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Update on Drugs and Drug News - Number 3 1999


Class Name/Company Approval Dates and Comments

Antiviral

Imiquimod
Aldara® Cream
3M Pharmaceuticals

Approved by the Canadian HPB January, 1999. Imiquimod was approved by the US FDA in 1997 for the treatment of external genital and perianal warts / condyloma acuminata in adults.

Anti-AIDS

Abacavir
Ziagen®
Glaxo Wellcome

Approved by the US FDA December, 1998. Ziagen is a reverse transcriptase inhibitor, taken twice daily without food or drink restrictions. In clinical trials, about 3% of patients experienced a potentially fatal hypersensitivity reaction.

Male-pattern hair loss

Finasteride 1 mg tablets
Propecia®
Merck

Propecia® has now been approved by eight EU countries (Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Sweden), as well as Canada, the US and other countries worldwide.

Lyme disease

Lyme disease vaccine
LYMErix®
SmithKline Beecham

Approved by the US FDA for active immunization against Lyme disease in people aged 15-70. LYMErix® contains antigen from the only species of Borrelia burgdorferi found in the US. SmithKline Beecham are also developing a multivalent vaccine for use in Europe to combat several of the most common strains (B. burgdorferi, B afzeli and B. garinii) found there.

Metastatic Melanoma

Aldesleukin
Proleukin®
Chiron

Approved by the Canadian HPB for the new indication, treatment of metastatic melanoma. This recombinant form of IL-2 is approved in the US for treating malignant metastic melanoma, and in Canada, Europe and the US for treating metastatic renal cell carcinoma. This drug has been granted Orphan Drug status by the FDA for treating non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and acute myelogenous leukemia.

Varicella Vaccine

Varicella Vaccine
Varivax®
Merck Frosst

Approved in Canada for use in children aged one year and older. This vaccine is already available in the US, Taiwan, Phillipines, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Brazil.


Drug News

Male-pattern hair loss

Minoxidil
Taisho

More than five years after being submitted for approval, minoxidil has been recommended for OTC sale by The Japanese Central Pharmaceutical Affairs Council.


In this issue:

  1. Drugs that may exacerbate psoriasis
  2. Drug Treatments Introduced in 1998
  3. Update on Drugs and Drug News - Number 3 1999