January 17 Week in Review: Mortality Rates from Cancer Decline; California Gov. Proposes That State Manufacture Its Own Generic Drugs

Published Online: Friday, January 17th, 2020

This weekly video program provides our readers with an in-depth review of the latest news, product approvals, FDA rulings, and more. Our Week in Review is a can't miss for the busy pharmacy professional.

Nicole Grassano: Hello and welcome to the Pharmacy Times News Network. I’m Nicole Grassano your host for our Pharmacy Week in Review.

California Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom has suggested that the state contract with 1 or more generic drug manufacturers to manufacture specific generic medications on behalf of the state, Pharmacy Times reported. The program, called CalRx, would allow the state to contract with 1 or more makers of generic drugs in order to provide them to Californians for purchase. The plan would not apply to brand-name prescription drugs. Supporters argue that the program would increase generic drug competition, thus lowering prices. Opponents, however, said that it would be unlikely to change current practices. Opponents argue that if California enters the market, it will face the same market dynamics that have led to generic prescription drug price deflation in the past 3 years.

Children who drank whole milk had 40% lower odds of being overweight or obese compared with children who consumed reduced-fat milk, Contemporary Clinic reported. Twenty-eight studies were analyzed from 7 countries that explored the relationship between children drinking cow’s milk and the risk of being overweight or obese. Although 21,000 children between the ages of 1 and 18 years were evaluated, none of the studies showed that any of the children who drank reduced-fat milk had a lower risk of being overweight or obese. Eighteen of the 28 studies suggested that children who drank whole milk were less likely to be overweight or obese.

An annual report from the American Cancer Society states that the mortality rate from cancer in the United States has declined by 29% from 1991 to 2017, Specialty Pharmacy Times reported. The annual report, “Cancer Statistics 2020” estimates the number of new cancer cases and deaths expected in the United States each year. The 26-year decline was attributed to long-term decreased mortality rates in the 4 most common cancer types: lung, colorectal, breast, and prostate, thanks to declines in smoking and advances in early detection and treatment. Melanoma experienced the steepest decline in cancer mortality due to FDA-approved immunotherapy drugs ipilimumab and vemurafenib, according to the report.

Pharmacists may get more questions about Symbicort, if patients have seen a recent commercial for the prescription medication. In the spot, called “Wolf: Picnic,” the narrator says that when a patient has COPD, it can be hard to breathe. According to the commercial, Symbicort is a prescribed bronchodilator inhaler that is intended to treat those who suffer from asthma and COPD when taken regularly as ordered.

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Thanks for watching our Pharmacy Week in Review. I’m Nicole Grassano at the Pharmacy Times News Network.


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