Trending News Today: Link Between Cancer Drugs and Cardiovascular Problems

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

The increasing heroin and opioid abuse epidemic does not appear to being slowing down anytime soon. In an effort to help combat drug overdoses, a California-based pharmaceutical company will extend a price cut for a heroin overdose antidote, reported The Wall Street Journal. Naloxone is a drug that can quickly reverse an opioid overdose and save lives. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman stated that drug maker Amphastar Pharmaceuticals will continue to offer a $6 per dose rebate through January 2018.

A think tank report has warned that Brexit could cause British patients to lose access to modern medicines, according to The New York Times. Currently, drug manufacturers use the European Medicine Agency to get drugs licensed across Europe. However, this system is likely to be dropped if Britain severs EU ties, the Times reported. “The results of ‘hard Brexit’ would not only be a sick economy but sick patients unable to access a cure,” stated the Public Policy Projects report. If Britain is cut from the European system, it could result in British patients being put at the back of the line for new drugs, because priority would be given to applications for new licenses from Europe.

In rare cases, checkpoint inhibitors used to treat cancer may cause patients to develop heart problems, reported The New York Times. Although less than 1% of patients who took these drugs have developed heart trouble, the damage can be severe, and have led to several deaths due to the immune system attacking the heart. The risk appears to be highest in patients who take 2 different checkpoint inhibitors at once, the Times reported.