As Strep Throat Does Its Rounds, Antibiotic Shortages Hit Families
NPR covers the uncomfortable situation caused when strep throat season collides with a nationwide shortage of antibiotics like amoxicillin. Meanwhile, certain Philips CPAP and BiPAP respirators were recalled by the FDA, a ban is considered for cosmetics with forever chemicals, and more.
Strep Circulates While Antibiotic Shortage Continues In The U.S.
Downing a spoonful of bubblegum pink amoxicillin is a regular part of being a kid, but a nationwide shortage of the antibiotic is making a particularly bad season of strep throat tougher. That hit home for Caitlin Rivers recently when both of her kids had strep. (Lupkin, 4/10)
In other pharmaceutical news —
FDA: Some Philips Respirators May Not Deliver The Right Treatment
On Friday, the Food and Drug Administration issued a Class I recall for certain Philips CPAP and BiPAP respirators that were refurbished in an earlier recall, the latest in a string of troubles for the medical device giant. The machines were incorrectly programmed with the wrong serial numbers, leaving some users without the right prescription settings and running the risk that the machines “fail to deliver any therapy at all.” (Trang, 4/8)
US States Consider Ban On Cosmetics With 'Forever Chemicals'
A growing number of state legislatures are considering bans on cosmetics and other consumer products that contain a group of synthetic, potentially harmful chemicals known as PFAS. In Vermont, the state Senate gave final approval this week to legislation that would prohibit manufacturers and suppliers from selling or distributing any cosmetics or menstrual products in the state that have perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, as well as a number of other chemicals. (Rathke, 4/7)
Recalled Eyedrops Causing Blindness: What To Know About Drug-Resistant Bacteria
The deadly bacteria linked to recalled eyedrops causing infection and blindness had never been seen in the U.S. until 2022, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It has since infected dozens or people and killed three. Even though the contaminated bottles have been removed from stores and health care facilities, the CDC expects more cases to be identified. (Edwards, 4/9)
The Wall Street Journal:
Beyond Asthma: Designing Inhaled Drugs To Fight More Diseases
Treatments for asthma have long been delivered through the airways. Now researchers are developing inhalable therapies to target a wider range of ailments from cancer to diabetes. Constantly exposed to the outside world as we breathe, the lungs are a first line of defense against infection. They also provide a direct pathway to the circulatory system as they send oxygen to the blood. Researchers hope that delivering medicines directly to the lungs can exploit those characteristics and make drugs that are more efficient and effective than oral or injectable drugs—and maybe easier to take. (Mosbergen, 4/9)
A Data Point For Cancer Patients To Consider: 'Time Toxicity'
When Jeannette Cleland learned earlier this year that she could get chemotherapy at home, after dropping a particularly toxic medication, it seemed like good news. But then Cleland, a 44-year-old Minneapolis event planner who has stage 4 pancreatic cancer, did the math. She added up the time involved: waiting for a nurse to arrive to draw her blood; waiting for a courier to pick up her blood; waiting for another courier to drop off the chemotherapy drugs; waiting for a nurse to arrive to connect her to the infusion pump and later for another nurse to return to disconnect her. (Huff, 4/10)
The Boston Globe:
This Boston Startup Is Chipping Away At Animal Testing
It’s no secret that most drugs tested on animals prove to be unsafe or ineffective in people. As many as 9 out of 10 experimental medicines fail in clinical trials, a statistic that has many animal welfare activists and scientists alike wondering if there’s a better way. “The failure rates, compared to any other industry, are just crazy,” said Jim Corbett, chief executive of the Boston startup Emulate Bio, which might have a solution to the problem. (Cross, 4/9)
This Biotech Could One Day Make Human Eggs From Scratch. But First, They’re Trying To Rethink IVF
Christian Kramme grew up in a big family, the youngest of seven kids raised in California’s Santa Clarita Valley. By the time he moved across the country to do a PhD in George Church’s lab at Harvard, his siblings were already trying to start families of their own. And some of them were struggling. So when Church, the legendary geneticist and cell engineer, asked Kramme what he wanted to work on, he decided to swing big; he wanted to make eggs. Human eggs. From scratch. (Molteni, 4/8)
In updates on the Theranos case —
Ex-Theranos Executive Headed To Prison After Losing Appeal
Former Theranos executive Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani will be heading to prison later this month after an appeals court rejected his bid to remain free while he contests his conviction for carrying out a blood-testing hoax with his former boss and lover, Elizabeth Holmes. After the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision refusing Balwani’s request, U.S District Judge Edward Davila on Friday ordered him to start his nearly 13-year prison sentence on April 20. ... The April 20 reporting date means Balwani will be heading to prison a week before Holmes, Theranos’ founder and CEO, is scheduled to begin a more than 11-year prison sentence after being convicted on four counts of fraud and conspiracy last year. (Liedtke, 4/7)