THE MEDUCOM POST

When a Virus Attacks – How Pharma is Responding to the Novel Coronavirus

​You can’t turn on the news without hearing an update on the growing concern surrounding the spread of the latest coronavirus (known as the 2019 novel coronavirus or 2019-nCoV). Since December 2019, over 9800 cases of the viral infection have been confirmed in China, with over 200 deaths reported. About 100 cases have been reported across at least 19 other countries, including 6 in the US and 3 in Canada. 2019-nCoV is a single-stranded RNA virus and is one of seven viruses found within the coronavirus family (which also includes SARS and MERS). It infects the lungs and is believed to have an incubation period of two weeks. Symptoms usually start with a fever and cough and can progress to sho

Opioid Vending Machines: Perfect Solution or Perfect Storm?

Since Vancouver declared a state of emergency in 2016, the city has been infamously known as the opioid-overdose capital of Canada. With hundreds of people dying from opioids every year, the question remains, what is being done to protect Canadians from this crisis? In December 2019, Vancouver implemented a cutting edge program called MySafe, which uses the world’s first opioid “vending machine” to distribute prescriptions to highly-monitored users. Using biometric scanners that read user’s vein patterns, the MySafe can verify, identity and distribute a safe dosage of hydromorphone. Addiction professionals have praised the machine for its capacity to provide a safe alternative in a non-clini

Potential first-in-class drug aims to provide acute relief for agitation

​Agitation constitutes up to 10% of psychiatric intervention. Summarized by 5 behavioural elements (poor impulse control, tension, hostility, uncooperativeness and excitement), agitation affects a significant proportion of patients diagnosed with schizophrenia, dementia, substance abuse, and bipolar or anxiety disorders. Current management techniques, including restraint and seclusion, are costly, traumatic and often require prolonged hospitalization. To protect the relationship between patients with chronic psychiatric conditions and their healthcare professionals, non-coercive management strategies are required. After meeting all Phase Ib endpoints, BioXcel Therapeutics has recently initia

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