A Complement Inhibitor for Dry Macular Degeneration

The April 3 issue of The Medical Letter includes an article on the first treatment ever approved by the FDA for use in patients with dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD). More specifically, pegcetacoplan (Syfovre) was approved for treatment of geographic atrophy, which is a late stage of dry AMD. AMD is common; according to the […]

Single-Dose Treatment of Covid-19 with Pegylated Interferon Lambda

The February 9th issue of The New England Journal of Medicine includes an article on a randomized controlled trial of a new antiviral treatment for Covid-19.1 Interferon lambda (IL-28 and -29) is an antiviral protein that has a protective effect at epithelial surfaces.2 It has been studied for antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2 and in two […]

TV Drug Ads

One of the many unsolicited messages that I receive daily on my computer screen informed me recently that Rinvoq has retaken the crown for top drug ad spender ($55.8 million in November) from Dupixent. I recall seeing unwanted TV ads for both drugs, but I had no idea that I was being visited by TV […]

Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection

Health authorities are warning of a looming triad this winter: COVID-19, influenza, and respiratory syncytial virus infections. Their emphasis has been on encouraging vaccination against COVID-19 and influenza. No vaccine is available for prevention of RSV infection, but one monoclonal antibody is available, and several vaccines and more monoclonal antibodies are in development.1 Most children […]

Mifepristone

The recent Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade has heightened interest in the use of the oral antiprogestin mifepristone (Mifeprex) for termination of intrauterine pregnancies. Mifepristone binds to progesterone receptors and increases prostaglandin levels by inhibiting prostaglandin dehydrogenase; both actions stimulate uterine contractility. It is generally used with the prostaglandin analog misoprostol (Cytotec, and […]

Overdose-Prevention Centers

The May 26 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine includes 2 articles on a subject that deserves more attention than it has received from us.1,2 Drug overdose deaths rose above 100,000 annually during the Covid-19 pandemic in the US, fueled at least partly by purposeful fentanyl contamination of illicit drugs. Naloxone is widely […]

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 […]