The top 5 most-read news stories of 2019 for The American Journal of Managed Care® ran the gamut, from the ongoing opioid epidemic to hoped-for new drug approvals to treat type 2 diabetes.
The top 5 most-read news stories of 2019 for The American Journal of Managed Care® ran the gamut, from the ongoing opioid epidemic to hoped-for new drug approvals in diabetes.
Preventing and reducing the risk of major cardiovascular events were the focus of our 2 top 5 stories on treatments for type 2 diabetes, with both homing in on results from outcomes trials. In another area of research, new attention was focused on the increase in mental health issues in adolescents and young adults.
Lastly, a possible treatment target for Parkinson disease purportedly touts brain cell regeneration.
5. 5 Updates on Trends in Drug Overdose Deaths in the United States
An August 2019 story recapped 5 updates about opioid fatalities in the United States, which are mostly driven by synthetic opioids like fentanyl. Some states saw a decrease in the total number of deaths, while in others, the number rose. A study published in the July 2019 issue of AJMC® found that heroin overdose-related deaths alone rose 270% among commercially insured individuals versus 94.3% among Medicaid enrollees. And males had an overdose rate higher than females in both insurance groups.
4. CREDENCE: Canagliflozin Cuts Risk of Renal Failure, Death 30% in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes, CKD
Results of this phase 3 trial presented in April at the International Society of Nephrology 2019 World Congress of Nephrology also showed lower risks for cardiovascular death, heart attack, or stroke and for hospitalization for heart failure. The trial ended early in July 2018 because its primary endpoint had been met, according to independent investigators. Similar trials of sodium glucose co-transporter 2 inhibitors are underway, with results expected in November 2020 from DAPA-CKD for dapagliflozin (Farxiga; AstraZeneca) and in June 2022 from EMPA-KIDNEY for empagliflozin (Eli Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim).
3. Mental Health Issues on the Rise Among Adolescents, Young Adults
Is social media to blame for the 71% increase in serious psychological distress and depressive symptoms seen among younger adults (18-25 years), as well as the 52% and 63% jumps for adolescents and young adults, respectively? According to a study published by the American Psychological Association, there was a concurrent decline seen in patients 65 and older, between 2008 and 2017, and drug and alcohol use remained stable during this period. Most teens, however, report feelings of anxiety and depression, which researchers believe may be linked to cyber-bullying from more smartphone and digital media use.
2. Novo Nordisk Seeks Oral Semaglutide Approval, CV Indications on New Drug and Injectable
News that Novo Nordisk filed 2 new drug applications with the FDA in March 2019 for the glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist oral semaglutide to control blood glucose in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) became our second-most popular story of the year. The FDA subsequently approved the drug, sold under the name Rybelsus, in September. It is indicated to reduce major adverse cardiovascular events in patients with both T2D and comorbid cardiovascular disease. The oral form was developed with patients in mind who are hesitant to use injectable drugs.
1. New Treatment May Have the Potential to Slow, Stop, or Reverse Parkinson Disease
Currently, Parkinson disease (PD) remains progressively degenerative, and most drugs cannot cross the blood-brain barrier. Developers of a novel infusable brain treatment, however, hope their study results that show a dopamine uptake increase translate to dopamine brain cell regeneration. They used more than 1000 brain infusions over their 9-month, double-blind study, for a 100% improvement rate in the brain areas affected by PD.