Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.
FDA officials said that alternatives to the heartburn medication ranitidine (Zantac) and its generic versions do not contain the impurity N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) that has been found in ranitidine, Reuters reported. According to the article, Walmart, CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid have all removed Zantac from their shelves after some of the drugs containing ranitidine were found to have traces of the cancer-causing impurity. Early tests of alternatives to OTC ranitidine, such as Pepcid, Tagamet, Nexium, Prevaid, and Prilosec showed no NDMA, the article reported.
A new study found that incidence and mortality rates of pancreatic cancer have increased in almost all countries and territories from 1990 to 2017, the European Society of Medical Oncology reported. According to the study, the researchers used vital registration, vital registration sample, and cancer registry data to generate mortality, incidence, and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) estimates. Overall, there was a 2.3 times increase in the number of deaths and a 2.1 times increase in DALYs due to pancreatic cancer over this time period, the article reported.
New research suggests that serum neurofilament light chain (sNFL) may be used a biomarker of multiple sclerosis (MS) disease activity, The American Journal of Managed Care reported. According to the article, the study authors examined data from 607 patients with MS from the Expression, Proteomics, Imaging, Clinical study, which took place at the University of California, San Francisco between July 1, 2004, and August 31, 2017. The authors found that active treatment was associated with lower sNFL levels after 5 years of follow-up and high-potency treatments were associated with greater decreases in sNFL levels compared with platform therapies, the article reported.