Trending News Today: Gilead to Donate Truvada for 200,000 Patients Annually

Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.

Gilead Sciences will donate enough of its pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) medication Truvada to supply 200,000 patients annually for up to 11 years, The New York Times reported. According to the article, officials at the Department of Health and Human Services announced the donation, which came about “as a result of discussions between the Trump administration and Gilead.” Gilead said in a news release that the medication donation is one of the largest ever made in the United States and is part of the company’s ongoing initiative to improve access to PrEP for HIV prevention, the article reported.

A new study found that fewer individuals died from opioid overdoses in states where pharmacists are allowed to dispense naloxone, Reuters reported. According to the article, the study looked at multiple databases in which outpatient drug use information for medications covered by state Medicaid agencies is recorded, as well as opioid mortality figures from the National Center for Health Statistics System for 2005 to 2016. The data indicated that the passage of legislation allowing pharmacists to sell naloxone directly to patients was associated with an approximately 30% drop in the number of opioid overdose deaths compared with states without pharmacist dispensing, the article reported.

Researchers are about to launch a new study for an experimental drug, called RG6042, to evaluate its effect on Huntington disease progression, NPR reported. According to the article, the trial, which includes 660 volunteers with early symptoms of the disease, will follow patients for 25 months to determine whether their symptoms are improved by the treatment. The treatment may not eliminate the amount of the disease-causing protein entirely, but earlier animal experiments suggest it could reduce it significantly enough to stave off symptoms of the disease, the article reported.

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