The AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 Vaccine

An interim analysis of 4 randomized double-blind trials of an adenovirus-vectored COVID-19 vaccine was published recently.1 Developed through a partnership between AstraZeneca and Oxford University, this vaccine is relatively inexpensive and can be stored in standard refrigerators. It has been approved for use in the UK and several other countries, but not to date in […]

Vaccine Priorities

“Even the most privileged of humans in the Western world will join a tragically disfavored caste if they live long enough. They will belong to the last caste of the human cycle, that of old age, people who are among the most demeaned of all citizens in the Western world, where youth is worshipped to […]

Coronavirus Vaccines

The Medical Letter’s online table of Treatments Considered for COVID-19 now includes a section on vaccines, neatly arranged by mechanism of action: adenovirus-vectored, mRNA, adjuvanted recombinant nanoparticle, and inactivated vaccines. Our list is incomplete, of course, because the number of vaccines now in clinical trials around the world is approaching 50, but we have included […]

Early Use of Remdesivir (Continued)

Two important communications turned up on my computer recently. First, two letters to the editor of The New England Journal of Medicine commenting on Beigel et al, Remdesivir for the Treatment of Covid-19 — Preliminary Report, published online on May 22 at NEJM.org. Both drew attention to the late introduction of remdesivir in the trial: […]

Remdesivir: A Possible Treatment for 2019 Novel Coronavirus

Notice: Due to rapidly changing information, the content of this blog post may be obsolete. Please check our article, Some Drugs for COVID-19, and accompanying table, Treatments Considered for COVID-19, which are available free, for updated information. Every day our editors and expert consultants are sifting through the literature, checking government and society updates, and monitoring […]

Truth in TV Advertising: Empagliflozin (Jardiance)

Advertisements for prescription drugs are flooding our TV screens. I don’t think that’s a good thing, but are they untruthful (forbidden) or misleading (more difficult to police)? The long recitals of terrifying side effects add a note of caution, but since they come on so late and are intoned at such high speed, it may […]

Tafamidis (Vyndaqel; Vyndamax): Why Two Products?

Our website now hosts a free article about tafamidis, a new drug in the US approved for treatment of adults with transthyretin-mediated amyloid cardiomyopathy, a progressive, life-threatening, under-diagnosed disease often referred to by its acronym (ATTR-CM). The drug was approved in 2 formulations with different brand names and different doses, both manufactured by Pfizer. Vyndaqel […]