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Pharmacology

EMA suspends preterm birth drugs over possible cancer risk

The European Medicine Agency’s safety committee has recommended the suspension of the marketing authorisations for medicines containing 17-hydroxyprogesterone caproate (17-OHPC) in the European Union, after reviews...

Pharmacy ARV treatment will erode GPs’ income – HPCSA

The Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) has warned against pharmacists being allowed to prescribe HIV treatment, saying it could affect the income of...

AstraZeneca withdraws Covid jab worldwide

London-based AstraZeneca has withdrawn its Covid jab worldwide, but says the discontinuation is unrelated to legal action related to serious side effects. “As multiple, variant...

Hormones safe for menopause – US study dispels old flawed findings

The benefits of hormone therapy for the treatment of menopause symptoms outweigh the risks, and what is available now is very different from two...

FDA aims to reduce toxicity, boost efficiency, of cancer drugs


With evidence that thousands of cancer patients become so ill from their treatment that they skip their dosage or stop taking it altogether –...

FDA accelerated approval for Duchenne drug questioned

The decision by the US Food and Drug Administration to grant accelerated approval for gene therapy to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and which includes...

NICE approves drug combo for young brain cancer patients

British children and teenagers with an aggressive form of brain cancer may benefit after a new life-extending drug combination was recommended for NHS use...

Young black female scientist’s role in leprosy cure

For centuries, and up until about the 1920s, there was no remedy for leprosy’s debilitating symptoms or its social stigma, but these days it’s...

No link between suicide and weight loss drugs – EMA

Evidence does not support a causal association between the glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1) – dulaglutide, exenatide, liraglutide, lixisenatide and semaglutide – and suicidal...

Post-birth esketamine slashes depression by three quarters – Chinese study

Scientists recently found that a single dose of 0.2 mg/kg of esketamine soon after childbirth reduced major depressive events among women with prenatal depressive...

Don’t panic, say experts as HIV drug flagged for resistance

Results from recent studies reveal the emergence of resistance in subsets of HIV patients to dolutegravir – an antiretroviral commonly used in South Africa...

Diabetes drug shows promise in slowing Parkinson’s – French study

Researchers say findings that diabetes drug lixisenatide may slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease could be a major step forward, and provide hope for...

Bayer seeks approval for ‘hot flushes’ drug

German pharmaceutical company Bayer will request regulatory approval for its menopause medication after the daily pill was shown to ease hot flushes in a...

Acne drug not linked to higher suicide risk – meta-analysis

Users of the acne drug isotretinoin do not experience an increased risk of suicide, according to a recent meta-analysis, but may actually have a...

Non-profits take over from Big Pharma in new drugs trials

Effective, affordable antimicrobial drugs are desperately needed around the world, and last November, a clinical trial offered a glimmer of hope, when an oral...

US regulator probes role of supply chain middlemen in drug shortages

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have issued a request for information on the practices of...

Thousands of Covid deaths tied to hydroxychloroquine – French study

Research led by scientists from the University of Lyon in France into the use of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), prescribed during the first wave of Covid-19,...

Key year for innovative new medicines

While last year was characterised by innovative new drugs, with new medications for Alzheimer’s disease, weight loss, and the first treatment based on the gene-editing technology CRISPR,...

UK regulatory body warns about Paxlovid risks

Britain’s health regulator has issued a warning about Covid-19 medication Paxlovid and the potential for risk of harmful drug interactions because of the ritonavir...

CVD risk upped by long-term use of ADHD drugs

A case-control study by Swedish scientists suggests that longer use of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medication is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular...

Why obese people should not be excluded from drug trials

Although more than 40% of American adults are considered obese, the medications many take are rarely tested in bigger bodies, because they are not...

Ketamine use soars after opioid crackdown despite little research, regulation

As US doctors scale back their use of opioid painkillers, a new option for hard-to-treat pain is taking root: ketamine, the decades-old surgical drug...

US sets price for (costly) new postpartum depression pill

Pharma giant Sage Therapeutics has priced the oral postpartum depression (PPD) pill it developed with partner Biogen at $15 900 for a full 14-day course of...

SA moves to treat depression with psychedelics

Drugs demonised by their recreational use in the 1960s are proving their worth in helping to improve people’s mental health, with traditional psychedelic substances...

FDA issues compounded ketamine products warning

The US Food & Drug Administration has flagged the increasing use of compounded ketamine products for treating disorders like depression, anxiety, PTSD and OCD,...

Vast majority of ‘penicillin allergies’ are just antibiotic side-effects

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) warns in a review that 90% of people who think they are allergic to penicillin are not – they...

Greenlight for alopecia drug after trial results

The European Commission has authorised the marketing of ritlecitinib to treat adults and adolescents 12 and older with severe alopecia areata, the first medicine...

Unequal global morphine access flagged by WHO

The World Health Organisation has revealed huge discrepancies in the distribution of morphine around the world in a recent report, calling the issue a...

Global race heats up for weight-loss drug pill

Pfizer is to move forward with an oral version of an Ozempic-like drug candidate and drop another, while Eli Lilly has released trial results...

Improper antibiotic scripts for children rife in poor countries

A study by French experts has found the prescribing of inappropriate antibiotics for children is extensive in the three low- and middle-income countries (LMICs)...

New antibiotics vital to stem newborn deaths

Experts have urged the development of new antibiotics after a landmark global observational study found that more than 200 000 neonates (within 60 days...

Pfizer’s RSV vaccine for older adults approved by FDA

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given the green light for a second vaccine to fight respiratory syncytial virus infection (RSV), with...

South Africa in phase three trial to combat global gonorrhoea threat

South Africa is one of five countries involved in a phase three trial to develop a first-in- class antibiotic for gonorrhoea – one of...

Experimental haemophilia drug slows bleeding – Pfizer

A new experimental haemophilia treatment from Pfizer has showed promise in reducing patients’ bleeding rates, the company said this week, with a late stage...

Pfizer to launch generic and chewable Viagra

Pfizer, which in 2024 begins to lose its exclusive patent rights to its pioneering erectile dysfunction drug, will launch a generic version of Viagra in...

Abandoned World War 2 drug a potential to fight drug-resistant bacteria

Despite development of the antibiotic nourseothricin being halted decades ago due to potential toxicity to kidneys, researchers say the abandoned, 80-year-old antibiotic could be...

Half of obese teens on Wegovy return to normal weight – STEP TEENS trial

In what researchers describe as unprecedented, the drug Wegovy (semaglutide) reduced the weight of nearly 50% of teenagers “to a level below what is...

FDA approves Japan’s Alzheimer’s agitation drug

The first approved drug for agitation in Alzheimer’s patients has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, with Otsuka Pharmaceuticals’ brexpiprazole being...

Self-harm risk high immediately after starting antidepressants – US analysis

Patients who take antidepressants are at highest risk of self-harm in the weeks immediately after the drug is prescribed, an analysis of more than...

FDA approves pill for menopausal hot flushes

The US Food and Drug Administration have given the nod to Japanese drugmaker Astellas Pharm’s non-hormonal pill Veozah to treat hot flushes linked to...