Pharmacy Week in Review: First Multi-Drug Trial for Ebola Launches, Task Force Offers Guidance on PrEP Use


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.

Officials with the World Health Organization’s Ministry of Health of the Democratic Republic of the Congo have announced that the first-ever, multidrug, randomized control trial has begun to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of drugs used to treat patients with Ebola, Pharmacy Times reported. This trial forms part of a multi-country and multi-outbreak study that was agreed to by partners under a WHO initiative. More than 160 patients have been treated so far with investigational therapeutics under an ethical framework developed by WHO, in consultation with experts in the field and the Democratic Republic of Congo, called the Monitored Emergency Use of Unregistered and Investigational Interventions. This protocol was not designed to evaluate the drugs, but now that protocols for trials are in place, patients will be offered treatments under that framework in the facilities where the trial has started.

Researchers at Purdue University recently developed a shoe insole that could help make the healing process more portable for the 15% of Americans who develop ulcers as a result of diabetes, Contemporary Clinic reported. The researchers used lasers to shape silicone-based rubber into insoles and then create reservoirs that release oxygen only at the part of the foot where the ulcer is located. The insole can deliver oxygen at least 8 hours a day under the pressure of someone weighing about 117 to 179 pounds, according to the team’s simulations. But the insole can be customized to take on any weight, the researchers noted.

The US Preventive Services Task Force has issued new draft recommendations on HIV screening and prevention advising that clinicians offer pre-exposure prophylaxis to all individuals at high risk of acquiring HIV, Specialty Pharmacy Times reported. Further, the task force recommended that clinicians screen everyone aged 15 to 65 years old, as well as all pregnant women, for HIV, according to a statement. Additionally, younger and older individuals who are at increased risk should also be tested. In the statement, the task force noted that HIV infection rates among individuals aged 25 to 29 are on the rise, indicating a need for improved screening and prevention strategies. Based on its review of evidence, the task force found that pre-exposure prophylaxis is highly effective at preventing HIV when taken daily, and the benefits outweigh the harms.

Pharmacists may get more questions about Xeljanz XR if their patients have seen a new commercial for the prescription medication for arthritis and osteoporosis. As a family travels to a snowy cabin, the narrator says that though needles may be essential for the pine trees surrounding them, it doesn’t have to be for people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. According to the commercial, Xeljanz XR is the “unjection” option that reduces joint damage, pain, and swelling, so mom can enjoy the winter with her family.

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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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