Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 30 n°83

Posts Tagged ‘patients’

Stroke prevention drugs may help reduce dementia risk for atrial fibrillation patients

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 18 marzo 2018

Barcelona, Spain – Patients with atrial fibrillation could reduce the risk of dementia by taking stroke prevention medications, according to recommendations published online today in EP Europace1, a European Society of Cardiology journal, and presented at EHRA 2018.2 The international consensus document was also published in HeartRhythm, the official journal of the Heart Rhythm Society (HRS), and Journal of Arrhythmia, the official journal of the Japanese Heart Rhythm Society (JHRS) and the Asia Pacific Heart Rhythm Society (APHRS).The expert consensus statement on arrhythmias and cognitive function was developed by the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA), a branch of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC); the Heart Rhythm Society (HRS); the Asia Pacific Heart Rhythm Society (APHRS); and the Latin American Heart Rhythm Society (LAHRS).Heart rhythm disorders (arrhythmias), as well as some procedures undertaken to treat them, can increase the risk of cognitive decline and dementia. The international consensus document was written for doctors specialising in arrhythmias and aims to raise awareness of the risks of cognitive impairment and dementia and how to reduce them.The document states that atrial fibrillation is associated with a higher risk for cognitive impairment and dementia, even in the absence of apparent stroke. This may be because atrial fibrillation is linked with a more than two-fold risk of silent strokes. The accumulation of silent strokes and the associated brain injuries over time may contribute to cognitive impairment.Stroke prevention with oral anticoagulant drugs is the main priority in the management of patients with atrial fibrillation. The consensus document says that oral anticoagulation may reduce the risk of dementia.Adopting a healthy lifestyle may also reduce the risk of cognitive decline in patients with atrial fibrillation. This includes not smoking and preventing or controlling hypertension, obesity, diabetes, and sleep apnoea.“Patients with atrial fibrillation may be able to reduce their risk of cognitive impairment and dementia by taking their oral anticoagulation medication and having a healthy lifestyle,” said Dr Nikolaos Dagres, lead author and consultant, Department of Electrophysiology, Heart Centre Leipzig, Germany.The document also reviews the association between other arrhythmias and cognitive dysfunction, including post-cardiac arrest, in patients with cardiac implantable devices such as implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) and pacemakers, and ablation procedures.Treatment of atrial fibrillation with catheter ablation can itself lead to silent strokes and cognitive impairment. To reduce the risk, physicians should follow recommendations for performing ablation and for the management of patients before and after the procedure.3,4
The consensus document notes that physicians may suspect cognitive impairment if a patient’s appearance or behaviour changes — for example, if appointments are missed. Family members should be asked for collateral information. If suspicions are confirmed, the consensus document recommends tools to conduct an objective assessment of cognitive function.The paper highlights gaps in knowledge and areas for further research. These include, for instance, how to identify atrial fibrillation patients at increased risk of cognitive impairment and dementia, the effect of rhythm control on cognitive function, and the impact of cardiac resynchronisation therapy (CRT) on cognitive function.

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Heart attack patients prescribed antidepressants have worse one-year survival

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 5 marzo 2018

The observational study of nearly 9,000 patients found that those prescribed antidepressants at discharge from hospital after a heart attack had a 66% greater risk of mortality one year later than patients not prescribed the drugs, although they noted the cause is not necessarily related directly to the antidepressants.Lead author Ms Nadia Fehr, a medical student at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, said: “Previous studies have suggested that cardiovascular disease may increase the likelihood of being depressed. On the other hand, depression appears to increase the probability of developing cardiovascular risk factors. However, little is known about the impact of depression on outcome after a heart attack.”This study assessed the association of antidepressant prescription at hospital discharge with the one-year outcomes of patients with acute myocardial infarction (heart attack).Data from AMIS Plus, the Swiss nationwide registry for acute myocardial infarction, were used to analyse 8,911 heart attack patients admitted to hospitals in Switzerland between March 2005 and August 2016. Patients were followed up by telephone 12 months after discharge.The researchers compared patients who received antidepressant medication at discharge with those who did not with regard to baseline characteristics and one-year outcomes including mortality, a subsequent heart attack, and stroke.A total of 565 (6.3%) patients received antidepressants at discharge from hospital. Compared to those who did not receive the drugs, patients prescribed antidepressants were predominantly female, older, and more likely to have hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidaemia, obesity and comorbidities. They were less likely to undergo percutaneous coronary intervention or receive P2Y12 blockers or statins, and stayed in hospital longer.After adjusting for baseline characteristics the researchers found that the rates of stroke and subsequent heart attacks were similar between the two groups, but patients prescribed antidepressants had significantly worse survival. The rate of all-cause mortality at one-year after discharge was 7.4% in patients prescribed antidepressants compared to 3.4% for those not prescribed antidepressants (p<0.001).Antidepressant prescription was an independent predictor for mortality, and increased the odds by 66% (odds ratio: 1.66; 95% confidence interval: 1.16 to 2.39).“This was an observational study so we cannot conclude that antidepressants caused the higher death rate,” noted Ms Fehr.She concluded: “Our study showed that many patients are treated with antidepressants after a heart attack. More research is needed to pinpoint the causes and underlying pathological mechanisms for the higher mortality we observed in this patient group.”

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Rapid blood vessel scan tolerated by claustrophobic patients unable to stand longer tests

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 4 febbraio 2018

arterial and venous anatomyBarcelona, Spain Doctors have developed a new five-minute procedure to scan the blood vessels which offers hope for claustrophobic patients unable to tolerate the conventional longer test. The research is presented at CMR. Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) is a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exam that takes pictures of the blood vessels. Physicians use the images to diagnose diseases of the blood vessels, such as aneurysms or blockages.During the test patients lie on a table inside a tunnel-like tube and must remain still. A dye, called a contrast agent, is injected into the veins so the vessels can be seen more clearly. Patients are given a headset to block out noise from the scanner. An MRA can typically take 30 minutes to one hour, from start to finish.“Lengthy scans can be problematic for patients with even modest levels of claustrophobia who may refuse the test or ask for it to be stopped early,” said Dr Puja Shahrouki, research fellow, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, US. “They also limit the number of patients that can be scanned each day. In addition, the usual gadolinium-based contrast agents can be an issue for patients with kidney problems.”This study aimed to shorten the scan time and still produce high quality images. The researchers used ferumoxytol as the contrast agent as it stays within the vascular system for much longer than gadolinium-based dyes. With gadolinium-based agents, there is a short time when the images can be taken, which means patients have to wait in the scanner while the clinician watches the dye move through the body in order to capture the images when the dye enters the blood vessels.
The UCLA study included seven claustrophobic patients aged 11 to 63 years with kidney failure. There were four men and three women. All patients said they were reluctant to undergo MRA due to claustrophobia, but agreed to a trial of up to ten minutes in the scanner bore.Eight MRA scans using ferumoxytol were conducted. All scans were completed and there were no adverse events. Scans took an average of 6.27 minutes (range four to ten minutes). All scans were high quality and allowed full visualisation of the arterial and venous anatomy from the neck to the thighs
“Despite being claustrophobic, all patients completed the MRA and the images could be used for diagnosis of the entire vascular system,” said Dr Shahrouki. “Some of the scans were done in less than five minutes once the procedure started, making it much shorter than the tests currently used in medical practice.” The researchers have shown that the test can be used to diagnose venous and arterial diseases, such as central venous occlusion and aneurysms, and to aid preprocedural planning, for example in transcatheter aortic valve replacement. In principle, it is possible to scan several patients in an hour as opposed to just one or two, raising promising possibilities for workflow and efficiency.
Dr Shahrouki said: “This method could enable claustrophobic patients to receive lifesaving diagnoses and procedures. For appropriate types of studies, it could also shorten waiting lists and improve the cost-benefit ratio for hospitals.” The new protocol should be technically easier than current practice because there is no time pressure for taking images. Ferumoxytol is increasingly recognised as an alternate contrast agent in patients with poor kidney function, but is not marketed outside the US. It is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) only for the treatment of iron deficiency anaemia in adults with chronic kidney disease.Hypersensitivity reactions have occurred in patients receiving ferumoxytol as a high dose for therapy in a short period of time, and the FDA has warned against this. The new MRA protocol administers the dye by slow infusion outside the MRI machine while monitoring the patient’s vital signs, in compliance with FDA guidelines. A preliminary study showed this was safe2 and a larger registry is generating a safety profile of slow infusion under close monitoring. More safety data will be needed before any conclusions can be drawn about the true rate of hypersensitivity reactions and in the meantime close monitoring is the rule.Dr Shahrouki said: “The protocol could have huge implications for claustrophobic patients and efficient use of scanners. We envisage it being used very widely in patients with a clear clinical indication.” (photo: arterial and venous anatomy)

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Nearly 25% of chronic ischaemic heart disease patients dead or hospitalised in six months

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 17 gennaio 2018

Sophia Antipolis, Nearly a quarter of patients with chronic ischaemic cardiovascular disease are dead or hospitalised within six months, reports a European Society of Cardiology (ESC) study published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. “Coronary artery disease is the leading cause of death worldwide yet some patients appear to get lost in the system after their initial visit to a hospital or outpatient clinic,” said lead author Cardiology Professor Michel Komajda, of the University Pierre and Marie Curie and Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris, France.
The Chronic Ischaemic Cardiovascular Disease (CICD) Pilot Registry was designed to learn what happens to these patients in the six months after being seen by a health professional. The observational study was conducted as part of the EURObservational Research Programme (EORP) of the ESC.
The study included 2,420 patients from 100 hospitals and outpatient clinics in ten European countries. Participants had stable coronary disease2 or peripheral artery disease, the most common conditions seen by a cardiologist. Risk factors and treatments were recorded at the start of the study and have been previously reported.3 Treatments and outcomes were recorded at six months.
Follow-up data were available for 2,203 patients, of whom 522 (24%) had died or been rehospitalised during the six months. Factors significantly associated with the risk of dying or being rehospitalised were older age, with a hazard ratio (HR) of 1.17 for every ten years, history of peripheral revascularisation (HR 1.45), chronic kidney disease (HR 1.31) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (HR 1.42) (all p<0.05). The majority of the causes of death and rehospitalisation were cardiovascular.Professor Komajda said: “These patients are at high risk of dying or being navigatore coronarierehospitalised in the short-term and should be carefully monitored by physicians. We identified clinical factors which are strongly associated with this high risk which can easily be assessed.”
The rate of prescription of angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, beta-blockers (both drugs reduce blood pressure) and aspirin was lower at six months compared to the start of the study (all p<0.02).Professor Komajda said: “In absolute numbers the reductions were modest but they did reach statistical significance. This shows that patients have a better chance of receiving recommended medications while in hospital or directly after an outpatient appointment. Six months later, drugs they should be taking to reduce the risk of death and rehospitalisation are prescribed less frequently.”He added: “It is likely that there is insufficient handover of these patients to a cardiologist or GP and so their prescriptions are not renewed.”While the study did not assess the reasons for the reduction in prescriptions, possible factors include: patients getting tired of taking pills or cannot afford them.Six month rates of death and rehospitalisation were significantly higher in eastern, western and northern European countries compared to those in the south. Given the relatively small number of patients, Professor Komajda said firm conclusions could not be drawn. But he said: “We anticipated that outcomes would be better in Mediterranean countries and this was correct, probably because of the diet and other lifestyle reasons.” Professor Komajda concluded: “The study shows that patients with chronic ischaemic cardiovascular disease have a high risk of poor short-term outcomes. Yet some are not receiving recommended preventive medications which could improve their outlook. More efforts are needed to ensure that these patients continue to be monitored and treated after they leave hospital or an outpatient appointment.”

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Howsden Dermatology Joins Platinum Dermatology Partners

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 4 novembre 2017

Kevin F. Kia, Akash A. PatelPlatinum Dermatology Partners (“Platinum”) announced today that Howsden Dermatology has joined its network, further enhancing Platinum’s presence in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Platinum is a dermatology-focused physician services organization with a rapidly growing network of top-ranked dermatology practices in Texas. Howsden Dermatology serves the eastern Dallas communities of Garland, Rowlett and Mesquite, and is known for its superior medical and surgical dermatological care, as well as its keen focus on skin cancer detection and treatment. Founded in 1983 by Dr. F. Lester Howsden, MD, FAAD, Howsden Dermatology patients today are cared for by Dr. Akash A. Patel, MD, FAAD, and Dr. Kevin F. Kia, MD, FAAD. Drs. Patel and Kia are devoted to serving the communities in which they work, and the dermatology community at large, with their highest commitment to quality skin care. Both are long-time honorees of D Magazine’s “Best Doctors in Dallas,” and since 2005, both have remained actively involved in teaching future dermatologists at The University of Texas Southwestern—many of whom are now practicing in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
“Times are most definitely changing, and we were looking for the right partner to help us grow and provide the best care for our patients. Platinum became an obvious choice,” said Dr. Patel. “Dr. Kia and I have worked very hard to maximize quality and efficiency. We want our patients to have the highest quality of care; so to us, it was really important to find a partner who shares our goals and priorities. Platinum stands apart from the rest because they don’t want to change how we operate—they have no interest in micromanaging us; they are enhancing our strengths and showing us ways we can grow through their vast resources. One other huge distinguishing factor for us was the quality of physicians we join in the Platinum network. We have tremendous respect for these Platinum Dermatologists—all are well-regarded by their peers and the medical community at large—and we wanted to be part of this strong team. Platinum was by far the best choice for us.” Platinum’s model is attractive to physicians because it empowers dermatologists to grow and enhance their practices while providing exceptional clinical care and retaining ownership and autonomy. Platinum’s management creates partnerships with physicians that lead to better operational and clinical outcomes, encourages collaboration among dermatology professionals, and drives practice growth opportunities that are unmatched in an independent practice. (photo: Kevin F. Kia, Akash)

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Immune-stimulatory Activity with RGX-104 in Advanced Cancer Patients

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 30 ottobre 2017

PhiladelphiaPhiladelphia. Rgenix, Inc., a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing first-in-class small molecule and antibody cancer therapeutics, announced today preliminary data from an ongoing Phase 1a/b clinical trial with its lead oral investigational agent, RGX-104. These data demonstrate immune-stimulatory activity in solid tumor patients with highly-refractory malignancies, including patients who have failed prior checkpoint inhibitors. Also presented were pre-clinical data establishing the immune-modulatory and anti-tumor effects of RGX-104. The company presented the data at the AACR-NCI-EORTC International Conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics in Philadelphia. RGX-104 is a liver X receptor (LXR) agonist that upregulates the expression of the target gene, Apolipoprotein E (ApoE), triggering several downstream effects via ApoE receptors. In pre-clinical data presented today, treatment with RGX-104 in mouse models resulted in dual effects on myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) and dendritic cells (DCs), both innate immune cells that play a central role in regulating anti-tumor immunity and response to checkpoint inhibitors. Innate immune activation with RGX-104, coupled with a reduction in tumor blood vessels, resulted in anti-tumor activity as a monotherapy as well as synergy with checkpoint inhibitors (CPI) in several drug-resistant mouse models. These data provide rationale for Rgenix’s ongoing Phase 1a/b trial of RGX-104 in advanced cancer patients and support evaluation of RGX-104 as both a monotherapy as well as in combination with CPIs.
As part of the ongoing Phase 1a/b clinical trial, 15 patients with a variety of solid tumors have been treated with escalating doses of RGX-104 monotherapy. Patients treated with RGX-104 had a median of six prior therapies with a range of 1-12, highlighting a population of patients with profoundly resistant disease.Activation of the LXR-ApoE pathway with oral administration of RGX-104 was associated with immune-stimulatory activity in 9 of 10 evaluable patients. This was demonstrated by an increase (up to 11-fold) in activated circulating PD-1+CD8+ T cells during treatment. T cell activation was observed in patients who experienced modulation of the innate immune system during treatment. The effect of RGX-104 on the innate immune system consisted of both MDSC depletion (up to 95% decrease) as well as DC activation as indicated by induction of PD-L1 expression (up to 100% increase). In most cases these effects were observed within two weeks of treatment initiation and generally preceded the onset of T cell activation.
Safety data demonstrate good tolerability with on-target safety findings in the first three dosing cohorts. One patient experienced a DLT of grade 4 reversible neutropenia – a known potential effect of LXR agonism – that reversed within one week, allowing the patient to subsequently tolerate a 50% dose reduction. No MTD has been reached to date. Stable disease has been observed in 4 of 12 evaluable patients, including three who have failed prior checkpoint inhibitor therapy, for periods of at least 8 weeks.Rgenix plans to enroll subsequent dose-escalation cohorts of the RGX-104 monotherapy trial in Q4 2017. Additionally, Rgenix is planning to initiate the Phase 1b expansion component of the study, comprised of disease directed cohorts receiving RGX-104 monotherapy as well as cohorts receiving RGX-104 combined with a CPI, projected to begin in 1H 2018.The LXR-ApoE pathway was discovered as a cancer target using a microRNA (miRNA) based target discovery approach originally developed at The Rockefeller University and now exclusively licensed to Rgenix.

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New randomized controlled study confirms the efficacy and tolerability profile of Sativex in the treatment of multiple sclerosis spasticity resistant patients

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 29 ottobre 2017

Paris-antenne-vue-eiffel-tourParis. Almirall, S.A. (ALM) announces that Prof. Markova (Thomayer Hospital, Prague, Czech Rep.), primary investigator, has presented at the 7th Joint ECTRIMS-ACTRIMS Meeting in Paris, the top line efficacy results of a new randomized placebo controlled clinical study, SAVANT, that further confirms the efficacy and tolerability profile of Sativex® (THC:CBD oromucosal spray cannabinoid based medicine) in the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS) resistant spasticity (muscle rigidity) for patients who have not responded to first line therapies.SAVANT study is the first randomized clinical study with Sativex® on multiple sclerosis resistant spasticity management since 2014. Its primary objective was to evaluate the efficacy of Sativex® as an add-on therapy in patients with moderate to severe spasticity who had not gained adequate relief during treatment with two optimized standard antispasticity medications. Secondary objectives were to evaluate the effect of this treatment on spasticity and associated symptoms, and to further characterize its tolerability.The results of this study demonstrate that Sativex® is an effective and well-tolerated add-on option for treating patients with resistant multiple sclerosis spasticity, as well as burdensome associated symptoms instead of just adjusting again the first line options treatment.191 patients entered the study, of which 106 were randomized and after 12 weeks the clinically relevant responder rate was 77.4% within the Sativex® patients group, vs 32.1% within the placebo group (p<0.0001). There were also statistically significant improvements in favour of Sativex® at week 12 in the mean changes of the overall spasticity score, Ashworth spasticity score, and pain score. 22.6% of the Sativex® patient group and 13.2% of the placebo patient group reported one or more mild or moderate adverse events. No serious adverse events were reported.

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Virologic Response in Patients with Chronic Hepatitis C

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 22 ottobre 2017

historyMerck (NYSE:MRK), known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, today announced the presentation of findings from a retrospective database analysis of patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype (GT) 1 or 4 infection who have chronic kidney disease (CKD) and were treated with ZEPATIER® (elbasvir and grazoprevir) in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare system. Among patients who completed therapy, the analysis showed 95.6 percent (714/747) of patients with severe CKD (stages 4-5, defined as estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) <30 mL/min/1.73 m2) and 97.1 percent (758/781) of patients with moderate CKD (stage 3, defined as eGFR 30-59 mL/min/1.73 m2) achieved sustained virologic response (SVR), defined as HCV RNA below the limit of quantification at least 10-12 weeks after the end of treatment. For patients with missing HCV RNA data after at least 10-12 weeks after treatment completion, analyses were conducted on a post-hoc basis using the last HCV RNA data available after week 4 after therapy completion. The response rates in the real-world setting of the VA further supplement findings from controlled clinical studies of ZEPATIER. These findings will be presented today at The Liver Meeting® 2017 taking place in Washington, D.C.
In the United States, ZEPATIER is indicated for the treatment of chronic HCV GT1 or GT4 infection in adults. ZEPATIER is indicated for use with ribavirin (RBV) in certain patient populations. The U.S. Prescribing Information for ZEPATIER includes a Boxed Warning about the risk of hepatitis B virus (HBV) reactivation in patients co-infected with HCV and HBV. In controlled clinical studies of ZEPATIER, SVR was the primary endpoint defined as HCV RNA less than lower limit of quantification at 12 weeks after the cessation of treatment (SVR12).The retrospective observational analysis included 5,845 patients with chronic HCV infection who received ZEPATIER (elbasvir and grazoprevir) between February 1 and December 31, 2016. Patients were identified from the VA Corporate Data Warehouse, a national repository of VA electronic medical records. Presence of chronic kidney disease was measured via eGFR, per the National Kidney Foundation’s Modification of Diet in Renal Disease equation. Of 4,693 patients evaluated in the per protocol population, 16.6 percent (781/4693) had CKD stage 3 and 15.9 percent (747/4693) had CKD stages 4 or 5. Please see additional information below about the design, methodology and limitations of this observational analysis.
Most patients with chronic kidney disease in the analysis were male (96.9%, 1481/1528); African American (67.5%, 1031/1528) and either had GT1a infection (52.2%, 798/1528) or GT1b infection (42.1%, 644/1528). The mean age for patients in the study with chronic kidney disease was 64.9 years. Comorbid conditions as defined by ICD-9/10 codes in the VA database included depression (58.5%, 894/1528), diabetes (69.2%, 1057/1528), compensated cirrhosis (18.6%, 284/1528), and HIV (5.0%, 76/1528). In the study, 19.9 percent of patients (304/1528) were coded as having decompensated cirrhosis; ZEPATIER is not for use in patients with moderate or severe hepatic impairment (Child Pugh B or C). See Selected Safety Information below for more information. (photo: MERCK)

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Boehringer Ingelheim: Advancing anticoagulation care with new data at ESC Congress 2017

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 24 agosto 2017

Boehringer IngelheimBoehringer Ingelheim today announced that it will present important new data on the treatment of patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) at the ESC Congress in Barcelona, Spain, 26-30 August 2017. In total, four abstracts have been accepted, investigating different aspects of AF patient treatment. The results of the RE-DUAL PCI™ trial have been selected for one of the Late Breaking Science sessions of the congress.The RE-DUAL PCI™ trial compared dual therapy with triple therapy after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) with stent placement in approximately 2,500 adults with atrial fibrillation. Patients were either treated with dabigatran etexilate (Pradaxa®) and a single antiplatelet agent or with the vitamin K antagonist (VKA) warfarin and two antiplatelets. The dabigatran doses investigated in this trial are the same doses which have already demonstrated effective stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation and are therefore approved around the world in this indication. “The presentation of the results of our RE-DUAL PCI™ trial at ESC is particularly timely as the focus of the 2017 congress is ‘40 years of PCI’”, commented Professor Jörg Kreuzer, Vice President Medicine, Therapeutic Area Cardiovascular, Boehringer Ingelheim. “We are honoured that the results will be included in the congress Spotlight Session and hope that the findings from the trial will provide a valuable contribution to patient management in the PCI setting.” (photo: Boehringer Ingelheim)

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Stroke history higher in asymptomatic versus symptomatic atrial fibrillation patients

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 22 giugno 2017

fibrillazione atrialeVienna, Austria Newly diagnosed asymptomatic atrial fibrillation patients have a higher rate of previous stroke than those with symptoms, according to results from the GLORIA-AF Registry presented today at EHRA EUROPACE – CARDIOSTIM 2017.1 The findings highlight the need for screening to identify atrial fibrillation patients with no symptoms so that stroke prevention treatment can be given.“Patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation have a five-fold increased risk of stroke compared to those without atrial fibrillation,” said lead author Dr Steffen Christow, a cardiologist at Hospital Ingolstadt GmbH, Ingolstadt, Germany. “Strokes in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation tend to be particularly severe and disabling, with about half of patients dying within one year.”“Appropriate anticoagulant therapy substantially reduces the risk of stroke, but in many cases non-valvular atrial fibrillation is only diagnosed after a patient has had a stroke,” he continued. “When patients are unaware of their atrial fibrillation they remain untreated and unprotected from stroke.”GLORIA-AF (Global Registry on Long-Term Oral Antithrombotic Treatment in Patients with Atrial Fibrillation) is a large, multinational, prospective registry programme involving patients with newly diagnosed non-valvular atrial fibrillation. This sub-analysis compared characteristics between symptomatic and asymptomatic patients in Western Europe.The study included 6 011 consecutively enrolled patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation in Western Europe.2 Symptom status was defined by the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA) score: I-II asymptomatic/minimally symptomatic; III-IV symptomatic.
A total of 4 119 patients (two-thirds) were asymptomatic/minimally symptomatic (hereafter referred to as ’asymptomatic‘) and one-third (1 892) were symptomatic at the time of diagnosis. A number of differences were observed between the two groups.In terms of medical history, asymptomatic patients were twice as likely to have permanent atrial fibrillation (15.8% versus 8.3%) and more than twice as likely to have had a previous stroke (14.7% versus 6.0%) than patients in the symptomatic group. Asymptomatic and symptomatic patients had a similar number of stroke risk factors, as indicated by a CHA2DS2-VASc score of 3.3 in each group.Dr Christow said: “The finding of a higher rate of previous stroke in the asymptomatic patients despite no differences in the number of stroke risk factors may be explained by a longer but undiagnosed history of atrial fibrillation.”“Our study found that in Western Europe, two-thirds of patients newly diagnosed with atrial fibrillation were asymptomatic,” he continued. “Without detection, patients may not receive appropriate preventive therapy and remain at increased risk of stroke.”Dr Christow concluded: “These results underline the urgent need for public programmes to detect atrial fibrillation in the general population.”

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International Forum on Cancer Patients Empowerment “Shared decisions, one policy”

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 11 maggio 2017

università studi milanoMilano, 16 al 17 maggio 2017 presso l’Università degli Studi. Nella sessione di apertura dalle 9.30 alle 10.15 sono attesi gli interventi del Ministro della Salute, Beatrice Lorenzin, e del Ministro dell’Istruzione, dell’Università e della Ricerca, Valeria Fedeli. L’equilibrio tra innovazione e sostenibilità, in uno scenario caratterizzato dai nuovi trend dell’oncologia di precisione e della medicina genica e personalizzata, sarà al centro di una
successiva sessione dedicata (dalle 11.45 alle 13.30), dove interverranno tra gli altri, Mario Melazzini, Presidente dell’Agenzia Italiana del Farmaco, Massimo Scaccabarozzi, Presidente di Farmindustria, e Nathalie Moll, EFPIA General Director. Nella giornata del 17 maggio, Gianluca Vago, Rettore dell’Università degli Studi di Milano introdurrà la sessione di apertura, in cui Paolo Corradini, Direttore del Dipartimento di Oncologia ed Onco-ematologia dell’Ateneo milanese, illustrerà l’esperienza maturata negli anni da quello che oggi, con oltre 60 addetti, si propone come un centro di eccellenza, tra i più grandi a livello europeo, dedicato alla ricerca e cura oncologica. Il Forum avrà luogo presso l’Università degli Studi di Milano, sede di importanti gruppi di ricerca operanti nel contesto e partecipe di molti dei più rilevanti programmi di ricerca nazionali e internazionali sul fronte della ricerca scientifica e su quello del trasferimento tecnologico e di sviluppo applicativo dei risultati della ricerca scientifica. La partecipazione dei cittadini ai processi decisionali rappresenta uno dei valori fondamentali su cui si basa la strategia comunitaria europea, anche nella pianificazione dei nuovi programmi sanitari. “Shared decisions, one policy” è il primo Forum internazionale dedicato ai diritti dei pazienti e al loro attivo coinvolgimento nel processo decisionale clinico e nelle politiche di sanità pubblica nell’era dell’oncologia personalizzata, con particolare riferimento alle esigenze di omogeneizzazione e riequilibrio tra i diversi standard assistenziali europei.
Il Forum propone una sintesi multidisciplinare e multidimensionale, offrendo il contributo di tutte le categorie a vario titolo interessate e coinvolte su questo tema in Italia e in Europa: rappresentanti dei pazienti, operatori sanitari, politici, legislatori e regolatori, organizzazioni internazionali, organismi governativi e aziende farmaceutiche. Il Forum contribuisce al dialogo internazionale sul diritto umano ad uno stato ottimale di salute, collocandosi a pieno titolo all’interno del contesto dell’azione comune europea sul controllo del cancro.
La partecipazione al Forum non prevede costi di iscrizione ed è aperta a tutti gli interessati, previa registrazione sul sito: (foto: università studi milano)

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Unemployment associated with 50% higher risk of death in heart failure patients

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 2 maggio 2017

infarto-miocardico-acutoParis, France. Unemployment is associated with a 50% higher risk of death in patients with heart failure, according to research presented today at Heart Failure 2017 and the 4th World Congress on Acute Heart Failure. The observational study in more than 20 000 heart failure patients found that not being employed was linked with a greater likelihood of death than history of diabetes or stroke.“The ability to hold a job brings valuable information on wellbeing and performance status,” said lead author Dr Rasmus Roerth, a physician at Copenhagen University Hospital, Denmark. “And workforce exclusion has been associated with increased risk of depression, mental health problems and even suicide.”“In younger patients with heart failure, employment status could be a potential predictor of morbidity and mortality,” he continued. “If that was the case, employment status could help to risk stratify young heart failure patients and identify those needing more intensive rehabilitation.”This study compared the risks of all-cause death and recurrent heart failure hospitalisation in patients with heart failure, according to whether they were employed at baseline or not. Using the unique personal identification number assigned to all residents in Denmark, individual data was linked from nationwide registries on hospitalisation, prescribed medication, education level, public welfare payments, and death.The study included all patients of working age (18 to 60 years) with a first hospitalisation for heart failure in Denmark between 1997 and 2012. Of the 21 455 patients with a first hospitalisation for heart failure, 11 880 (55%) were part of the workforce at baseline.During an average follow-up of 1005 days, 16% of employed and 31% of unemployed patients died, while 40% of employed and 42% of unemployed patients were rehospitalised for heart failure.After adjusting for age, sex, education level and comorbidities, heart failure patients unemployed at baseline had a 50% increased risk of death and 12% increased risk of rehospitalisation for heart failure compared to those who were employed. Not being part of the workforce was associated with a higher likelihood of death than history of diabetes or stroke.Dr Roerth said: “We found that heart failure patients out of the workforce at baseline had a higher risk of death. Not being part of the workforce was associated with a risk of death comparable to that of having diabetes or stroke. Those without a job also had an increased risk of recurrent heart failure hospitalisation.”Dr Roerth said the exact mechanism on how employment status may affect mortality is complex and most likely multifactorial. “The ability to work can be seen as a measure of performance status and be interpreted as whether patients meet the physical requirements of a full time job or not,” he said.But he added: “Employment status is more than just a physical measurement as it also has an influence on quality of life, and has been shown to be important for mental health and wellbeing. Thus, both from a physical and psychological point of view it makes sense to include employment status in the evaluation of young heart failure patients’ prognosis.”Dr Roerth said it was perhaps not surprising that employment status has importance for prognosis. “But the observation that employment status is associated with an increased risk of death comparable to that of many other comorbidities such as diabetes and stroke is notable,” he said.In terms of implications of the findings, Dr Roerth said workforce exclusion could be used to identify heart failure patients at risk of poor outcomes and that efforts to get patients back into work might be beneficial.He said: “It could be highly valuable to assess employment status and actually think of workforce exclusion as a prognostic marker in line with suffering from serious chronic diseases. Knowledge on why workforce exclusion has happened for the individual patient might lead to ideas on how it can be prevented – for example with more intensive rehabilitation, physical activity, psychological treatment, or a different job.” Authors: ESC Press Office.

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International Forum on Cancer Patients Empowerment

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 21 aprile 2017

porta nuova milanoMilano 16 e 17 maggio a Milano l’International Forum on Cancer Patients Empowerment, primo appuntamento promosso su questo tema a livello europeo.
Nella sessione di apertura il 16 maggio dalle 9.30 alle 10.15 sono attesi gli interventi del Ministro della Salute, Beatrice Lorenzin, e del Ministro dell’Istruzione, dell’Università e della Ricerca, Valeria Fedeli. L’equilibrio tra innovazione e sostenibilità, in uno scenario caratterizzato dai nuovi trend dell’oncologia di precisione e della medicina genica e personalizzata, sarà al centro di una successiva sessione dedicata (dalle 11.45 alle 13.30), dove interverranno tra gli altri, Mario Melazzini, Presidente dell’Agenzia Italiana del Farmaco, Massimo Scaccabarozzi, Presidente di Farmindustria, e Nathalie Moll, EFPIA General Director. Nella giornata del 17 maggio, Gianluca Vago, Rettore dell’Università degli Studi di Milano introdurrà la sessione di apertura, in cui Paolo Corradini, Direttore del Dipartimento di Oncologia ed Onco-ematologia dell’Ateneo milanese, illustrerà l’esperienza maturata negli anni da quello che oggi, con oltre 60 addetti, si propone come un centro di eccellenza, tra i più grandi a livello europeo, dedicato alla ricerca e cura oncologica.
Il concetto di patient empowerment, coniato e sviluppatosi negli Stati Uniti a partire dagli anni ’70, ha segnato una vera e propria rivoluzione nel mondo della salute. Un cambiamento culturale, che ha posto il paziente al centro del processo di cura, con la sua storia personale, il suo vissuto, il suo ambiente, la sua rete di relazioni. E’ stato dimostrato, infatti, che la consapevolezza del paziente rispetto alle proprie condizioni di salute e al proprio percorso di cura incida positivamente sull’esito delle terapie e porti benefici alla collettività in termini di risparmio e maggiore efficienza del Sistema. Per questo, l’empowerment del paziente oncologico si pone oggi come riferimento imprescindibile e unificante delle politiche a livello globale: la partecipazione dei pazienti ai processi decisionali è uno dei valori fondamentali su cui si basa la pianificazione delle nuove strategie sanitarie dell’UE. I pazienti europei sono chiamati ad essere più coinvolti in ogni aspetto della loro salute, dal rimodellamento della sperimentazione clinica alla legislazione e in tutte le questioni che li riguardano in prima persona, compresa quella della gestione dei dati genetici, al centro dei nuovi protocolli della medicina personalizzata.
Troppo spesso, tuttavia, il “patient empowerment” resta ancora relegato a una dichiarazione di intenti e raramente tradotto nella prassi medica e sanitaria quotidiana. “Shared decisions, one policy” è il titolo scelto per questo primo Forum, che affronterà la sfida di tradurre in azioni concrete e buone pratiche la centralità del paziente oncologico, grazie al ruolo chiave che può essere giocato dalla sinergia tra scienza e formazione. Con questo obiettivo, l’evento vedrà il contributo di tutti gli attori coinvolti nel Sistema (rappresentanti dei pazienti, operatori sanitari, politici, legislatori, regolatori, organizzazioni internazionali, organismi governativi e aziende farmaceutiche) per fare il punto sui traguardi raggiunti e tracciare una roadmap per affrontare esigenze e sfide future.

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Clinical trial rules should protect patients and results not operational details

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 9 marzo 2017

Sophia Antipolis. Rules governing the conduct of clinical trials are failing to produce the intended benefits for patients and should be rewritten through a transparent process that involves academic clinical trialists and patient advocates as well as regulators and industry representatives, according to recommendations published today in European Heart Journal. The call comes from the Cardiovascular Round Table (CRT), an independent forum of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), which convened regulators, drug companies, academic clinical trialists and patients to discuss the International Council for Harmonisation (ICH) Good Clinical Practice (GCP) guidelines. “Well conducted randomised clinical trials are the bedrock of safe and effective, evidence-based treatment of cardiovascular disease. However, the cost and complexity of clinical trials has risen out of all proportion,” said lead author Professor Martin Landray, Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology, Clinical Trial Service Unit, University of Oxford, UK. “It means that many potential new treatments are abandoned before their efficacy has been thoroughly assessed. Furthermore, some ineffective or harmful treatments may continue to be used widely because of a lack of robust clinical trial data.” The paper argues that GCP requirements for randomised clinical trials should be based on the overarching principle of minimising issues that may materially impact the well-being of trial participants or the reliability of the results.Professor Landray said: “The emphasis on reliable results is not just for academic reasons. It’s the results that impact on the care of future patients. If a treatment really works but your trial fails to prove it then you’ve missed an opportunity. If a treatment is not safe and you miss that because your trial is too small or is badly conducted then that’s also bad for patients.” “The rules should be based on the principles, not on the operational details which will, and should change over time,” said Professor Barbara Casadei, ESC President-Elect and co-chair of the CRT. “We have no idea what technology and healthcare systems will look like in ten years. What we do know is that protecting patients and obtaining reliable results will remain a priority.” “Even today, innovative approaches to trial design, such as randomisation within the context of a large cardiovascular registry, are often thwarted by concerns about how to adhere to current GCP requirements that were written before the advent of smartphones or the widespread use of electronic healthcare records,” said Professor Landray.The current rules are determined by the ICH ( which includes a select group of regulators, for instance, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA), and pharmaceutical companies. It does not involve patients, scientific organisations, or academic clinical trialists. The CRT asserts that these groups have a major role to play in improving clinical trial guidelines. Indeed, previous experience, particularly in the US but also in Europe, has demonstrated the importance of effective engagement of all those involved in clinical trials, including academic and patient communities. The CRT meeting was the catalyst for MoreTrials, a public campaign “for more, better, randomised trials”, of which the ESC is an active supporter. These efforts have had some success, including signs of positive engagement from the ICH. For example, ICH has already made some helpful changes to GCP. In June 2016, Professor Landray and colleagues were invited to present the CRT’s concerns to the ICH meeting and as a result, in January 2017, the ICH launched a consultation on a proposal for more widespread revisions to its key guidelines.Professor Landray said: “We are delighted that the ICH is starting to listen but there is still a way to go. The ICH has proposed only limited academic engagement in the development of new GCP guidelines (largely confining our input to studies that are observational or based on existing databases).”Professor Casadei concluded: “The ESC will continue to campaign for much greater engagement between regulators, pharmaceutical companies, patients, scientific organisations and academic organisations in the development and application of clinical trials regulations. Such work is critical to advances in care and improvements in outcomes for patients with cardiovascular disease”

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One-third of heart failure patients do not return to work

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 23 maggio 2016

ospedaleOne-third of patients hospitalised with heart failure for the first time have not returned to work one year later, reveals a study in nearly 12 000 patients presented today at Heart Failure 2016 and the 3rd World Congress on Acute Heart Failure by Dr Rasmus Roerth, a physician at Copenhagen University Hospital in Copenhagen, Denmark.1. “Employment is crucial for self esteem and quality of life, as well as being of financial importance, in patients with all kinds of chronic illness,” said Dr Roerth.He continued: “Inability to maintain a full time job is an indirect consequence of heart failure beyond the usual clinical parameters of hospitalisation and death. Most information on heart failure is derived from studies in older patients since they are the majority. This has led to a knowledge gap regarding the impact of living with heart failure among younger patients, who perhaps have the most to lose from the condition.”The study included 11 880 heart failure patients of working age (18 to 60 years) who were employed prior to being hospitalised for heart failure. Information on age, length of hospital stay, gender, education level, income, comorbidities and working status was obtained from Danish nationwide registries.2 All Danish residents are included in the registries and have a unique personal identification number making it possible to link information on an individual level.The researchers found that one year after being hospitalised for heart failure for the first time, 68% of patients had returned to work, 25% had not, and 7% had died.Dr Roerth said: “Among patients who are alive one year after their first heart failure hospitalisation, 37% did not return to work, which is a substantial proportion. It confirms that heart failure significantly reduces a patient’s capacity to maintain a normal life and live independently.” Younger patients (18 to 30 years) were over three times more likely to return to work than older patients (51 to 60 years). “This is perhaps not that surprising because younger patients have fewer comorbidities and may have a greater determination to stay employed,” said Dr Roerth. Patients with a higher level of education were twice as likely to return to work as those with basic schooling. Dr Roerth said: “This could be because higher education is associated with less physically demanding jobs. In addition, it may be more possible for highly educated patients to arrange a flexible work life.”Men were 24% more likely to return to work than women. “We do not think that this is primarily explained by men having a better recovery than women,” said Dr Roerth. “It could be that men are more often forced to return to work, for economical and other reasons. Having a work identify may be more important to men.” Conversely, patients were less likely to return to work if they had stayed in hospital for more than 7 days, or had a history of stroke, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes or cancer. Dr Roerth said: “It’s important to highlight that our findings are associations and not necessarily causal connections. The associations might help to identify which patients are at the greatest risk of becoming unemployed after being in hospital with heart failure for the first time.” He continued: “More research is needed to better understand why this loss of employment occurs among those who were working before they went into hospital. It could be that physicians are afraid to advise returning to work because they have unfounded concerns about the risks. Some patients may have been wrongly told they were at high risk of death but could safely return to the workforce.” Dr Roerth concluded: “Removal from the labour market and dependence on public benefits has great economic consequences which go beyond the already significant financial burden that these patients place on the healthcare system. More knowledge on what stops patients going back to work will put us in a better position to find ways of preventing it, for example with more intensive rehabilitation, psychological support, or education.”

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Earlier treatment would cut spending on migrant healthcare in the EU: FRA study

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 3 settembre 2015

african_migrants.jpg.crop_displayWhile the issue of migrants at the EU’s borders is currently at the top of the European agenda, once in the EU irregular migrants often find themselves cut off from health screening and preventive treatment. However, new research by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) suggests that Member States would spend less on migrant health by treating them earlier, rather than waiting until they require emergency treatment.Access The cost of exclusion from healthcare – the case of migrants in an irregular situation summary and full report >> In the first such research to investigate the cost-effectiveness of providing access to healthcare for irregular migrants, FRA used economic analysis based on a decision tree model to estimate the expenditure necessary for timely access to screening and medical care for irregular migrants, compared with the cost of emergency treatment. The research examined the situation in Germany, Greece and Sweden for two of the most common healthcare issues in the EU: hypertension and prenatal care.Based on available data, providing regular healthcare to hypertensive patients could: generate savings of approximately 9% over the space of one year, rising to 13% after five years and 16% over a lifetime help prevent more than 300 strokes and more than 200 heart attacks per 1,000 migrants in each country
Improved prenatal care could generate savings of up to 48% in Germany and Greece and as much as 69% in Sweden over the space of two years.
As documented by FRA’s earlier report on access to healthcare for migrants in an irregular situation, varying legal frameworks and practical barriers lead to substantial differences in healthcare services provided to irregular migrants around the EU. With many countries reducing their spending on social welfare in the wake of the financial crisis, FRA’s findings are particularly relevant. Combined with the fact that adequate healthcare is necessary in order to meet EU Member States’ fundamental rights obligations, this is a powerful argument to improve healthcare provision for irregular migrants throughout the EU. The three countries covered by this research project were chosen because of their geographical spread, the very different financing models for healthcare funding and public authority involvement in healthcare provisions, and the fact that all three have sizeable communities of migrants in an irregular situation. The medical issues selected are common health needs among irregular migrants. However, broader research covering a greater number of countries and health issues is needed for more conclusive analysis.

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Food allergy: a burden carried by more than 17 million Europeans

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 14 marzo 2015

zurichZurich With more than 17 million of Europeans suffering from allergies1, food allergy is one of the most common allergic diseases. As the prevalence of food allergy is greater among children than adults2, food allergy has been recognised as a major paediatric health problem in western countries. The number of hospital admissions for severe allergic reaction3 in children has increased 7-fold in the past 10 years in Europe4. No cure has been found yet and the disease is so unpredictable that it often causes anxiety in patients and caregivers, leading to social exclusion because of the fear of eating dangerous foods by mistake. Only clear information on ingredients and disease management can help food allergy patients”, says Breda Flood, EFA President. Food allergy is a major public health problem: governments and the general public are expected to face increasing direct and indirect costs, due to its major effects on lifestyle and quality of life4,5.The Beware of Allergy campaign highlights the increasing incidence and burden of food allergy and of severe allergic reactions such as anaphylaxis and calls on patients, healthcare professionals and pharmacists to familiarise themselves how to recognise early and manage these diseases.“By focusing on education for food allergy prevention, early diagnosis and correct management, EAACI hopes to help patients and their families to better control their food allergy and improve their quality of life and to increase the resources allocated by the society to manage the allergy epidemic”, says Antonella Muraro, EAACI Secretary General and President Elect. Prof. Muraro has also coordinated the publication of the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Guidelines, to translate best science into best practice.Prompt recognition and management of severe allergic reactions are of utmost importance as such reactions can be fatal. Caregivers, teachers and parents should be provided with information on how to manage severe allergic reactions, including adrenaline auto-injectors and instructions on how and when to use it6. It is crucial to better inform schools and restaurants staff so they can help patients avoid accidental exposure and make appropriate food choice

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Ensuring Access to Medicines for Patients: Pharmaceutical industry associations

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 21 gennaio 2015

BruxellesBrussels, AESGP, EFPIA, EGA, and PPTA are pleased to announce today’s release of the joint principles for “Communication of information on quality and manufacturing potential supply disruption”. This document forms part of the industry response to the EMA (European Medicines Agency) call for voluntary and proactive action, to provide European patients with continuous access to medicines.
There can be multiple causes to medicines shortages, including issues relating to quality and manufacturing. In cases where a disruption to the manufacturing process of a medicine arises, Marketing Authorisation Holders (MAHs) are obligated to timeously notify Competent Authorities (CAs). This document addresses such communications, and complements the output from the professional organisations ISPE & PDA on the prevention of such supply disruptions – see enclosed summary report.
This ‘Principles’ document introduces a harmonised approach to the communication of information by MAHs, meeting the complex and divergent data requirements across national CAs and EMA. This is expected to facilitate coordinated action between CAs; it will further enable CAs to gather standardised data for the identification and analysis of the causes, while considering mitigation strategies. This ‘Principles’ document constitutes a first and concrete step in the right direction and was warmly welcomed by the EMA and national CAs.AESGP, EFPIA, EGA, and PPTA believe that more can be achieved within the EMA initiative, particularly on reporting and notification mechanisms beyond manufacturers, which should form the next key milestone of the EMA initiative for 2015. This necessitates an integrated solution involving all stakeholders in the supply chain, illustrated in the recent report commissioned by DG Sanco1.The pharmaceutical industry is fully committed to working with these stakeholders, to mitigate factors that could contribute to supply disruptions, and to provide European patients with continuous access to the medicines they need.

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Faster and accurate identification of drugs causing allergic reactions: a great relief for patients

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 19 settembre 2014

A new diagnostic set to become the regular method for the diagnosis of cutaneous adverse drug reactions is faster, safe and easy to perform Allergic skin diseases are among the most frequently misunderstood diseases that allergists have to deal with
Experts confirm that better and faster diagnosis will help improve the quality of life of patients with allergic skin diseases
Krakow (Poland), Medication is a major pillar in the management of many diseases. But for some patients, their use can have detrimental effects including cutaneous adverse drug reactions (CADR), a common form of allergic skin disease, what can seriously impact on their quality of life. For allergists, CADR can prove time-consuming, especially with regard to diagnosis, since they often require the use of more than one analytic system to find the drug causing the allergy.Until recently, no universal method has been available, despite allergic reactionsintensive research in this field over the preceding decades. However, the diagnosis of CADR could now improve significantly thanks to a new method developed by a group of researchers led by Dr Grzegorz Porebski, Jagiellonian University, Department of Clinical and Environmental Allergology (Krakow, Poland). Faster, safer, more accurate and widely availableThe new technique is faster and more accurate than existing methods as it allows the accurate identification of the drug causing the reaction:“People usually take more than one drug together and it’s impossible to withdraw all this medication immediately. Patients would like to know which drug they can continue using and which one not, and this is a big challenge. Now they have a new tool that can improve the causality diagnosis to exclude the drug which has caused the allergy and it can be used in quite a large group of people affected by these reactions,” explains Dr Porebski.In addition, the method is safer because it doesn’t require exposure of the patient to the drug, as it is performed in vitro with a blood sample. Another advantage is that the technique is easy to perform and could be easily available in health centres, as opposed to other methods which are more expensive and therefore not accessible to all patients.This new diagnostic method has been studied in a drug whose use is widespread among Europeans – carbamazepine – which is prescribed in cases of epilepsy, psychiatric disorders or neurophatic pain. However, the study is also to confirm the method’s efficiency in the use of antibiotics and new phases will be extended to other drugs.Dr Porebski will present the implications of this new method at the Third Skin Allergy Meeting (SAM) organised by the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI). The meeting is being held in Krakow, Poland, starting today until Saturday. Europe’s leading researchers and clinicians in the field of skin allergy are gathering at SAM to share their expertise with participants on a wide range of topics from contact dermatitis, atopic eczema, urticaria and angioedema, to mastocytosis and anaphylaxis, drug and food allergies and the skin, diagnostics in skin allergy and hand eczema.
Allergies can be seen in almost every organ. Most commonly, however, it is the skin and the mucous membranes that are involved since they represent the frontier between the individual and their environment. Despite being so common, allergic skin diseases are among the least understood, and most frequently misunderstood, diseases the allergists have to deal with.The umbrella term for a local inflammation of the skin should be dermatitis. What is generally known as “atopic eczema/dermatitis” is not one, single disease but rather an aggregation of several diseases with certain characteristics in common.According to Professor Radoslaw Spiewak, Professor and Head of the Department of Experimental Dermatology and Cosmetology of the Jagiellonian University Medical College and President of the Local Organising Committee for the EAACI SAM, one of the common mistakes that allergists make is to consider all forms of eczema as atopic dermatitis. Another frequent error is to blame food allergy as the major cause of allergic skin diseases. Moreover, various types of eczema may co-exist in a patient, overlapping, and being replaced by one another. Sometimes, this situation occurs without being noticed by patient or doctor. Despite a similar appearance, the diversity of mechanisms underlying allergic skin diseases requires diverse and complex approaches.

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Patients with Phenylketonuria (PKU) Across Europe at the European Parliament

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 1 marzo 2012

Belgium, Bruxelles - Brussel, European Parliam...

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Brussels (PRNewswire)Today, on World Rare Disease Day, the European Society for Phenylketonuria and Allied Disorders (E.S.PKU) urged policy makers to bridge significant gaps in Phenylketonuria (PKU) care across Europe during a lunch debate at the European Parliament. The E.S.PKU presented a set of recommendations based on the first PKU benchmark report “Closing the Gaps in Care”, launched on this occasion. The event was hosted by Members of the European Parliament (MEP) Esther de Lange and Antonyia Parvanova.Esther de Lange, MEP, said: “Unfortunately, for many diseases, as for PKU, vast differences exist between European Union (EU) countries. Therefore the EU Council Recommendation on the implementation of rare disease plans is a welcome signal. I invite national governments to include PKU as an example in these plans, including strong guidance on high standards of screening, care and treatment.””The level of health inequalities faced by patients suffering from PKU in Europe is unacceptable. Debating these with members of the Parliament in Brussels is a crucial step to draw attention to the condition which is one of the most common rare diseases in Europe,” said Eric Lange, President of E.S.PKU. “Through this initiative, we call on European policy makers and other decision-makers to help us give our PKU patients an equal chance of living a healthy and productive life, no matter where they live.”Maria Gizewska, Paediatrician, Poland, stressed: “The medical community is well aware of their responsibility and role in finding broader consensus on therapeutic threshold, treatment targets and advice. Despite recent advances in many aspects of PKU, there is however still a lack of baseline data on the condition globally, and more clinical evidence is needed to overcome this knowledge gap.”Eric Lange, E.S.PKU, concluded: “I call on those here in the room today to include PKU in activities undertaken at EU level such as the upcoming initiatives on Newborn Screening, and the Implementation Report on National Plans. Further, I would like to encourage healthcare professionals in particular to continue their endeavours in developing much-needed clinical guidance to ensure that all PKU patients receive the optimal care they deserve.”The debate is the first of a series of E.S.PKU initiatives to prioritize PKU as a rare disease on national health agendas, address unequal access to treatment and gaps in reimbursement. These initiatives are supported by an unrestricted grant from Merck Serono.A full version of the release can be downloaded at We further invite you to watch and download the full launch debate at (webcast available on the 29th February from 4pm CET onwards).

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