Osteoporosis: A Big Problem

The next issue of The Medical Letter (September 29, 2014) will feature an article on Drugs for Postmenopausal Osteoporosis. In anticipation, it might be worthwhile to consider the scope of the problem, which may be the most common of all those we write about. The numbers here come from guidelines published by the American Association […]

A New Antiplatelet Drug

The September 15, 2014 issue of The Medical Letter includes an article on vorapaxar (Zontivity), an antiplatelet drug that inhibits aggregation of platelets by interfering with the platelet-activating effects of thrombin, a mechanism of action that sets it apart from aspirin and the thienopyridines clopidogrel and prasugrel. Two clinical trials looked at whether adding it […]

Statins and Diabetes Risk: An Elaboration

The next issue of The Medical Letter (1450; September 1, 2014) will include a short article, prompted by an FDA warning, on the risk of developing diabetes from taking a statin. We cite briefly (one sentence) an interesting article that deserves more attention (PM Ridker et al. Cardiovascular benefits and diabetes risks of statin therapy […]

Diclofenac Gel for Osteoarthritis

The September 1, 2014 issue of The Medical Letter includes an article on Drugs for Osteoarthritis, which briefly mentions local application of the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) diclofenac as an alternative to oral NSAIDs. We devoted an entire article to the 1% topical gel formulation of diclofenac (Voltaren Gel) in 2008 when it was first […]

Treatment of Skin and Skin-Structure Infections

The next issue of The Medical Letter (August 18, 2014) will lead off with an article on 2 new drugs for treatment of skin and skin-structure infections. Both appear to be promising, but these infections will undoubtedly continue to be difficult and expensive to treat. A recent editorial in The New England Journal of Medicine […]

A New Drug for Crohn’s Disease

The August 4, 2014 issue of The Medical Letter on Drugs for Inflammatory Bowel Disease includes a brief discussion of vedolizumab (Entyvio), the second integrin receptor antagonist to be marketed in the US for treatment of IBD. Natalizumab (Tysabri), which is also used to treat multiple sclerosis, was the first, but its use has been […]

Extended-Release Oxycodone/Acetaminophen Revisited

The most recent (July 21, 2014) issue of The Medical Letter included an article on a new formulation (Xartemis XR) of the popular combination of oxycodone and acetaminophen (Percocet, and others). The raison d’être for the new product is a new coating that delays the release of both acetaminophen and oxycodone long enough to justify […]


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