Trending News Today: Hikma Increases Injectable Opioid Supply to Ease Shortage in US Hospitals

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

Hikma announced that it is increasing its supply of hydromorphone to US hospitals to help ease a shortage of injectable opioids, Reuters reported. According to the article, injectable opioids have been in short supply for more than a year due to production problems at Pfizer, the biggest supplier of the drugs. Hikma said it had released more than 5 million hydromorphone 2 ml vials to US hospitals in June and expects to release 3 million vials in July, the article reported.

An experimental drug developed by Pfizer and Eli Lilly showed efficacy in a late-stage trial, Reuters reported. According to the article, individuals administered 2 doses of the drug, tanezumab, showed a statistically significant improvement in physical function and in a self-assessment of osteoarthritis compared with a placebo. Tanezumab belongs to an investigational category of pain medication known as a nerve growth factor and could become an alternative to opioids for osteoarthritis and other types of pain, the article reported.

Officials with the FDA proposed new guidelines to facilitate OTC approvals for some prescription medications, Reuters reported. According to the article, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, said in a statement that the agency is evaluating ways to make sure patients don’t take an inappropriate OTC drug, which could include updated information to the packaging label and online questionnaires. Drug manufacturers would have to conduct studies showing that those strategies allow consumers to safely pick a drug and use it without medical supervision, the article reported.