Trending News Today: Sickle Cell Drug Meets Goal in Late-Stage Trial

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A new ProPublica analysis has found that pharmaceutical company payments to physicians related to opioid drugs decreased significantly in 2016 from the year before, NPR reported. According to the article, drug manufacturers spent $15.8 million in 2016 to pay physicians for speaking, consulting, meals, and travel related to opioid drugs, which was down 33% from $23.7 million in 2015. Among opioids, the biggest decreases in spending were for Subsys and Hysingla ER, the article reported.

Voxelotor, Global Therapeutic Inc’s sickle cell disease treatment, met the primary goal of a late-stage trial, Reuters reported. According to the article, Global Therapeutics said it would seek accelerated approval for the drug on the basis of its efficacy against hemolytic anemia. Data from the trial showed that a statistically significant number of patients treated with voxelotor experienced a rise in levels of hemoglobin compared with a placebo, the article reported.

A new study found that elderly patients with major depressive disorder may be more likely to suffer severe and persistent symptoms than younger adults with the same condition, Reuters reported. According to the article, patients aged 70 and older were 2 to 3 times more likely to still have a diagnosis of major depressive disorder after 2 years and to have had symptoms during most of that period. Additionally, elderly patients took longer to achieve remission or to experience improvements in the severity of their depression, the article reported.