Pharmacy Week in Review: Scaling Up Needed to Eliminate HCV, Fibrosis-Targeting Drugs May Boost Immunotherapy Response


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.

In 2017, the World Health Organization targeted 2030 as the year to meet global elimination goals for hepatitis C virus or HCV, Pharmacy Times reported. The global HCV epidemic faces several barriers, and meeting WHO target goals will be difficult unless a vast strategy is implemented. Although progress has been made in HCV treatment efforts, a new report published in The Lancet suggests that a multifaceted approach combining an extensive scaling up of screening, prevention, and treatment is needed to move toward global elimination. WHO elimination targets are defined as a 65% reduction in mortality and an 80% reduction in incidence by 2030 from the 2015 baseline.

At least 79 individual cases of measles in the United States have been reported since the start of 2019, Contemporary Clinic reported. During the month of January, 3 states also experienced outbreaks of the virus, according to the CDC. Reported January 1 to 31, these measles cases occurred in 10 states. Three or more cases constitute an outbreak, which is occurring in New York, New Jersey, and Washington. Cases also were reported in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Oregon, and Texas.

New research has shown a correlation between fibrosis, CXCR4 expression, and immunosuppression in metastatic breast cancer, according to a study published in PNAS, Specialty Pharmacy Times reported. The findings could lead to new therapeutic approaches that could improve the efficacy of immunotherapy in patients with the disease. According to the study, many treatment-resistant tumors are highly fibrotic. Fibrosis, which is the overgrowth of connective tissue, can inhibit the efficacy of immunotherapies against breast cancer. The researchers suggested that drugs targeting fibrosis may help improve the response to immunotherapy in these patients.

Pharmacists may get more questions about Prilosec if their patients have seen a new commercial for the OTC product. In the spot, called “Take Control of Heartburn,” a woman fishes for her antacids in her purse. According to the commercial, Prilosec can help those who suffer from heartburn reduce symptoms and kick their antacid habit.

For more great coverage and practical information for today’s pharmacist, visit our website and sign up for our Daily eNews. And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Thanks for watching our Pharmacy Week in Review. I’m Nicole Grassano at the Pharmacy Times News Network.

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