoma
FDA has approved pembrolizumab (Keytruda, Merck) for treatment of patients with advanced or unresectable melanoma who are no longer responding to other drugs. Pembrolizumab, which received breakthrough therapy designation for advanced melanoma, is the sixth new melanoma treatment approved since 2011.
FDA approves another antibiotic for hard-to-treat skin infections
FDA has approved oritavancin (Orbactiv, The Medicines Company) for injection for the treatment of adults with acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections (ABSSSIs) caused by susceptible designated Gram-positive bacteria including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
FDA panel rejects Singulair as OTC product
An FDA advisory panel recommended against Merck’s attempt to sell its prescription drug, montelukast sodium (Singulair), as an over-the-counter product for allergy relief in adults only.
Late-stage lung cancer drug approved
FDA approved ceritinib (Zykadia, Novartis) for patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Once-daily treatment approved for COPD
FDA approved umeclidinium (Incruse Ellipta, GlaxoSmithKline) once-daily anticholinergic for long-term maintenance treatment of airflow obstruction in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including chronic bronchitis and/or emphysema.

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