New Drugs 2012

In the February issue of Nature Reviews Drug Discovery a brief overview of the new drugs, which have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2012, was published under the heading “2012 FDA drug approvals” (Mullard, Nat Rev Drug Disccov 2012, 12: 87-90). A total of 39 new drugs were approved, which is the highest number of new registrations since 1997. Continue reading

Drug Prescription Report 2012: Antidementia Drugs

The “Antidementia Drugs” are not discussed in the chapter “Psychotropic Drugs” of the Drug Prescription Report 2012 (see my posts from November 9th, 2012, from December 16th, 2012 and from January 19th, 2013), but in a separate chapter. This chapter was not written by Martin Lohse and Bruno Müller-Oerlinghausen but Ulrich Schwabe, one of the two editors of the Drug Prescription Report. Different from the chapter “Psychotropic Drugs”, the chapter on “Antidementia Drugs” is written objectively and scientifically throughout.

Prescription of antidementia drugs has changed considerably in the last decade in Germany.

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Benzodiazepines in Surface Waters: Important Questions Remain

A publication in the latest issue of the journal Science (15 February 2013), in which Tomas Brodin and colleagues at the University in Umeå, Sweden, report on the effects of traces of the benzodiazepine oxazepam on the behavior of perch, excited not only in the lay press quite a stir (Brodin et al, Science 2013, 339: 814-815). The authors report that the concentrations of oxazepam, which are usually found in river waters, lead to significant, potentially ecologically relevant behavioral changes in fish which is exposed to these waters. Continue reading

„Repositioning“ of Approved Drugs for the Treatment of Alzheimer’s Dementia

The drug treatment of patients with Alzheimer’s disease is currently only possible with three acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (donepezil, galantamine, rivastigmine) and the NMDA antagonist memantine. These substances lead to a symptomatic improvement of up to 12 months (according to the latest results even 24 months, see my post dated 13/12/2012). So-called disease-modifying therapies are unfortunately still not available. In fact, the pharmaceutical industry recently had suffered numerous partly bitter setbacks in clinical trials of such new therapies. Despite the enormous economic potential, which a new drug that slows the disease process would have, currently only a few substances are in clinical trials in phases II and III (compared to more than 1000 drugs against cancer) due to the high economic risk, which such research poses. Continue reading