Trending News Today: GlaxoSmithKline Pulls Life-Changing Epilepsy Drug from Shelves

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On Friday, a US district judge ordered Illinois to restore services for developmentally disabled residents, according to Reuters. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman ruled that Illinois failed to provide sufficient resources and, as a result, the residents “suffered substantially” from the reduction in services in violation of a federal consent decree, Reuters reported. Judge Coleman lacked the authority to order a funding increase, but ordered Illinois to devise a plan to address the issues, according to the article. The state argued that advocates for the disabled living outside of institutions were seeking as much as an additional $1 billion annually, a price Illinois could not afford, Reuters reported. A status hearing has been set for October 27, 2017.

For the first time, scientists successfully edited heritable cells in human embryos to treat an inherited form of heart disease. But now, recent survey findings reveal Americans want a say too, according to the Los Angeles Times. A total of 1600 Americans were included in the survey, of whom, two-thirds supported therapeutic applications, whether to somatic or germline cells. Somatic enhancement, however, gained less approval. Only 39% of respondents found somatic enhancement acceptable, with 35% stating it is unacceptable, the LA Times reported. Approval was even lower for heritable germline enhancement, with 26% in acceptance and 51% in opposition.

The powerful drug Potiga, which successfully reduces the number of seizures in a rare form of epilepsy, is no longer being sold. According to The Chicago Tribune, manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) pulled the drug from shelves at the end of June because of declining sales. The move forced families to stock up on Potiga or begin weaning their child off the drug, which reduces the number of seizures from multiple times in an hour to once every 5 or 6 days. Although GSK said it recently was in touch with 2 families to find a way to make the drug available, the company is currently not making commitments to future patients. “We care deeply about patients and realize that any time a medicine is removed from the market it can be challenging,” GSK spokeswoman Sarah Spencer said in an email, as reported by the Tribune. “At this time, our focus is on the very small number of patients who are currently receiving the product.” The Chicago Tribune noted the current dilemma highlights the limitations of the drug manufacturers’ business models.

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