Weekly Roundup 10.2.15

Joaquin is a knock knock knockin’ at our door. While the government did not shut down due to a political crisis, it may not be clear that a weather crisis won’t do the job. Washington can always use a good airing out, but a hurricane is actually not the preferred method. I hope it is dry and warm wherever you are.

My travel schedule this past week kept postings at a minimum, but here is the Weekly Roundup with a bit of what happened this week and a little bit from last, that was of interest:

  • Two New Diabetes Treatments Approved – Last Friday FDA announced the approval of two new diabetes medications – Tresiba (insulin degludec injection) and Ryzodeg 70/30 (insulin degludec/insulin aspart injection) to improve blood sugar control in adults with daibetes mellitus. Tresiba is a long-acting insulin and Ryzodeg 70/30, a mixture of a long acting insulin analog with a rapid acting one. The new treatments are manufactured by Novo Nordisk. The company press release with fuller information on Tresiba can be found here.
  • New Laser-Based Hearing Aid FDA cleared for marketing a new hearing aid that uses a laser diode and direct vibration of the eardrum to amplify sound for people with hearing impairment. The device has two parts – a tympanic membrane transducer (TMT) which is placed into the ear canal on the eardrum through non-surgical means and a behind the ear (BTE) audio processor that sits on the outer ear but is connected to an ear tip that is placed in the ear canal. The release describes how the device works as follows – external sound waves received by the BTE processor are converted to electronic signals, digitally processed, amplified and sent to the ear tip, which contains a laser diode and are then converted to pulses of light. These then shine onto a photodetector in the TMT, converting it back into electronic signals, transmitting sound vibrations directly to the eardrum by direct contact. If that sounds a bit much, you can see more on the company website.
  • WHO Announces Change to HIV Recommendations – As someone whose career began in the earliest days of the HIV/AIDS epidemic when there were no effective treatments, it was absolutely breathtaking yesterday to see that the World Health Organization had issued a call for the wide scale treatment of all people with HIV and to offer treatment as a preventive measure for people at high risk. Because treatment has been shown to act as a preventive, with these new guidelines WHO states that they are seeking to end the epidemic as we know it by 2030. The recommendations mean an expansion of the number of people receiving treatment from 28 million world wide to 37 million.

That’s it for me this week folks. While I didn’t get to posting due to travel, I have some in the can and ready to go next week when we will look at the pain category and regulatory enforcement, among other things. Have a good weekend and if you are on the East Coast, let’s hope the rain and wind is not too bad.

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