During my residency many years ago I rotated through a locked psychiatric ward, a place depicted in many movies and television shows but entirely new to me at the time. This was my first real glimpse at the people who were severely affected by thought disorders such as schizophrenia. The treatment options…
The disease is endemic in Latin America, where an estimated 8 million people are affected. It is a lifelong illness and, if untreated, it can result in life-threatening health conditions. Enter benznidazole, which shows we can respond to these new threats in both a medically and an economically responsible manner.
EA, although uncommon, is a complex and dangerous newborn birth defect with, until now, only chest surgical approaches. The Flourish Pediatric Esophageal Atresia Device is a remarkable alternative to traditional chest surgical procedures. No procedure or device is free of adverse events, but the results with this are so far impressive.
FDA approval of the CAR T-cell therapy for leukemia could usher in an era of genetically engineered, individually tailored immunotherapies. But tap those brakes. Long-term results are in short supply—and there’s that $475,000 price tag. Or is it a $750,000 price tag?
With a list price that is 25% less than a competing drug, better outcomes, and less frequent dosing, maybe Ocrevus will start a new trend: better outcomes, easier administration—and a lower price. That trifecta is great news for people managing the cost and quality of MS care.
Constipation can be a serious and painful problem, and we shouldn’t dismiss other people’s suffering. On the other hand there’s a danger when new medications are compared against placebo rather than against over-the-counter products with a history of effectiveness.
Spinraza is a breakthrough, no doubt. It is a survival SMN-2–directed antisense oligonucleotide indicated for the treatment of SMA in pediatric and adult patients and is administered by injections into the spinal fluid (intrathecally). But it is another ultraexpensive drug, and the evidence so far points to a modest improvement in motor milestones.
Merck has recently received FDA approval for bezlotoxumab (Zinplava), as a treatment to reduce recurrence of C. difficile in patients 18 years of age or older who are receiving antibiotic treatment for the infection and for whom there is a high risk of recurrence.