Pharmacy Week in Review: More Valsartan Recalls, US Obesity-Related Cancer Burden

A look at last week's top stories in the world of pharmacy.

A look at last week's top stories in the world of pharmacy.


Hello and welcome to the Pharmacy Times News Network. I’m Nicole Grassano your host for our Pharmacy Week in Review.

Aurobindo Pharma USA is voluntarily recalling 80 lots of Amlodipine Valsartan Tablets USP, Valsartan HCTZ Tablets, USP and Valsartan Tablets USP to the consumer level, because of the detection of trace amounts NDEA, Pharmacy Times reported. An unexpected impurity, NDEA is a substance that occurs naturally in air pollution, certain foods, drinking water, and industrial processes, and has been classified as a probable human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. All the recalled lots were distributed nationwide. The company is arranging for the return of all recalled products.

Outpatients who have been diagnosed with influenza and are at high risk for complications, particularly pregnant women and the extremely obese, should be provided antiviral treatment as soon as possible, according to updated seasonal influenza guidelines from the Infectious Diseases Society of America, Contemporary Clinic reported. The guidelines recommend using molecular tests that deliver results in 15 to 60 minutes instead of rapid-influenza diagnostic tests, which produce quick results but can be falsely negative in at least 30% of outpatients with influenza. Although antiviral treatment is recommended within 2 days after the start of flu symptoms in people who aren’t at high risk for complications, the guidelines note they should be prescribed to those at high risk even if they have been sick for more than 2 days. Others in the high-risk category include: young children; women who have recently given birth; those with a weakened immune system due to disease or medication; people younger than 19 years old who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy; those with chronic medical conditions including asthma, neurological or neurodevelopmental disorders, heart or lung disease, kidney, liver or metabolic disorders; nursing home residents; American Indians; and native Alaskans.

States vary widely in the proportions of cancers related to obesity, with at least a 1.5-fold difference between states with the highest and lowest proportions, according to a new study published in JAMA Oncology, Specialty Pharmacy Times reported. Similarly, a recent study showed that the prevalence of obesity and associated cancer burden has been increasing worldwide, with new data indicating that nearly 4% of all cancers globally can be attributed to excess body weight. In the JAMA Oncology study, the researchers calculated the population attributable fraction of incident cancer cases attributable to excess body weight among adults aged 30 years from 2011 to 2015 in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Over this time span, the study showed that each year an estimated 37,650 cancer cases in men and 74,690 cancer cases in women were attributable to excess body weight.

Pharmacists may get more questions about Halls Cough Drops if their patients have seen a new commercial for the OTC product. In the spot, a young man is tossing and turning in bed and turns himself into a “blanket burrito.” The narrator says that those who end up this way might want to take Halls Cough Drops. According to the commercial, Halls Cough Drops provide temporary relief from coughs and sore throats.

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Thanks for watching our Pharmacy Week in Review. I’m Nicole Grassano at the Pharmacy Times News Network.

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