Trending News Today: FDA, Manufacturers Failed to Monitor Restricted Fentanyl Prescribing

Top news of the day across the health care landscape.

Merck’s cancer therapy pembrolizumab (Keytruda) failed to meet the main goals of slowing disease progression and extending the life of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in a late-stage study, Reuters reported. According to the article, the Keynote-240 study was testing pembrolizumab in patients with advanced HCC who were previously treated with systemic therapy. Although patients treated with the drug did see some improvement in overall survival and disease progression compared with those in the placebo group, the results were not statistically significant, the article reported.

A new report published in JAMA found that the FDA and opioid manufacturers failed to adequately monitor the restricted use of fentanyl, The Washington Post reported. According to the article, the study, based on a review of 4877 pages of FDA reports and other documents, looked at transmucosal immediate-release fentanyls. The researchers found that over a 4-year period, 51% of patients in the analysis who were prescribed these fentanyls were “opioid-nontolerant,” the article reported.

Maryland state legislation may soon allow minors to consent to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) treatment, The Associated Press reported. According to the article, the bill states that providers may still choose to inform the parents of a minor who has been provided the treatment, but minors would be able to consent to the preventative treatment. Seventeen other states currently allow minors to give consent for treatment with PrEP, the article reported.

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