July 13, 2023
Life Sciences | Tea Leaves
  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is opening the way for more cancer drugs from China as the U.S. continues to deal with an ongoing shortage in key chemotherapy treatments. A spokesperson for the FDA confirmed Monday that the agency is permitting 10 additional lots of the common cancer drug cisplatin to be distributed by the Chinese company Qilu Pharmaceutical. Cisplatin is currently in shortage, along with another common cancer drug, carboplatin. These two drugs, oftentimes prescribed together, are used to treat a wide variety of cancers such as those that affect the breasts, lungs, and prostate. (Articles here and here)
  • Federal officials on Tuesday called for more testing and research on xylazine, the powerful animal sedative that’s spreading through the nation’s illicit drug supply, but they stopped short of recommending new restrictions on the veterinary medication. A six-point plan from the White House’s drug control office aims to scale up testing, treatment, and efforts to intercept illegal shipments of xylazine, which is being mixed into fentanyl and other illicit opioids. The White House declared xylazine-laced fentanyl an “emerging threat” in April and called for a national strategy to combat its use. Xylazine, sometimes known as tranq, can cause breathing and heart rates to fall to dangerous levels when used in humans. When injected, it can cause large open sores and infections, sometimes leading to amputation. (Articles here and here)