October 18 Pharmacy Week in Review: Specialty Medications Top Costliest US Drug Prices; Pharmacists May Get More Questions About Piqray


This weekly video program provides our readers with an in-depth review of the latest news, product approvals, FDA rulings, and more. Our Week in Review is a can't miss for the busy pharmacy professional.

This weekly video program provides our readers with an in-depth review of the latest news, product approvals, FDA rulings, and more. Our Week in Review is a can't miss for the busy pharmacy 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.

The results of a study evaluating the efficacy and safety of varenicline tartrate for smoking cessation in adolescents and young adults found that it was well-tolerated but did not improve end-of-treatment abstinence compared with a placebo,Pharmacy Timesreported.

From 2012 to 2017, 157 adolescent and young adult cigarette smokers were randomized in a 1:1 ratio to a 12-week course of a placebo or varenicline. All participants also received weekly smoking cessation counseling.

The results showed that both the placebo and varenicline groups did not differ in the primary outcome of cotinine-confirmed self-reported 7-day abstinence at the end of treatment. However, among secondary outcomes, the varenicline group demonstrated higher rates of self-reported weekly abstinence during the full course of treatment.

The researchers concluded that varenicline may accelerate abstinence and yield improvements in post-treatment abstinence outcomes.

The results of a new study from Ohio State University shows hopeful results about a vaccine for respiratory syncytial virus,Contemporary Clinicreported.

RSV is defined as a common respiratory virus that causes mild, cold-like symptoms. This virus can be serious, especially in infants and older adults.

The study results provide a potential blueprint for the vaccine that is weak enough that it does not make people sick but strong enough that it will create an immune response and defend against future RSV viruses.

The technique leaves the RSV as genetically stable, which means that a live, weakened RSV with these mutations could not revert back to a stronger virus.

Specialty medications top the list of some of the costliest US drug price hikes not supported by new clinical evidence in 2017 and 2018,Specialty Pharmacy Timesreported.

TheUnsupported Price Increasereport, the first of its kind by the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review, assesses the cost-effectiveness of drugs. For its selection process, the researchers sought to identify the top drugs whose estimated net price growth over a 2-year period would have caused the greatest increase in US drug spending.

The top drug with the greatest unsupported price hikes was adalimumab, whose average US price increased 15.9% over the 2-year period after accounting for concessions and rebates. The total impact on drug spending for all 7 drugs listed was $5.1 billion over the 2-year period.

Price hikes are the norm in the United States for many pharmaceutical manufacturers on an annual basis. However, the latest report provides insight into whether these cost increases could potentially be supported by new clinical evidence.

Pharmacists may get more questions about Piqray, if patients have seen a recent commercial for the prescription medication.

In the spot, called “Hope” the narrator explains that while life is all about making choices, patients with metastatic breast cancer did not choose their disease. However, they can “Piq”

(spelled P-I-Q) hope, clarity, and knowledge.

According to the commercial, Piqray is designed to specifically target mutations related to HER2 metastatic breast cancer .

For more great coverage and practical information for today’s pharmacist, visit our website and sign up for our Daily eNews. And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Thanks for watching our Pharmacy Week in Review. I’m Nicole Grassano at the Pharmacy Times News Network.

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