The availability of free medication samples in dermatology offices appears to change prescribing practices for acne, a common condition for which free samples are often available.
Michael P. Hurley, M.S., and colleagues from the Stanford University School of Medicine, California.
Free drug samples provided by pharmaceutical companies are widely available in dermatology practices.
How the Study Was Conducted:
The authors investigated prescribing practices for acne vulgaris and rosacea. Data for the study were obtained from a nationally representative sample of dermatologists in the National Disease and Therapeutic Index (NDTI), a survey of office-based U.S. physicians, and from an academic medical center where free drug samples were not available.
Over 20 years after the fatal fialuridine trial, a study published this week in PLOS Medicine demonstrates that mice with humanized livers recapitulate the drug’s toxicity. The work suggests that this mouse model should be added to the repertoire of tools used in preclinical screening of drugs for liver toxicity before they are given to human participants in clinical trials.
A retrospective analysis by the US National Academy of Sciences of all preclinical fialuridine toxicity tests, which included studies in mice, rats, dogs, and monkeys, concluded that the available animal data provided no indication that the drug would cause liver failure in humans. Working on a mouse model in which approximately 90% of the animal’s liver cells are replaced by human liver cells, Jeffrey Glenn and Gary Peltz, from Stanford University, USA, and colleagues now show that it is possible to detect the toxicity of fialuridine, and possibly other drugs that poison human liver cells.
A new delirium severity score proves accurate for predicting important clinical outcomes in hospitalized patients.
Annals of Internal Medicine
Delirium is common among hospitalized patients and is associated with poor outcomes. The Confusion Assessment Method (CAM) is a standardized, validated measure that is widely used to screen for the presence of delirium but not its severity.
Latent HIV virus does not replicate and is therefore not killed by antiretroviral drugs. Such persistent latent infection is a major obstacle to curing HIV infection. New results by Tomas Cihlar, from Gilead Sciences, Foster City, USA, and colleagues suggest that romidepsin, a drug approved for treating lymphoma, can reactivate latent HIV in patients on antiretroviral therapy. The researchers found that romidepsin was a more potent activator of HIV than two similar drugs currently under clinical investigation.
Reactivation is the first step—the kick–of the so-called kick-and-kill strategy for HIV eradication, and romidepsin looks like a promising candidate drug to fulfil this function. The researchers conclude that romidepsin is a more potent and robust inducer of HIV expression in latently infected cells compared with other related drugs in clinical testing, and that clinical testing of romidepsin in virally suppressed HIV patients is warranted. Read more…
Viruses have limited genetic and cellular materials, and often depend on hijacking resources (for example, nutrients and basic cellular machinery) from their hosts to survive, multiply, and cause disease. Jiahuai Han, from Xiamen University in China, and colleagues conducted a systematic search in the fruit fly Drosophila for genes of the fly host that contribute to high-speed synthesis of viral proteins, and identified the pelo gene as a critical host factor.
pelo is necessary for the efficient manufacturing of the capsid proteins of a number of fly viruses. As the protein dos not seem to fulfil an essential function in the host and is conserved across species, pelo might be a broad-spectrum antiviral target. The scientists conclude “the discovery of the general antiviral activity by pelo deficiency may provide a new therapeutic target for broad-spectrum antiviral therapy”. Read more…