Weekly Roundup – 09/17/10

Well…. Congress is back.  Nuff said on that.  

The rest of us are changing gears to autumn.  The summer linens and whites are now stored away in my summer closet.  The white bucks have been put away.  I'm looking forward to sweaters, stews, soups and cocoa.  Bring it on.

In the meantime, a LOT happened this week, but here is only a little bit of what happened in our corner of the world this week:

  • New England Journal of Medicine Launches Online Community for Cardiologists -For a while now there have been online communities for physicians such as Sermo and Physician Connect.  But this week the NEJM launched a new online community aimed exclusively at cardiologists called CardioExchange.   It will be interesting to see how many more treatment/disease specific such networks emerge.  It is just one more example of the explosive type of growth in health care communications that has emerged through social media.  
  • Advisory Committee Thumbs Down on New Weight Loss Drug – On September 16, the Endocrinologic and Metabolic Drugs Advisory Committee voted against recommending an application from Arena Pharmaceuticals for a new weight loss drug called lorcaserin by a vote of 9-5.    Adam Feuerstein, of theStreet.com, was one of a few live-bloggers from the event.  
  • FDA Approves New Gout Drug – That may not sound so exciting to many people, but to gout sufferers it might.  Gout, while it sounds like something that Ben Franklin might have suffered from (he did) it does not sound like a modern ailment.  Yet it is.  Until recently, the only treatments were decades old.  Now FDA has approved Krystexxa manufactured by Savient Pharmaceuticals.  Krystexxa is an enzyme that lowers uric acid levels, the cause of pain associated with gout, by metabolizing it into a harmless chemical that is then excreted by the body.  
  • FDA's Transparency Blog to Move – Will it Help? – The FDA's Transparency Blog which resides on the rather messy FDA Web site, is being moved.  According to the notice from the FDA on the matter, not only will it move to a new platform, but the agency will allow rankings and tags. 

That's it for me this week.  Have a good weekend everyone.  

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