Drugs & Pharmaceuticals

In March I wrote about Phase IIa results of a novel NSAID-like drug ATB-346 (now called otenaproxesul), which is structurally and functionally similar to naproxen (Aleve) but lacks its gastrointestinal side effects, especially ulcers. Now Phase IIb results are in and it still looks good. Will it become the first member of a novel class of pain drugs? We could sure use it. A summary of the company's report to shareholders.
Dr. David Shlaes contends that he continues "to believe that most hospital administrations understand that what is best for their patients is what is best for their hospitals, and that they try and act accordingly." The ACSH advisor adds that while there may be "exceptions to this, it is clear that the Medicare policies are now doing more harm than good."
We increasingly extend both the quality and quantity of life for what were fatal diseases; AIDS/HIV comes readily to mind. But treatment is also increasingly expensive, even with insurance coverage. In some instances, co-pays are equivalent to the annual median household income. A new paper looks at a readily available source of funding. (Spoiler alert: it doesn't involve new taxes.)
A July 22 paper in the journal Nature further underscored earlier studies showing that neither the anti-malaria drug, hydroxychloroquine, nor chloroquine, prevents SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that causes COVID-19 – from replicating in lung cells. ACSH advisor Dr. Katherine Seley-Radtke has more.
The study by Didier Raoult et. al., the one partly responsible for the massive, unwarranted use of hydroxychloroquine for COVID, has been picked to bits by a review panel hired by the journal that published it. It's now clear that the Raoult study was a methodological mess. How did it get published at all? Should it be retracted? Let's take a look.
We normally butt heads with the Center for Science in the Public Interest. But its recent attack on Joseph Mercola's magical COVID cures deserves praise. CSPI could be a great organization if it focused more on eliminating quack medicine and less on labeling bacon as causing cancer.
The company dedicated to discovering vaccines for herpes is back in the news. Rational Vaccines gained notoriety when its founder, the late Dr. Bill Halford, bypassed FDA protocol for vaccine development and set up a small trial on the island of St. Kitts, in the Caribbean, using live attenuated virus on volunteers who were suffering from herpes simplex. Now, three years after Dr. Halford's death, Rational is developing five vaccines for herpes and two for COVID. But his time, by the book.
Dr. Katherine Seley-Radtke is featured in a Sun article that describes her efforts to combat the coronavirus. Our advisor is an expert in chemistry, biochemistry, and antiviral drug development. The article, which examines a promising COVID drug she discovered, is a follow-up to a recent Op-Ed that the professor co-authored with ACSH's Dr. Josh Bloom.
The FDA’s re-analysis showed essentially what we already knew. There's a huge antibiotic effect in the treatment of bacterial pneumonia. The effect is the greatest when looking at the early response to antibiotic therapy, but is still large even when looking at later cure.
We have made amazing progress in the treatment of COVID-19. Two therapies – steroids and remdesivir – have already been shown to help. Those who benefit from these treatments owe thanks to patients who volunteered to participate in controlled clinical trials, and the physicians and pharmaceutical companies that lead them.
While it remains popular to attribute the opioid‐​related overdose crisis to doctors prescribing pain relievers to patients, the evidence shows there is no correlation between prescription volume and non‐​medical opioid use or opioid use disorder.
The FDA’s rigorous oversight – rather than a race to satisfy an aggressive agenda – is imperative during this pandemic.