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December 2017

Sublocade: A new injectable for addiction treatment

This HND piece spotlights a new drug that could prove quite effective in the treatment of opioid addiction. Sublocade is an injectable form of the established drug buprenorphine, and offers certain advantages over the conventional sublingual administration. Medication is steadily released into the bloodstream, which helps patients to be compliant with the regimen, and diversion is a non-issue. Various security protocols would be in effect, and the drug does carry a boxed warning.

Some within the addiction treatment community see Sublocade taking attention away from the heavily promoted Vivitrol—and they consider that a good thing.

Read the complete article.

A look at skinny type 2 diabetics

This HND piece examines the very neglected subject of type 2 diabetics who don't fit the usual profile of being overweight. Science tends to like neat, simple explanations, and the one about insulin resistance preventing further obesity is just too good to abandon—even if it does not apply in this case.

The claim is that skinny type 2s are about 15% of the total, but this is dubious. Any fattie who ever goes to a doctor has been tested, but there must be millions of normal weight folks who never have been tested. Why would they be?

Factors have been proffered for what causes type 2 in skinny people, but beyond fatty liver disease, the only one that makes sense—although it sounds like a cop-out—is genetics. If being obese runs in families, then being a skinny type 2 surely can, as well. Skinny type 2s respond to treatment a bit differently, as this is starting to get some attention...finally.

Read the complete article.

Diabetes treatment and insulin price fixing

This HND piece begins with a history of the discovery of diabetes, and then segues into current issues, such as how the prices have skyrocketed. It is a little nuts that a drug discovered 94 years ago is not available in any sort of generic version.

More than that, although the quality of the pharmaceutical has definitely improved over the years, it is far more expensive now than it was in the 1920s. One reason is that unlike virtually every other drug of a certain age, the manufacturers are patent protecting constant improvements, thus keeping the stuff proprietary. Of course, the Pharmacy Benefit Managers have their hand in the pricing bubble, as well.

We also look at some research that just may get a few folks off insulin, or at least reduce their dosages.

Read the complete article.

Striking a blow against a killer disease

This HND piece looks at the truly devastating illness that is pancreatic cancer.  Talk about your "perfect storm," this one is difficult to diagnose, progresses rapidly, and offers few treatment options, since most cases are diagnosed at late stages.  Experts think that it is well on its way to become the number two cancer killer (after lung cancer).  Arguably, it does not get enough attention...or funding.

We discuss two interesting treatment methods that have been proven in mice, along with a promising biomarker, already used in breast cancer, that will make monitoring the progress of treatment much more rapid and precise.

Read the complete article.