June 21 Week in Review: Survival Disparities Growing Among Young Patients with Cancer, Study Links BMI and Psoriatic Arthritis Severity

Published Online: Friday, June 21st, 2019

This weekly video program provides our readers with an in-depth review of the latest news, medical product approvals, FDA rulings, and more. The Week in Review highlights a Contemporary Clinic article each week, and is a can't miss for the busy healthcare professional.

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

FDA officials have approved the liraglutide (Victoza) injection to treat pediatric patients 10 and older with type 2 diabetes, Pharmacy Times reported.

This is the first noninsulin drug approved to treat type 2 diabetes in pediatric patients since metformin was approved for pediatric use in 2000, according to the FDA. Liraglutide has been approved to treat adult patients with type 2 diabetes since 2010. Although type 2 diabetes primarily occurs in patients older than 45, the prevalence among younger patients has been rising dramatically over the past couple of decades. The CDC estimates that more than 5000 new cases are diagnosed each year among people younger than 20 in the United States.

The drug improves blood sugar levels by creating the same effects in the body as a common receptor protein, GLP-1. The drug helps the production of insulin, prevents the liver from making an excessive amount of glucose, and slows digestion.

There is a significant correlation between body mass index and psoriatic arthritis severity according to the results of a new study, Contemporary Clinic reported.

The ongoing prospective observational study evaluating patients with psoriatic arthritis receiving tumor necrosis factor inhibitors, comprised 917 individuals across 8 European countries. The disease activity and patient-perceived impact were significantly higher for those patients with psoriatic arthritis classified as obese when compared with nonobese conditions.

The study authors noted that obesity can reduce the efficacy for fixed-dose drug regimens, as with self-injected biologics. These factors, alongside the global epidemic of obesity, makes research in this area of great interest and relevance.

Although cancer survival rates among adolescents and young adults have improved in recent years, there are growing ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic disparities in this age group as well, Specialty Pharmacy Times reported.

Over the study period of about 26 years, African-American patients had the highest risk of death compared with white adolescents and young adults, followed by Asian-Pacific Islanders and Latinos. Compared with white patients, survival disparities for every ethnic and racial minority group continued to worsen. Worsening survival trends were observed for African-American patients with bone/soft tissue sarcoma, poor adolescents and young adults with cervical cancer, and women 20 to 24 years old with cervical cancer.

The findings point to growing survival disparities in this age group and the need for increased attention to inequities in cancer care, according to the researchers.

Pharmacists may get more questions about Anoro, if patients have seen a recent commercial for the prescription medication. In the spot, called “My Own Way: Golf,”  the narrator says that chronic obstructive pulmonary disease can make it hard to breathe, but Anoro gives patients the freedom to “go their own way.” According to the commercial, Anoro is a prescribed medical inhaler that can improve lung function for those who have been diagnosed with COPD when taken regularly as suggested.

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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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