Weekly Roundup – 6-21-13

Summer began today.  This is my favorite day because it is the longest day of the year.  Of course, if you are a glass half-empty person, then you might think of this as the day when the days will start to get shorter, but I prefer to think of it as the peak light period. In case you haven’t picked up on it, I am a lover of light.  February is always tough for me.  June – not so much.

And speaking of light, here is a little to shed on what happened this week that was interesting:

  • First Test Approved for Genotyping Hep CFDA announced this week the approval of the first test for identifying the genotype of the Hepatitis C virus that a patient may be carrying.   This development provides physicians with the ability to better target treatment to the specific type of virus that a person has.  “Tests such as this one can help physicians gain an understanding of a patient’s HCV status,” said Alberto Gutierrez, Ph.D., director of the Office of In Vitro Diagnostics and Radiological Health in FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health.  “Along with other clinical factors, the particular type of HCV is an important consideration in aiding health care professionals in determining if and when to initiate treatment and the appropriate type of treatment.’
  • NIH Launches Dietary Supplment Label Database – This is pretty cool. dietary supplements that are sold in the U.S.  You can do a quick search for any ingredient, look at specific products, search by manufacturer or distributor and perform advanced searches – for example looking at health-related claims.  The release states that the database has the ingredients listed on the labels of about 17,000 products.  Also, noteworthy is that there is an app for consumers called MyDS – My Dietary Supplements – which helps you keep track of the vitamins, minerals, herbs and other products that you take.
  • NDAC to Consider RX-OTC Switch – While Rx to OTC switches used to be quite common, in recent years the rate of switches has slowed considerably.   It makes sense that as prescription drugs become more complex in nature, the ability to switch them becomes a bit more challenging.  And while there have been numerous unsuccessful switch attempts for statins, the inability to self monitor has been an inhibition though with the advent of so many medical apps, that may change in the future.  In any case, FDA is announcing a meeting of the Non Prescription Drugs Advisory Committee (NDAC) for July 31 to consider a switch for triamcinolone acetonide nasal spray for which the proposed use is to temporarily relieve the symptoms of hay fever or other respiratory allergies: nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing, itchy nose in adults and children.

That’s it for me this week.  May today be the beginning of a wonderful summer for you  as well as a great weekend.

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